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Are small brownish jumping bugs carpet mites?

Question: We found small brownish jumping bugs, 2 mm, very small. I thought it was dirt then, it jumped. They are in the edge of the carpet/tile areas. Is it carpet mites? I know they are not fleas, beetles, silver fish, bed bugs. They are very small. They do not bite or itch; I just don’t want them in my home.

ANSWER: Probably what you have are springtails. Carpet mites are also called dust mites and they are microscopic, certainly not 2 mm. This is a good name for them, since they hop by using their tail. Springtails do not bite people or pets, but they can be a nuisance when they occur in large numbers. They are often found in moist locations outside houses. Sometimes they are found inside in kitchens, bathrooms and ground-level rooms.

These small insects do not reproduce in houses; they simply invade from the outside. They prefer humid locations and must have high humidity to survive. They are easily controlled by vacuuming or finding a way to dry the site. They may also be controlled with the use of an aerosol spray.

The best long-term solution is to dry the location and keep it dry. A dehumidifier may be helpful in a damp basement. If the crawlspace is damp, check to be sure the vents are open and not blocked. If dampness continues to be a problem, look outdoors at drainage. Make sure gutters are clear and downspouts drain away from the house.

These are the same insects that can appear in large numbers in the winter on snow, then they are called snowfleas.

You should contact the local Orkin branch office. A highly trained Orkin Pest Specialist will visit your home and assess the situation. A customized, scientifically proven treatment protocol will be developed to help you with this problem. The Specialist will be able to conclusively identify the animal in question. I would need a specimen, so for now this is a “best guess.” Call the Local Orkin Branch Office today for additional help.

picture of springtail
Springtail Picture

Related Questions:
The Orkin Man used the information above to also answer the following questions submitted by Orkin.com users:

Question: How do you get rid of springtails?

Question: Hi. I’ve been searching the web forever and can’t identify these little critters. They are very small, but visible. They live seemingly in the dirt and rocks outside my home, but do come in frequently. They definitely jump. However, they do not resemble any flea photos I have seen. My best description is like a tiny almost clear-colored cockroach. They do not seem to favor any one place, they are absolutely everywhere. If you could help, I’d greatly appreciate it!

Question: Last year we were getting bites but had not seen the bugs. The doctor thought they were mite bites. I see a lot of tiny, gray bugs outside on the wood railing and cement. They also jump. Could it be fleas? We have no pets but have wooded area in the back.

Question: We have a brand new house and I just started seeing these little brown maybe red bugs with little antennas. The seem to jump also. I was wondering what they could be and what I should do.

Question: How do you get rid of springtails that are around and in your home?

Question: I have springtails in my shower. I’ve been treating them with Raid, but it doesn’t seem to keep them away. What type of control do you provide for these insects? I don’t want to control them, I want to get rid of them.

Question: I have an infestation of bugs that “act” like fleas—jumping, on my feet, ankles, legs. However, they do not bite, there is no itching. What could they be?

Question: We looked outside on our concrete driveway and it looked like large piles of very black dust. When getting closer it was teeny tiny black bugs. What could this be. We live in East Tennessee.

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