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Springtails are tiny, pinhead-sized arthropods. Springtail colors vary but most are gray or black or purplish. Springtails are wingless and crawl slowly, but have a unique means of movement—the “spring tail.” Because of their peculiar jumping habit and their small size, Springtail infestations are often confuses with fleas. During hot, dry periods in summer, Springtails can migrate from lawns and outdoor areas to homes. These insects do not bite, feed on household items, nor cause any structural damage. Though they aren’t dangerous or cause damage, their huge numbers can cause irritation and can unnerve some homeowners.
If springtails can find their way into a building they will usually be found most abundantly in areas where water sources are present, such as bathrooms or kitchen sinks. Outdoors, a faucet or pooled water in a garden is attractive. During hot or dry periods during late spring or early summer is the time most often Springtail problems arise in the Boise area. As outdoor moisture and organic material dries out outside, they are sometimes driven indoor to seek for moisture or other harborage. Big infestations particularly take place when an extended period of time of wet, moist conditions is followed by hot, dry conditions.
Springtail pest control methods are most effective when combined with proper cultural controls such as eliminating standing water, maintaining low humidity levels in the home, proper pruning and trimming of landscape plants, etc. Proper sealing of doors and windows is also a must in trying to exclude these pests. Regular pest control treatments are a must to achieve control, and to prevent future issues.