What are Springtails?

Springtails are fascinating little creatures that can be less than a half a millimeter long. That is about the size of the period at the end of this sentence. In fact, in one square yard of soil, there may be over 10,000 of them. The springtail, as the name suggests, has a unique feature in its tail that allows it to jump quickly. It is a tiny, two-pronged lever beneath their abdomen. One small flick from it can hurl them a full six inches into the air. This is the equivalent of a human being jumping over the Eiffel Tower!

These tiny little bugs must keep themselves moist at all times because drying out is a real danger for them. They come equipped with a special grooming dispenser which contains fluid that they spread over their body to keep moisture in. They even have two inflatable tubes that help them to get at all those hard-to-reach places. And if, after they jump, they happen to land upside down, they use their grooming fluid dispenser to stick on the ground so they can pull themselves back upright.

Normally these tiny creatures live in damp soil, but they do sometimes enter homes. They eat mold and fungus and are commonly found under landscape timbers, paving stones, and wood piles. If they are inside a home, it is because they have found a damp area. Once established, they will begin to reproduce.

Why are springtails in my home and what can I do?

If you are seeing springtails in your home, it is probably because you have a moisture problem. Although these creatures do not bite or sting and don't do damage to buildings or the belongings inside, they can be disturbing to find. Seeing thousands of tiny jumping insects in one area can be distressing. Here are a few things you can do to try to get rid of springtails yourself:

  • Look for the cause of dampness and remove the moisture. Fix leaky pipes. Remove any damp items. Dry out areas using fans or a dehumidifier.

  • Get a waterproofing compound for your basement walls.

  • Make sure firewood is stacked away from the house and is up off the ground.

  • Create a bare zone around your home that is dry and free of leaves.

  • Clean out gutters and downspouts.

  • Trim back bushes or tree limbs that are against the house creating damp areas.

Yes, springtails are definitely fascinating creatures. However, they are not creatures you want living in your home. If you are dealing with springtails and you want to know for sure that they are taken care of, it is time to call in a professional pest control company like Adams Pest Control. A home is simply better without bugs, no matter how fascinating they are.

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