Pest Control for Springtails

Latin Name for Springtails: Order Collembola

Locations of Springtails

Springtails are very common and can be found worldwide. Approximately 100,000 exist in every cubic meter of topsoil and in similar areas such as; moss cushions, fallen wood, and grass tufts.

springtails

Springtails appear when you over water and may come indoors as a result.

Biology of Springtails

Springtails are small, measuring 1-2 millimeters. Springtails can be beneficial, through their ability to break down DDT in soil. Springtails molt many times throughout their lives, and mature after 11 molts.

Once mature, springtails rotate between non-reproductive and reproductive instars. This rotation classifies them as iteroparous, meaning they reproduce more then once in a lifetime. Insemination occurs through spermatophores, an indirect process.

Springtail Sex and Reproduction

Foods of the Springtail

Springtails feed on:

Algae
Fungi
Fungus spores
Pollen
Decaying vegetable matter
Some species feed on living plants
Some species feed on dead animal matter

Habitat and Range: Springtails

Springtails tend to invade basements, bathrooms, kitchens, sink drains, leaking water pipes, and sinks. Springtails usually infest areas in buildings that are damp, or contain organic debris and mold.

When new buildings are constructed springtails can be a problem due to wet materials. Outside, springtails can also be found inside and underneath potted plants, and inside decaying plants. Springtails can survive in extremely cold weather, and are known to survive in Arctic zones.

Springtails floating on water:

Predators of Springtails

Soil dwelling mites are predators of springtails.

Please scroll down to read about health issues from springtails and pest control treatment.

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Health Issues: Springtails

Springtails do not bite, cause any damage, or transmit human diseases, however, two types of springtails Etomobrya nivalis and Entombry tenicauda reportedly can cause an itch. In addition, Orchesella albosa has been recorded to infest the head pubic areas, although without dermatitis.

Pest Control for Springtails

Identification: Springtails are identified by an appendage called the furcula. The furcula releases when the springtail is disturbed, and is used as an escape mechanism. When identifying a springtail under magnification, an important characteristic is its lack of a respiratory system. What springtails do have, is an organ that takes in water called a collophore.

Non-Chemical: It is recommended to;

Repair water leaks
Remove wet, moldy wood or other moldy items
Use a fan or dehumidifier to increase air circulation and dry out the area
Allow the soil in potted plants to dry out between watering
Reduce mulch and other materials outside around the foundation

Chemical: A perimeter treatment should be applied to any exterior cracks, the building foundation, and several feet from where the insects are found. Pressurized aerosol cans that contain pyrethrins or resmethrin can be used, and then collected with a vacuum. Before using any pesticide, read the label and use all safety precautions.

Springtail References

Janssen, Gerard, De Jong, G., Joosse, E.N.G. and Scharloo, W. “A Negative Maternal Effect in Springtails,” Evolution 42, no. 4 (July, 1988): 141. Academic Search Premier, via Jstor, http://www.jstor.org.
Lupo, Lisa. A Jump on Springtails. PCT (October, 2007): 102-03.
Lyon, William F. Ohio State University. Ohio State University Extension Fact Sheet: Springtails. http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/2000/2070.html (accessed June 10, 2008).
Mallis, Arnold. Handbook of Pest Control: The Behavior, Life History, and Control of Household Pests, 9th ed. University Park: GIE Media, Inc. 2004. 1065-68.
Wikipedia. “Springtail.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Springtails. (accessed June 6, 2008).

Product Information
Review our Product Labels and MSDS Sheets which we regularly amend to bring you the best products on the market for control of springtails and other pests.
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