PEST OF THE MONTH
SPRINGTAILS (Snow Fleas)
These wingless primitive insects are about 1/16 inch long with chewing sucking mouthparts. They are grayish whitish in color and hairless. Springtails have the ability to jump due to a spring-like mechanism under the abdomen. They do not bite or cause any structural damage to homes. These insects are noticeable under damp leaves and moist dark areas.
You may notice them congregating on snow surfaces during the spring thaw jumping with no apparent reason therefore receiving the nickname “snow fleas”. Springtails feed on garden crops, flowers and vegetables but are for the most part harmless to agriculture. The most common specie in eastern United States is found in and within close proximity to ponds, lakes and swamp areas that may become an essential addition to fish diets. Inside homes, we have found these insects in the hundreds when a constant moisture source is available. One of the strangest places we have found them is inside a teapot. In most cases a reduction in moisture with the use of fans and a dehumidifier will solve the problem. In severe cases, interior treatments including a perimeter foundation spray several feet out is very effective for springtail control.