Springtail Information for New Jersey & Pennsylvania Residents
Springtails are tiny jumping pests that are black, tan, or gray and about 1/32-1/8 inch long. They are considered to be an outdoor pest but they can infest man made structures if ideal conditions exist. In nature, springtails feed on areas with high levels of moisture such as in soil, leaf litter, mulch, or log borders in planters. Outdoors, their populations can reach as many at 50,000 per cubic foot of soil. If springtails come indoors, they can be found on the kitchen floor and counter tops, bathrooms, along windowsills, in the basement, and in potted plants. Springtails are also called "snow fleas," although they are not fleas at all.
How can I tell if I have springtails?
Photo Credit: University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Springtails are tiny pests that infest moist areas of your home as well as swimming pools, hot tubs, crawl spaces, mulch, and other outdoor areas. You’ll know that you have springtails when you see large groups of small dark insects that jump. Although springtails are not destructive and do not cause harm to humans or pets, homeowners find them alarming because of the large numbers that occur seemingly out of nowhere. Springtails are found where moisture is prevalent. That’s why you can find them where there is water damage within your basement, kitchen, or bathroom.
Why do I have springtails?
Certain conditions can encourage springtails to enter your home. They are attracted to decaying vegetation, mold, mildew, fungi, and moisture in places such as mulch beds and under shaded trees. If there are high levels of moisture in your house, springtails can infest. Another reason they may be in your home or commercial building is that their moist source has dried up. They are also attracted to light. Springtails invade into the hundreds of thousands within a day which is why it may be alarming at when you first find them indoors. If left untreated, these large numbers can duplicate every day for weeks on end.
Do springtails bite?
Springtails do not bite. Homeowners turn to pest control when their numbers are too great to deal with. For that reason, springtails are not harmful to humans or pets. In fact, they do not multiply indoors. If you see large quantities of springtails that continue to increase indoors, it's because they found an ideal environments which others will flock to.
Do springtails have wings?
Springtails do not fly. Instead, they are natural jumpers which is where "spring" in their name comes from. According to the National Pest Management Association, fleas “have incredibly powerful legs that can springboard them as high as 8” vertically, which is over 150 times their height. If humans could do this, we would be able to leap over skyscrapers.” If you see jumping pests, it's probably either fleas or springtails. Read our blog post about jumping pests and how to differentiate the two by clicking here.
How can I get rid of springtails?Reducing the conditions that favor springtail activity is a very important component of any control program. You can't always prevent springtails from living around your property, but you can control the environment you house provides for them. Use these tips to prevent springtails from coming into your home.
- Keep lawn well thatched
- Do not allow leaves and other organic matter to accumulate next to foundation of the structure
- Keep mulch at least 18” away from foundation.
- Keep gutters clean and running freely
- Be sure downspouts have extensions so they do not drain at the base of the foundation
- Keep vegetation from crowding structure. Overgrown vegetation traps moisture and promotes the growth of molds,
mildew and water rot.
- Be sure that the grading around the foundation promotes drainage away from the structure
- Correct moisture or humidity conditions that may exist in basements, crawlspaces or attics
- Repair areas where water rot exists i.e. window frames, door frames, roof leaks etc.
How can Cooper help?
One-Time Springtail Service
If you are experiencing springtail activity in your home, please call us directly at 1-800-949-2667. We provide a One-Time Springtail Service to target active springtail infestations. If you’re looking to prevent springtails before they come into your home, use the tips in our blog post by clicking here.
How soon can you get here?
Our goal is to provide same day or next day service for springtail activity. Please call our customer service department at 1-800-949-2667 for more information or to schedule a free no-obligation estimate.