Summer Insect Series: Springtails

Summer is the time to soak in nature’s beauties & bounties. However, summer also brings a host of unwelcome guests – pests. From wasps to fleas, mosquitoes, ants, termites, cockroaches,…

Posted on Thursday, June 13th, 2024.

Summer is the time to soak in nature’s beauties & bounties. However, summer also brings a host of unwelcome guests – pests. From wasps to fleas, mosquitoes, ants, termites, cockroaches, ticks and more, there is a long list of pests which appear and interfere with our summer pursuits. In this article, we will discuss springtails, their habits & habitat, and effective management to get rid of them for good.

What Are Springtails And How Can We Identify Them?

Springtails are small, white-to-grayish or blackish insects and are about 1/12 inch long. They are wingless insects that hop and as a result are often mistaken for fleas. You will often find them outdoors. 

They are a seasonal insect and often found in spring and summer. Most do not survive harsh winters, except one subspecies, referred to as ‘snow fleas.’ 

Although mostly an outdoor pest, they occasionally migrate indoors in great numbers during the dry weather or just after a heavy rainfall. 

These pests prefer moist conditions and are often found in damp soil or decaying logs.  Springtails are scavengers and often feed on algae, fungi, and decaying vegetable matter. They develop in large numbers in the mulched, straws, leaves on the ground, and dead grass. 

Indoors, springtails are usually found in kitchen sink, bathrooms, drains, damp basement and mostly around windows sill. 

Do Springtails Pose Any Dangers to People or Property?

Although they are generally harmless scavengers, springtails can harm newly-planted flora by chewing on the roots of seedlings. They rarely damage mature plants.

Their main nuisance arises from their large swarms that can overwhelm homes and outdoors. Springtails prefer moisture and can sometimes appear around and fall into swimming pools coating the surface and make it unsightly.

These insects do not cause any damage to the home nor present any health risk, however homeowners consider them pests because of the enormous number of springtails entering the home.

If you find large swarms of springtails inside your property, that could also be an indicator of moisture in your home.

How To Manage A Springtails Infestation

Springtails are beneficial pests because they feed on decaying organic matter. However, when they appear in large swarms in habitable areas, they can become a nuisance. The key to managing springtails is to control moisture and reduce decaying organic matter in and around your property. Some common sense measures include:

  • Look for and fix leaky pipes and standing water around your home. Those are breeding grounds for springtails that prefer moisture. 
  • Remove excessive mulch and moist leaves from around your property foundations.
  • For indoor infestations, try airing out and drying areas of infestation.
  • For swimming pool infestations, use pool filtering or skimming to remove the pests.
  • Indoors, sweeping and vacuuming may help. So can caulking of cracks and crevices.

We do not recommend chemical pesticides for treating springtails. At best, they may provide temporary relief but if favorable conditions persist for springtails, such as standing water or decaying organic matter, springtails will reappear.

When to Call in the Professionals for Serious Springtail Infestations

If you see large swarms of springtails indoors or around commonly-used spaces outdoors, such as your swimming pool or patio, and reducing sources of moisture or decaying organic matter has not helped, you may want to reach for professional help.

Yosemite Pest & Rodent Solutions is a licensed company that provides pest control in Naperville, Aurora & surrounding cities. We use EPA-approved, eco-friendly methods to manage springtails & other pests. From controlling existing infestations to expert control of sources of moisture & decaying organic matter, you can rely on our experts for a worry-free and pest-free summer.

Call us at (630) 779-7674 for a same-day consultation.