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How To Control Springtails

When you think about common household pests, what comes to mind may not be the springtail. In fact, many homeowners don’t even know what a springtail is, much less identify them. However, these tiny buggers are quickly becoming a more prevalent pest in living areas because of their affinity for moisture. Because of how tiny they are in size and the startling height that they can jump, they are often mistaken to be fleas. However, the springtails typically do not bite or attack humans and are relatively harmless.

Even so, they can be an annoying pest to have especially when they gather in large numbers either inside or outside of your home (in your yard or garden). When springtail bugs do find a nice moist area in the home, they can multiply rather rapidly and it can be quite alarming to see these little specks bouncing around. 

At Solutions Pest and Lawn we have an assortment of products designed to take care of your springtail problem and will let you know a little bit about this pest and the best products for springtail control should you ever encounter them in your home.

Browse our selection of springtail control products below. If you have any questions or comments please chat with us online or give us a call and we’ll be glad to assist you!

How to Get Rid of Springtails: Solutions 4 Step Process


While springtails may be an irritating pest to deal with, you can get rid of springtails with the correct approach and the right pest control products at your disposal. Below we have outlined our patented four step process which can help you be successful in eliminating springtails on your own, without the need to hire a professional.


Step 1: Identification.
In order to properly treat springtail, you have to know what they look like. Springtails are very tiny insects about 1/16 inch long, and are mainly colored white or gray. Springtails possess a forked appendage on the underside of their abdomen, called the furcula, that moves suddenly, causing them to jump. This  They look like they are "springing" which is where they get their name from.


When the insect is disturbed, the furcula is released, causing the insect to be flung into the air. They feed on decaying organic matter such as funi, algae and mod. Springtails like moisture and can be found in areas where there is lots of humidity. If you have trouble identifying springtails yourself, you can always take a picture of the insect and send it along to identification@solutionsstores.com and we will properly identify the insect and give you recommendations of products that would best control the bug.


Step 2: Inspection.
Once you are sure you are dealing with springtails, it is then time to do a thorough inspection and examine the areas where there is springtail activity. As we said in step 1, springtails love moisture and dampness. So while you may find springtails springing up in puddles, patios, garages, pools, and indoors in basements, sinks, and bathtubs, those sites may not be the main source of where the springtails are coming from and eliminating them where you find them may result in another group of springtails coming back. That is why it’s crucial to get right to the source and find the springtail nesting site.


When inspecting and examining your home to locate the nesting site, keep in mind that the location of the site will be somewhere that is dark and secluded and contains a lot of dampness. Secondly, the nesting site will likely be close to where you saw the springtail activity in the first place. Springtails can’t travel very far because of how small they are. Some potential areas where the nests may be include:  Under mulch and moist soil, around pool areas, under wood decks built, plumbing areas under kitchen or bathroom sinks, and under linoleum and other areas where there is a moisture problem (which will also have to be addressed in the prevention step).



Step 3: Control.
Once the nesting site has been located, you can begin treating the infestation with professional products. This should also be combined with reducing moisture in those areas where springtails have been appearing. If springtails have been found in a crawl space or wall void, we suggest using a dusting powder such as D-fense Dust. This product will give you long term control as it will keep on killing long after the initial application. We suggest using this product with the help of a handheld duster which allows you to apply the dust up to 6 feet deep inside walls and under cabinets where other insecticide products will not be able to reach.


To control springtails which have been found on your lawn or garden under mulch, we suggest treating the area initially with insecticide granules such as Bifen LP Granules. Spread the product according to the product label, preferably using a granule spreader. Bifen Granules are will work in any weather condition and will easily penetrate mulch and other damp materials. Bifen works through a slow-release process, providing continuous control over a period of 4 to 8 weeks.


After treating the nesting site wherever it may be, finish by spraying the surface areas and any other areas where springtails may be active with Reclaim IT mixed in a gallon sprayer.



