What Are Springtails? And How to Get Rid Of Springtails? A Complete Guide
Springtails are pesky creatures that invade homes in the warmer months. These pests, which remain active throughout winter due to their ability to hibernate within their bodies, breed quickly and cause damage to vegetation, seedlings, and decaying organic matter. Once they gain entry into your home, they seek moisture; you’ll find them along window sills or near leaky pipes or potted Tech plants where condensation builds up.
What do Springtails look like?
Springtails look like fleas with antennae but are insects related to crickets and grasshoppers. They don’t bite people or pets but can be a nuisance by crawling on countertops, floors, or other surfaces inside your house. People usually call these bugs to drain flies because they are common in kitchen sinks and bathtubs.
If you have an infestation of springtails, you’ll notice they look like specks or shavings, about ¼ to ½ inches long, that jump when disturbed. This is why you might see them on your floors after turning on a light in the evening. They can hop up walls or disappear into carpets by producing a sugary substance that attaches their legs that lets them “parachute” out of harm’s way.
You cannot spray away these bugs with regular household bug sprays unless it contains boric acid because most bug sprays are not effective for this particular type of pest.
How to get rid of springtails?
There are various ways to get rid of springtails, depending on the type and severity of infestation.
Method 1: Freezing
The best method is to freeze if you can see any springtails or their droppings. This works by killing adult insects and larvae in whatever environment they live in (usual soil). Freezing should be done in an unheated area, such as outside during the winter. Springtails will die if the temperature is below -10°C (14°F), and this can easily be achieved by simply waiting until it’s cold enough for springtails to freeze.
Another method to achieve a similar effect is to keep the springtails in the freezer for a couple of days. The colder it is, the faster they will die. Note that if you put springtails directly from room temperature into the freezer, then they might not freeze fast enough and thus survive.
Method 2: Vinegar & Dish Soap
This method should be used for controlling small infestations of springtails. For this, combine half a cup of dish soap and half a cup of vinegar into lukewarm water and mix it well. Use this solution to spray the affected area and any surrounding areas where springtails might hide. After the spray has dried up, you will need to scrub off the dead insects with a brush or broom.
If you’re not careful, more springtails might come back, so it’s best to leave the area for at least a day before trying this method again.
Method 3: Powder Boric Acid
Powder boric acid is another common way of killing springtails because it can be easily spread on surfaces where they are known to hide. This powder will desiccate the insects by removing their protective coating of wax and preventing them from absorbing moisture. Since most insects need water to survive, they die within three days after exposure to powder boric acid. However, some springtails may not be affected or may come back stronger than ever if the pesticide kills fewer than 50% of them.
Method 4: Neem Oil
Neem oil is a natural pesticide that works by preventing the development of eggs and larvae. The oil only affects insects that come in contact with it, so spraying it on soil won’t be helpful if there are no adults present (or close to hatching). This method can also take more time than others, but it will work for sure, unlike freezing ways, which might not eliminate all springtails.
Method 5: Insecticidal Dust
Insecticidal dust works by coating any insects or larva that walk on top of them, including springtails. However, this type of dust has a limited effect because some springtails wriggle beneath the surface where they’re hard to reach, and some walk around without ever touching the dust.
Method 6: Diatomaceous Earth
This is made up of fossilized microscopic remains of algae and looks like powder or sand. The particles are so sharp that they cut through the exoskeleton of springtails, causing them to die. However, this method will only kill springtails that walk across it. Diatomaceous earth also has limited effectiveness since it will become dirty after some time (especially if you live in a humid region).
Furthermore, because insects can’t digest this material, its use as an insecticide has come under scrutiny due to concerns about secondary poisoning to other animals. Still, though, it’s far better than using pesticides which might affect your health. Also, note that diatomaceous earth should never be inhaled because it damages the lungs.
Method 7: Insect Growth Regulator
This is another alternative, but this time for preventing insects from breeding. This product works by mimicking the effects of a naturally occurring hormone that prevents existing adults from reproducing, thus avoiding future infestations. Garden Safe Grub Control Plus Granules and Bayer Advanced 12 Month Tree & Shrub Protect & Feed Concentrate are two examples of products containing an insect growth regulator. However, these products can also kill beneficial insects, which might be counterproductive since it will give springtails even more food to munch on without predators around to keep their numbers in check.
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By following one of the methods listed above, it should be easy to get rid of springtails in your home without is why it’s considered better for use around pets and children.
Springtails are small insects less than 10mm in length. They come in several different colors, but most commonly grey/white or light brown color. They jump when they feel threatened but otherwise move slowly. Springtails go through simple metamorphosis. There is no visible distinction between adult and immature stages. Knowing how many per square foot is the only way to know if your floor has a severe infestation. However, most properties will show at least some (but it varies per the area they are living in).
Springtails are commonly found outside where there is moisture, so it’s no surprise that people often find them in their homes. Springtails are most commonly found in basements, bathrooms, and kitchens where water accumulates on walls or under sinks.
Since springtails are relatively small, it’s hard to know the exact number per square foot. Springtails are typically found around areas that have moisture, so if you do see them, but only in small numbers, you still might have problems with them.
It depends on what area of your home they are living in. If you do not have any humid regions of your property, then chances are there is no need for concern at all. You will also want to look for holes along exterior walls. It’s important to note that basements are not the cause of springtails. They can live in any home, even brand new construction.
Springtails feed on organic matter (especially fungus) and eat anything that has decomposed or decayed. If you have a moisture problem in your house, the chances are good that the food source is there. Any organic material that has become wet or moist could be a food source.