springtail in phoenix

Springtails

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What do springtails look like?

Springtails are tiny insects that range from 1/16 to 1/8 of an inch in length. They come in a variety of colors. You may find some that are brown, yellow, gray, or black. They have pill-shaped bodies with long antennae, and you may detect that these insects have hair if you look closely or can view one under magnification. Unfortunately, the minuscule size of springtails makes it difficult to use visual characteristics to identify them. But you don't need to see a springtail up close to know that you have springtails. These insects jump. Moreover, they tend to jump in groups when disturbed. If you see a bunch of insects springing into the air when you disturb them, you have springtails.

three springtails searching for food

Pest Facts

Did you know?

  • Springtails feed on decaying organic matter in the soil, helping with the process of natural decomposition. 
  • Springtails are able to jump up to 8 inches into the air.
  • Overwatered houseplants make good homes for springtails because the soil is excessively damp and the roots are decaying.

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What do springtails eat?

It depends on the species. Some are herbivores, some are carnivores. But all tend to eat detritus. They are essentially nature's clean-up crew, feeding on a variety of waste and organic debris.

Are springtails harmful?

There are many ways insects can cause harm. They can bite or sting, inject venom, introduce diseases, spread germs, damage property, and more. Springtails are sometimes mistaken for fleas because they jump. Fleas bite and are known to spread diseases—therefore, we get this question a lot. We are happy to say that springtails do not pose a threat to your health or property. While they may feed on unsanitary things, they don't tend to get into stored food, unless by accident. The only concern is if you have food stored in an area of infestation. You'll need to consider the potential for food contamination. 

What are the signs of a springtail infestation?

You're not going to wonder if you have a springtail problem. They are nuisance pests, and you'll see them in large numbers, but it is possible to see the potential for an infestation before one occurs. These signs look like wet ground, overgrowth, plant debris, and decaying wood. If you see areas of high moisture, detritus, and potential entry points, it is a good idea to do something about them before these outdoor insects find their way indoors. 

Why do I have a springtail problem?

When conditions on your property attract these insects, they can move in close to your exterior. As they grow their numbers, they can accidentally get inside. The conditions above are what lead to a springtail problem: wet ground, overgrowth, plant debris, and decaying wood. Therefore, a moisture problem is often the catalyst for a springtail problem. Check to see if you have clogged gutters, a damaged gutter system, dense vegetation, or a damaged sprinkler system. These can lead to problems with springtails.

Exterior factors can also drive springtails to invade. When it is too hot or dry, they look for moisture and shade. They'll begin by finding these close to structures. If they're already near, they'll move indoors on a hot and dry Arizona day.

General entry points can also lead to a springtail problem. Gaps around pipes and PVC conduits, poor weatherstripping around doors, missing sweeps and foundation slab cracks provide potential entry points for these insects. They use the tiniest of gaps around window and door frames as well.  

How do I get rid of springtails?

You can wait for them to die, they don't live long indoors. But they can live long enough to drive you crazy. The best solution is to contact your Greenway Pest Solutions team for a pest treatment. When you sign up for ongoing pest control services, we'll not only take care of your infestation quickly but provide regular service to prevent springtails and other pests from infesting your home.  

Can I prevent a springtail infestation?

To keep springtails from infesting, you'll need to address the factors listed above.

  • Keep your plants trimmed.
  • Address moisture problems.
  • Seal entry points in your exterior.
  • Remove organic debris.

All of these steps will reduce the potential for springtails to move onto your property and gain access to structures. For greater protection, consider year-round pest control. When you have routine visits from your Greenway Pest Solutions technician, you get ongoing pest management around your home or business that keeps springtails and many other pests away.

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Nick from Greenway Past Control is great. He was very nice, knowledgeable and listened to any concerns I had and answered any questions. He took care of concerns brought up and suggested things that can help to prevent as well. Would definitely recommend Greenway, and I'll be requesting Nick as my tech from now on.
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