Step 4: Prevention.
Once the springtail infestation has been eliminated, you shouldn’t just relax and kick your feet up. Springtails can very easily return if you don’t implement the proper preventative measures. First and foremost, you need to continue to monitor and address moisture issues in and around your home, be it any leaks in the plumbing, spills or other issues of dampness. Aside from this, we recommend doing a quarterly treatment of Reclaim IT Insecticide around your home to serve as a sort of barrier treatment that will keep springtails from targeting your home. The plus side to spraying Reclaim is that it will also keep out a multitude of other common insects which may infest your home.


By following the above steps, you will be able to completely eliminate your springtail problem.


Not The Pest You Were Looking For? Check Out Our More Pests Section.


Springtail Background InformationSpringtail size

Springtails (Collembola) form the largest of the three lineages of modern hexapod. Springtails are very small bugs insects measuring about 1/16 inch in length, and come in a variety of colors (white, tan, brown, gray and black). They have soft bodies which can either be elongated and cylindrical in shape, or they can be compact and spherical.

Springtails have a forked appendage folded under their abdomen (called a “furcula”) which moves suddenly, causing them to jump. This is actually how they derived their name “springtail” because of their ability to jump as high as eight inches off the ground.

Springtails are omnivorous and have an affinity for moisture. Their diet consists of fungi and mold but they can also regularly eat decaying vegetation. Springtails prefer to live wherever there is darkness and dampness such as under slabs, mulch, around drain lines, under house siding and under piles of wood.

Indoors, springtails can be found in areas such as basements, garages, kitchens, or bathrooms.  There has been reports of large populations found in wall voids, inside rain gutters, in the water closet of a toilet and under roof shingles. They are also notorious for gathering around swimming pools On many occasions the numbers were in the tens of thousands. When the conditions are just the way they want it, they will multiply at alarming rates.

A single springtail traveling about may not be noticed without looking very hard but springtails can become conspicuous if they gather in large clusters which look similar to balls or swatches of fabric. Springing into the air, seemingly all at once, when exposed or disturbed, makes them even more conspicuous. Control of springtails can be rather difficult as they can be hard to scan around and find because they are practically moving dots.


springtails colorLearn More About Springtails

In the Spring when the temperatures start to warm up homeowners start to see additional guests that they are not used to.  Some of these Bugs are not insects but mites, book lice, or more properly “psocids”.  Our moisture loving guests can create quite a disturbance in our lives.


Springtails are another insect found around moisture, and homes may seem to be invaded by these tiny little bugs. These pests are ridiculously tiny, and are as small as the period at the end of this sentence. In one square meter of soil, there may be over 10 thousand of them.

Drying out is a very real danger for them and some springtails waterproof themselves regularly with a special sort of grooming fluid. You might even say that they have turned taking a bath into an art form for their survival. Springtails even have two inflatable tubes which help them to get to those hard to reach places.

To help to manuever around leaf litter, springtails, as their name suggests, have a rather novel way of jumping. These guys can spring like a flea because of their “furcula” an appendage attached to the tip of their abdomen. This is a tiny two-pronged lever beneath their abdomen. One small flip from it can catapult them 6 inches and some 15 centimeters into the air. This is the equivalent of a human being jumping over the Eiffel Tower.

If they happen to land upside down, springtails have a special way of righting themselves. They use their grooming fluid dispenser to stick onto the ground so they could pull themselves back onto their feet.

The female springtail is bigger than the male and she prefers a partner who can give her a sustain head to head push to signal mating. Often multiple males will try to mate with a female at once until one wins out. The male will then deposit its sperm onto the leaf and she readily accepts it to finish the mating ceremony.

They cannot bite, but it is possible that when they land on your skin and then make the leap and snap the appendage sticks in your skin causing you to feel as if you have been bitten.

The common type is normal looking insect with longs legs, antennae and a dark grey color.  They feed on tiny bits of algae, fungus, moss, mold or decaying plant materials. Potted plants soil can be the ideal place to grow your own springtails, particularly if the soil stays moist.  Allowing the water to dry between watering will help.

Sprintail locationSpringtails can be an indicator of something bigger going on in your home.  If you are seeing the come up from the drains you might have a crack in the plumbing that is allowing the insects in the pipes from below.  A very large number of springtails should indicate a leaky pipe causing moisture in the wood.  This can cause fungus, mold that will need to be taken care of.

