A springtail on a rug

What are springtails and are they dangerous?

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While you have been enjoying your summer, you may have seen these little creatures hanging out by the pool or gardens around your home. These bugs are called “springtails.” These tiny round pests get their name from the structure underneath their abdomen that operates similar to a spring, enabling them to jump all the way up to three to four inches! As frightening as that fact may seem, springtails are fairly harmless. They provide no serious threats to your home, family or pets. They are what our pest control specialists call “occasional invaders,” due to the fact that they usually only become a nuisance during spring and summer.

On the flip side, if provided the right conditions, these pesky bugs reproduce rapidly. One square meter of surface soil can house up to 100,000 springtails! This many springtails can cause great frustration and discomfort in or around your home. This is where our Ehrlich Pest Control specialists come in to remove these pests from your home. If you have a springtail infestation do not hesitate to contact us at 888-984-0186.

springtail on wood

Springtails or fleas?

Springtails are commonly mistaken for fleas because similar to fleas, they jump up into the air when disturbed. However, there are many differences between the two. Unlike fleas, springtails do not bite or spread any diseases. Fleas tend to be a brownish-red color, while springtails are usually multi-colored ranging from black-gold in color to metallic or patterned. Springtails have a soft body that allows for easy crushing. Conversely, fleas have a hard flattened body that makes them difficult to kill by crushing. Fleas also have special muscled legs that allow them to jump far and high. Strangely, it isn’t the legs that allow springtails to “jump” into the air. Springtails have a structure underneath their abdomen called the “furcula” that propels them into the air like a catapult. Fleas can inflict very painful bites on humans and pets that can carry disease or later get infected. Thankfully springtails do not bite nor do they carry any type of disease.

What do springtails eat?

Springtails, unlike fleas do not feed on blood. They usually consume various fungi, plant material, algae, and feces. Other species of springtail feed on other springtails, nematodes, and other little arthropods.

springtail on piece of wood

How to get rid of Springtails

There are a variety of different measures you can take to stop springtails from cohabitating with you and your family.

Indoors

When conditions outdoors are too dry for springtails, they will try and make their way inside your home in search of moisture. They also are attracted to light which can draw them right into your home. This is why it is important to seal up any cracks, broken screens, holes on doors or windows, and basement vents. Drying out any areas in your home with excess moisture, such as leaks under kitchen and bathroom sinks will help to make your space less desirable for springtails. A dehumidifier or fan can be useful for removing moisture in a basement. Since springtails love moist soil, make sure to avoid overwatering any indoor potted plants. Wait for plants to completely dry out before watering again. Any standing water will draw springtails by the dozens.

Outdoors

Springtails are absolutely obsessed with moisture, which means they love to chill out by the pool. They may also congregate in any area that has soil. These areas include flower beds, gardens, organic mulches, leaf littler and under damp decaying wood. The key to limiting these pests is to reduce excess water or moisture and any organic materials in your yard or surrounding grounds. Make sure to address any excess water runoff from gutters and hoses. In addition, keep any firewood stored in a dry area away from dew and rain. To prevent springtails from jumping into your pool and then drowning, leaving behind a mass of floating carcasses, make sure to always keep the pool covered when not in use. Removing or reducing the amount of mulch (a place where springtails love to hangout) surrounding the perimeter of your home is also helpful.

Ehrlich Pest Control springtail solutions

Once you have successfully reduced moisture levels, springtails will begin to leave your home or quickly die. If the issue continues or you need help removing springtails from your home, your pest control experts at Ehrlich will take care of it. We will also be able to take a scan of your home and locate any areas that may be part of the problem. For springtail solutions you can count on, contact your local Ehrlich pest control office today!

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Danielle Morales

Danielle Morales is a Digital Marketing Coordinator for Rentokil North America. She specializes in social media content generation as well as curating blog content for Ehrlich Pest Control's website. When not at work she can be found spending time with family, exploring new cafes in Chicago, and shopping.

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