What Are Springtails?
What Is A Springtail?
The springtail is a tiny insect that will typically jump high in the air when disturbed. They’re a very common insect and are typically overlooked when found outdoors. Measuring between 1/16th and 1/18th of an inch in length, they have moderate antennae and an elongated shape. They’re typically brown, grey, or black. Although they’re commonly confused with fleas, the springtail is actually more rounded with a soft body that’s easily crushed. A fork-like appendage is located at the bottom of their tail. Set forward like a mouse trap, they can use it to spring upwards when they feel threatened.
Preference for Wet Areas
The insects lose water through their bodies, so they’re typically looking for additional moisture. They’ll seek out the damp areas in homes, including basements, bathrooms, and any places with standing water. They’re commonly found in areas of moisture damages, such as inside walls where pipes are leaking. You may also notice them around overwatered potted plants.
Sharing a Living Space
They’re not harmful to buildings or people, but they tend to congregate in large numbers. Thousands of insects jumping in an area can be quite upsetting to homeowners who aren’t expecting them. When people are surrounded by large numbers of springtails, it’s possible for a rash to develop, but this will typically fade quickly. It’s also important to note that these insects do not have any interest in human food sources beyond water, so they won’t be harmful to the pantry. They also don’t damage furniture, clothing or any other type of property.
Why A Springtail Comes Inside
The interior of a home looks appealing to the springtail when water is readily available inside. They may start just outside of the home as they gather in puddles around the foundation, but they can quickly find their way in if they’re able to find a constant water source. Homeowners are encouraged to avoid overwatering houseplants, dry up any sources of moisture inside, and control standing water around the home’s exterior.
Warning Signs of an Infestation
These insects can remain hidden along with water leaks, so it’s important to know what the warning signs are. Although they won’t harm your property, they can give your family a fright. Keep a close eye out for:
• Mildew that can indicate a slow leak
• Dampness along the basement walls that they may be following to the interior
Keep the home interior dry and look for sources of standing water outside. This isn’t limited to puddles around the foundation. It can also be clogged downspouts and gutters, damp wood piles, and mulch piled along the foundation.
They’re attracted to the light, so they’ll actually move towards it if you disturb them at night. If you suspect that you have an abundance in the home, then search key areas for them This includes beneath patio slabs, under logs, in bathroom sinks, around Jacuzzis, and in any moist or dark area.
Ongoing Preventative Maintenance
These are gentle creatures, and you can remove them by hand if you see just a few inside. However, this won’t necessarily work if you’re dealing with hundreds or thousands of visitors. If you’re finding them in large numbers, then you should definitely search your home for moisture problems and correct those.
Keeping your home dry is a key part of management. If you have any leaks, get them fixed. Correct condensation problems by improving the ventilation throughout your home.
There are a few home remedies you can try if you don’t have too many of the bugs. Start by washing the affected areas with detergent and water. Use a frothy mixture to help drown out most of the springtails without too much additional work on your part.
You can also pour vinegar directly on them as it burns and will kill them. If you find that they’re very resistant to the vinegar and other treatments, then consider washing the area with bleach. Be sure to wear a mask and keep the area well-ventilated for your own safety.
Interior and Exterior Treatments are Available
The most effective springtail treatments use a combination of interior and exterior measures. Professionals will typically start by looking around the foundation and excessive moisture so that it can be corrected. If the problem is severe, then chemical treatments may be used to prevent the springtails from coming in.
Inside, trained exterminators will look for the trouble spots and ensure that they’re still dry. This includes damp areas around tubs and sinks. Vacuums may be used to gather up the infestation and collect dead ones.
You don’t have to worry too much about these tiny intruders, but you also don’t have to live with them. The moisture that they’re attracted to will actually do more harm to your property, so take their presence as a warning sign that you have other issues to address. If cleaning up the moisture isn’t enough to drive them out, then consider hiring a professional to handle the problem for you.
This non-toxic spray kills larvae, eggs, and adult insects by breaking down their exoskeleton. It is safe to spray around the home and works only on the insects. Feel good about spraying indoors around pets, plants and children.
All Natural Non Toxic Insect Killer Spray by Killer Green