Springtails can be a sign of moisture and also a sign of drought.  When rain stops and dry situations occur homeowners may see an increased population of sprigtails inside as they search for water.  You can find springtails in high populations in the outdoors in the springtime. 


Control of springtails has a lot to do with habitat modification and the ability to control the moisture.  Looking for springtails under rocks, mulch, potted plants, areas that will be protected from the light but contain adequate moisture.  Large piles of lumber or fire wood can create the perfect breeding ground.  Change their environment, get sunlight into the dark areas and drying it out will lower the population.


Springtail FAQ

What does a springtail look like?

Springtails are a small bug which, in adulthood, can range between 1/32 and 1/8 of an inch long. Springtails are delicate bodied, are six-legged and have no wings. Their most outstanding trait is their furcular, a tail-like limb that is found underneath their abdomen. Thee furcular has the ability to launch the springtail high into the air. To the naked eye, springtails appear gray, however, they can be colored blue, purple, yellow, gray and orange.

How do springtails behave?

Springtails are normally in damp soil or anywhere there is high moisture content because springtails require a constant source of moisture to prevent them from drying out.  They are always on the hunt for moisture and if an area is not as damp or loses it’s dampness, the springtail will begin traveling to where there is more moisture.


What Do Springtails feed on?


Springtails found outdoors feed on rotting vegetation, microscopic organisms, insect droppings, and dust. They discharge the nutrients of their meals back into the dirt. If the climate outside isn't helpful for their survival they usually move indoors via cracks and crevices of doors and windows, using them as points of entry.  Indoors, they can be found in moisture-heavy areas like bathrooms, kitchens, on window ledges, and in the dirt of potted plants. Springtails are active year-round and can even be spotted bouncing around in the winter, hence why there are also known as "snow fleas".

Do Springtails Bite Humans?

Springtails can be a bothersome pest to encounter, but they are not dangerous. Springtails do not bite and aren’t known to cause any health hazards to people. Springtails are not able to cause damage to home structures nor can they cause harm to established potted plants found in your home. Springtails can however get into a home when they are in search of moist areas for their survival and are known to multiply and move into buildings in large numbers.


How to Approach Springtail ControlSpringtail Control

As we noted earlier, springtail control can be quite difficult as they are tiny and not very easy to spot unless they are in clusters. If you find a springtail cluster, you may be tempted to spray them with an insecticide and feel you have eliminated the problem, but this is often not the end of a springtail problem. There is likely to be other springtails moving about because you only treated a segment of their population, but not the nest.

Even if you have a springtail infestation indoors, springtails are an outdoor issue. They merely just find their way into the house foraging for food and moisture. This is why we stress that a control program to get rid of springtails should always start outdoors. Conducting an inspection of moist areas out of the house in search of their nesting site is important.

If they are not found, we recommend routine spraying of all outdoor areas including the lawn, under shrubs, decks, mulch, garden areas to keep springtails under control. Another helpful measure is reducing moisture areas by fixing leaks, ventilation and plumbing issues.


READ MORE: How To Get Rid of Springtails Naturally

Solutions Recommended Products for Springtail Control

To put an end to your springtail problem we recommend two steps that we have found to be successful. A combination of sprays and granules has worked wonders in depleting or completely wiping out springtail populations in and around homes.

Springtail Granule Control

We recommend Demand G Insecticide Granules or DeltaGard G Granular Insecticide. Both of these products are weather resistant and do a fantastic job of penetrating damp areas and mulch where springtails hide. Lay out a band of these granules around your home to give your home a springtail free zone around your property.

Springfield Spray Control

We have a wide variety of sprays which can eliminate springtails. You can use FenvaStar EcoCap and regularly treat your outdoor areas. The good thing about this spray is that it can also eliminate a wide range of other bothersome insects as well. Aerosol sprays like Cy-Kick Aerosol Insecticide or Temprid Ready Spray are nice options for spraying indoors around areas where you have seen springtails gather. Spray in damp areas such as under the sink as well as cracks and crevices.


Additional Resources:


Springtails : Insects : University of Minnesota Extension


Springtail ("Snow Fleas) Pest Control Tips & Info - PestWorld.org


Springtails — Department of Entomology — Penn State University

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