Springtails are minute wingless insects that occur in large numbers in moist soil and are found in homes with very high humidity, organic debris, or mold. Homeowners sometimes discover these insects in large numbers in swimming pools, potted plants, or in moist soil and mulch. Springtails feed on decaying, damp vegetation causing organic material and other nutrients to return to the soil which are later used by plants.
Springtails range in length from .25 to 6 millimeter and range in color from white to yellow, gray, or blue gray. They are unique in the fact that attached to the tip of their abdomen is a forked appendage called the tenaculum, resembling a lever. When disturbed, this lever strikes the ground, causing the insect to spring into the air. They are capable of springing up to about 4 inches into the air, which is where they received their name. Because of this jumping motion they are sometimes confused with fleas.
These insects are pests due to their large numbers. They do not bite or transmit diseases. They can easily climb the sides of houses and are attracted to lights. They can also be brought into homes in soil of potted plants. Springtail populations have also been found floating in swimming pools.
Controlling Springtails can be as easy as drying out the soil and mulch around your home or misting the infested areas with a dishwashing soap in water. Insecticides can be applied to control these pesky pests when great numbers show up.
If you live in Naples, Fort Myers, or Southwest Florida call 239-455-4300 Collier Pest Control, Southwest Florida’s Pest Authority, for a full explanation on how to control Springtails or any of our services, or look us up on our web site at collierpestcontrol.com. Remember Florida does not have to be shared with insects.