Springtails

Biology & Reproduction

Springtails can vary in their length and color. Their antennas and body can either be long or short. Their color is usually white or grey, but can also be purple, blue, green, yellow, or orange. All of them have a spring-like structure that allows them to jump roughly 3-4 inches high.

Females will lay their eggs in clusters wherever a moist area is. The developmental period typically lasts 2-3 months, but depending on the species it can last from 1 week to over 2 years. After they hatch the springtail will molt about 5 to 10 times before it reaches adulthood. Adult springtails will continue to molt throughout the rest of their life span but there is no increase in size from this.

Habits

Springtails are attracted to lights and especially moist or damp areas. They rapidly lose water from their body, which is why they live and lay their eggs in wet areas. Large numbers of them can be found wherever water is present. You can find them outdoors in leaf litter, mulch, debris, firewood or any logs on the ground, decaying railroad ties, landscape timber, and more. Indoors they are found in high-moisture areas like bathrooms and kitchens, and can become trapped in sinks and tubs. They can also be found in crawlspaces, basements, and damp wall voids. Springtails will enter a structure when their outdoor environment becomes dry and can sneak through doors, utility pipes, and even window screens. Sometimes bringing a potted plant indoors will bring them inside as well. It’s best to also be aware of any mildew problems a structure has, as this can attract springtails. They’ll eat decaying vegetation, fungi, pollen, algae, and bacteria that are found in or on the structure.Springtails are not parasitic on humans, so they won’t bite or sting people. They also are not known to cause damage to buildings.

Control

By drying out the area that they’re infesting, the springtails will either die or leave. High numbers of springtails can sometimes be reduced by vacuuming them. However, it will not reduce the entire population. The technicians at Masters Termite & Pest Control will be able to dry out the host environment and provide effective treatment.

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