Size is 1/32 to 1/16 inches long
Color is white, brown, tan
Extremely small, grain sized
Recommended Springtail Traps:
Recommended Springtail Sprays:
Springtails are tiny soft-bodied insects measuring about 1/16 inch in length. They are wingless insects that are gray, black, or white in color. Their name comes from their ability to jump as high as eight inches off the ground because of an appendage under their abdomen known as a furcula. Their ability to jump assists them in avoiding predators. Though they do not bite and are harmless to humans, their ability to jump is startling. Springtails can have an elongated and cylindrical body shape, or they can be compact and spherical. Regardless of the shape, springtails generally have between four and six long antennae. Their mouths are concealed by cheeks.
Types of Springtails and Snow Fleas
There are many types of springtails. Their colors and body shapes vary, but most are similar in size to and can be much smaller than fleas. They all tend to have a humpback appearance, but a few types of springtails do not have the furcula appendage. The actual species doesn't matter much since they all originate and propogate from the same areas.
Facts about Springtails
Springtails reproduce quickly usually within three to five weeks. They are typically found in large numbers outdoors. Sometimes called snow fleas, springtails are able to survive cold temperatures and can be spotted in the winter. Their diet consists of fungi and mold.
Springtail Control Begins Outdoors, Not Indoors.
Springtails are an outdoor problem, even if they are found indoors. When Springtails find their way indoors, because of their desire to eat fungi and mold, springtails are attracted to dark, moist areas such as basements, garages, kitchens, or bathrooms. They can infest behind the walls in these areas or be visible on the surface. Springtails are hearty insects in the sense that they can survive in cold and warm temperatures with the exceptions being dry desert-like conditions or extremely cold weather.
Many times, Springtails can be found on window sills, ledges, counters, floors and other areas. They are very visible on white or shiny surfaces such as marble or tile in bathrooms. Because of their very small size and great numbers, they are sometimes referred to as "living moving dust". Many times they will appear as moving dots, so tiny that you can barely see them. If you go to touch one, it will sometimes "spring away" or hop away from you. The shear numbers of Springtails outdoors make control indoors difficult. Regular routine spraying of all outdoor areas including the lawn, under shrubs, decks, mulch, garden areas, etc, may be the only way to keep them under control. ONLY treating indoors will not result in satisfactory control. Springtail control ALWAYS begins outdoors.
Natural and Organic Springtail Control Tips
The simplest way to remove springtails indoors is to simply vacuum them up. This method is only effective in areas with minimal infestation.
In heavily infested areas, other alternatives should be attempted. One of these alternatives is the use glue or sticky traps such as the Trapper LTD Glue Trap. Simply placeTrapper LTD Glue Traps on window sills, floors, under cabinets and other areas to trap Springtails. Essentria IC3 is an organic product derived from essential plant oils such as clove oil and thyme oil that has a botanical scent. Like traditional pesticides, it has a quick kill capacity and some residual protection, but it is safe to use around children and pets. ECO Exempt G Granules are generally intended for outdoor use. For indoor use, use Alpine Pressurized along baseboards, on window sills and on door jambs and thresholds. Alpine Pressurized could also be used on the outdoor perimeter of the house to prevent future springtail infestations. If you prefer not to kill the springtails, you can use rubber gloves and physically pick up the insects and take them to a suitable outdoor environment such as in the mulch where they can continue to survive. However, if their new home becomes dry, the springtails will once again be in search of moisture and food.
To eliminate the possibility of a springtail infestation, you should keep the house clean and sanitary as possible. Also, you should use a dehumidifier to reduce the moisture that attracts springtails. Vegetation on the outside of the structure must be cut back and kept away from the structure and holes, gaps sealed with caulk or putty. Exclusion and keeping them out of the home is always the first line of defense.
How To Kill and Get Rid of Springtails - Outdoors and Indoors
Outdoor Springtail and Snow Flea Control
Springtail control ALWAYS begin outdoors, so beginning the treatment outdoors is highly recommended. Treating outdoors will help to solve the indoor problem. Outdoor Springtail control can be obtained by spraying the lawn, under shrubs, vegetation, and around the perimeter of the home with Onslaught Microencapulated, Onslaught Fastcap, Transport Micron, Cyonara 9.7, Temprid SC, Bifen or Mavrik Insecticides.
Indoor Springtail and Snow Flea Control
Indoor Springtail control can be obtained by using aerosols such as MicroCare or Alpine. These products can be applied along window sills, baseboards, inside cabinets and other areas where you see Springtails. If Springtails are found in the bathtub or shower, they are simply searching for moisture. Rinse out the bath or shower and treat the area with any of these products.
Onslaught Microencapulated, Onslaught Fastcap, Transport Micron, or Temprid SC are also good products for indoor treatment. These products are concentrated and must be mixed with water and sprayed along baseboards, under furniture, window sills, etc.
In almost all cases involving Springtail control, eradication is not instant, nor is it permanent. Springtails tend to propogate in areas near lakes, streams, creeks, rivers, etc, but can also be associated with overwatered lawns. They tend to migrate in different areas for no particular reason and can show up anywhere at any time in any season - warm or cold. This is why control can be so difficult.
A regular treatment program outdoors - monthly or quarterly with a professional strength insecticide is the best strategy. Do not expect to treat 1 time and get control. After 1 or 2 applications outdoors and thorough treatment and adequate removal (by vacuuming) indoors, you will begin to notice a decline. This is not the time to stop treatment. Continuing treatments for 2-3 months after control is achieved is the best way to keep them away for longer periods of time.
Most professional pest control companies recommend monthly treatments for up to a year for complete control. You can easily achieve control in 3-6 months by following these recommended guidelines.