Springtail Facts & Information

Protect your home or business from springtails by learning techniques for identification and control.

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Treatment

How do I get rid of springtails?

What Orkin Does

If you suspect you have a springtail problem, contact your pest management professional and ask for an inspection and pest identification. If your pest management professional determines the culprits are springtails, he or she will prepare an integrated treatment program designed to provide educational information plus effective nonchemical and chemical control measures.

As mentioned above, springtails usually are not a major exterior problem. However, when their exterior habitat begins to dry, these insects will often move inside. Therefore, your springtail treatment plan will likely focus on what is needed for both exterior and interior springtail treatment.

Exterior treatment if needed may include:

Locating where persistent, excessive moisture occurs and taking actions to reduce the amount of moisture there. For example, your pest management professional might recommend fixing any moisture leaks or areas of excessive water runoff from downspouts, reducing the thickness of moisture holding mulch or leaf litter and removing any wet wood or other debris. In some situations, using a labeled chemical product in areas where springtails are especially numerous and around the locations they use to enter the building may be required.

Interior treatment when needed may include:

Locating, drying out and treating places with excessive moisture, especially if the moist condition harbors mold or mildew growth. Such locations may include dampness around tubs and sinks or inside damp wall voids. In addition, using vacuums to remove adult springtails that are either alive or dead is helpful.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Behavior, Diet & Habits

Understanding Springtails

Appearance

Size: Springtails are tiny insects. Their size ranges from 0.25 to 6 mm.

  • Body: They get their name from a spring-loaded structure, called the furcula, located on the underside of their abdomen.

What are they?

Springtails are very small insects that jump around when disturbed, much like fleas. When the insect is disturbed, the furcula is released causing the insect to be flung into the air. One jump can cover 10 centimeters.

Habitat

Their normal habitat is the interface between soil and plant debris, but may be found almost anywhere there is high moisture content. Springtails normally live in damp soil. They are common in flowerbeds, under logs, paving stones and landscape timbers. Woodpiles are also a common place for springtails to hide.

Diet

Springtails feed on mold and fungi, another reason why they prefer moist habitats. Read more about their habitat.

Activity

Springtails lose water through the surface of their body. If their environment becomes dry, they try to migrate to a wetter place.

Do they bite?

Springtails do not bite or sting people. They do not damage buildings or the contents. They develop quickly. It is common to find springtails in very large numbers. The fact that there can be thousands of jumping insects in an area can be very distressing to homeowners.

When the dampness is corrected, the springtails disappear very quickly. Eliminating dampness is very important in preventing or eliminating springtails. A thorough inspection is the first step.

Reproduction

Springtail males place a sperm-containing structure on the ground called a spermatophore. Females then inseminate themselves with it. Females deposit individual eggs or clusters of eggs in damp locations. Life cycle from egg to adult varies, depending on species.

More Information

Springtail Habitat

Do Springtails Bite?

Springtail Infestation?

Springtails vs. Fleas

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