Springtails: Facts, Identification, and How to Control

Springtails are the utmost communal creatures and are tiny insects, although they are unobtrusive and are frequently unnoticed. They can produce more insects if they discover the appropriate place to live. One can find millions of springtails in a land of about one hectare. The small species are a cave adopted species and can be annoying and problematic if residing near your house or building.

Springtails are found inside and outside of the homes and can be in large numbers, but these are inoffensive but do not bite people, also, do not harm the food, clothes, and property. You can found in damp soil as well and feed on dead roots, plants, and fungi. Sometimes springtails lived in clusters that are why called Entagonatha because they have internal mouthparts but do not relate to each other that have external mouthparts.

1. Appearance and Size

They are small and tiny, and the base of their name is in the spring-like structure of their bodies that is inside their abdomen, called Furcula. These little creatures are without wings, so, cannot fly but can jump their bodies are soft with hexapods and are 1 and 3 millimeters long. Springtails have a cluster of springtails that are round and courageous, but most of them are lean, long and with normal feelers. Their color is dark brown, but some of them are of white and bright and shimmery as well. Furcula is caused them to hurl in the air when they are troubled.

Different springtail samples on white background
Source: http://citybugs.tamu.edu/

2. Behavior, Diet & Habits

Springtails usually live in damp soil and eat dead plants and fungus and can be found in flowerbeds, underwoods, under the stones, and in damp shady areas. However, do not bite but harm the properties and can be found in numbers as well. Springtails can be annoying for homeowners because it is their habit to jump to different areas. You can eradicate them through removing humidity from the house and trimming the tree limbs because they used to chew roots, dead leaves and feed on fungi, and wood barks.

3. Distribution and Habitat

Springtails are 6500 species of springtails that can be seen worldwide. Some of their families are found in North America and North of Mexico. The structure of Furcula that is the fourth part of the abdominal section that is used to force them with air. Springtails are 3 to 6 mm long and can jump up to 75 to 100 mm and have soft bodies, and the shape of their body is round. These species of insects do not have wings so, cannot fly, however, can jump. These small animals have tiny eyes, but some of them are blind and have distributed antennae. Their color is yellow, brown, gray, blue and black, also, have sharp mouthparts that are called entognaths. Some of them have jaws with sharp molars. However, liquid feeders have different style type mouthparts along with six or fewer abdominal parts and have tubular appendage or tail-like appendage structure known as Collophore for taking the water.

Springtails are connected with damp locations, and you can expect them in soil, dead leaves, in the woods, dead plants, decomposing wood and other humid areas and can be found in different places nourishing on fungi, pollen, algae, decomposing chemical matters and soil of house plants. If found the appropriate places, will move inside areas particularly in kitchens, basement walls, washroom, and gardens. You can find some of them in winters like snow fleas, hypogastrium Nicola are one of them. They became active when the ground starts to liquefy.

4. Reproduction

Springtails on deep blue fabric
Source: https://www.extension.umn.edu

Males springtails leave a sperm loaded structure on the land that is known as Spermatophore for female springtails for fertilization. Female springtail has to take the spermatophore in her reproductive area to impregnate the eggs. There are some interesting methods in springtails regarding mating and wooing activities that have progressed to enhance the generative achievement of male, which are:

  1. The common drop and prey procedure in which males do not communicate straight with females but drop spermatophores on the ground for a female to impregnate itself before it becomes.
  2. As males are minor than females, they often drop spermatophore and drag the females through their antennae.
  3. Some males trace female and drop many spermatophores in them, also known as Love Garden and then try to induce females to walk over the spermatophore for maturing.
  4. Another procedure in known as Ring of Fire, in which male find an inactive female and rapidly drop spermatophore so that she either outflow from it or walk on it.

Conclusively, their method of reproducing is operative for their environmental position because springtails are at least 400 years old.

5. How Do I Know If I have Springtails?

You can find springtails in golf places, in gardens, parks, and greenhouses. One can also find them in offices, hotels, restaurants, along with the potted plants and are found in and outside of homes, ponds, and under the dog houses.

  • You can meet them in humid places of your home like kitchens, washrooms, basements, garages, and gardens.
  • Springtails can enter your home through indoors plants, water leaks, and the cracks in pipes.
  • You can also find them in the swimming pools of your house.
  • Springtails are fascinated by the light so one can also find them in lighted places.
  • As well as under the dog house, in humid and dark places, as well as under the wood piles.

6. Are Springtails Dangerous?

Springtails are nearly invisible bugs but are annoying and irritating, however; they are not dangerous for humans because and do not bite but are somehow harmful to plants. These insects gnaw the roots of the plants in soil and prevent their rigidness and stamina from growing. Springtails are unwelcome and unpleasant house guests and found the place under carpets, and basements. Moreover, live in humidity and washroom, under carpets, basements are some major areas and can live and will damage the walls by getting in them through holes and indication of mold and fungus in the walls as well.

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7. Signs of Springtail Infestation

Some noticeable signs of springtails are:

You can find springtails in the kitchen. One should start examining areas under the sink, as well as cabinets, drainpipes, if places are leaky and dripping, then there could be the possibility of residing springtails due to connection with mulched areas.

  • Dampness

Remove the high moisture content. Place any fan over there to make them dry or use a dehumidifier to remove moisture. Examine the outside area and damp places, fire up some woods and take it away from the boundary. Examine the door if they are close and all the vents and extra spaces and block them strongly because springtails can crawl space vents and holes.

8. How to Get Rid of Springtails

There are many methods to get rid of them, but some important and integrated springtails treatment plans are below:

Non-chemical Method

If there are few springtails in your house, you can kill springtails by hand or with the help of vacuum. Use the vacuum at the places where you can find them, some of them are killed during vacuum process. Another important procedure is to dry out all the damped and humid places because these tiny animals use to reside in the moist indoor areas. Dry out all the indoor plants or water them less. Cover the holes that get humid during rains, dry all the pots in the kitchen and place a fan towards the damp places to make them dry. Moreover, separate the way to water pipes, remove all the wet woods, make some structural changes as well for interior springtail treatment. If springtails are changing their place from outside to inside, investigate the house completely. Find out the wet places including the roof because water can get through rooftops as well. Change or alter some changes of your house to eliminate and prevent the springtails from getting inside your house. Fix your home drainage system and water flow as well.


All kinds of insecticides
Source: http://www.gujaratagrocentre.com/

One can use chemical control measure for removing them. Use insecticides to remove them. There are many insecticides available in the market to eliminate them. Use grainy insecticide like Demand G with any propagator outside of your house that will rinse them off with rain; it will also enter the infected places and get with them easily. Moreover, you can also use Onslaught, Fenvastar Plus, Transport Mikron and Arizona for their remedy. These above chemicals will stop them in getting into the structure. For indoor, use vinegar and another dehumidifier. For rapid action and serious issues use pesticides. Although above chemicals are often ineffective, so moisture control is another efficient method.

9. Conclusion

Conclusively tiny springtails are not so much harmful and are easily killed. One can also call pest management if the problem is severe. They are found in humid and damp places and if the place gets dry springtails can change their habitat. In food habits, used to eat dead leaves, plants their branches, and wood barks.

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