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What do springtails look like?

springtail on leaf in sierra vista az

Normally, springtails are 1 millimeter in length and can vary in color depending on their species from a white, yellow, gray or dark gray color.  Depending on their suborder they will either be linear or globular shaped, however, all springtails have a key identifying feature, a furcula.  The furcula is an appendage extending from the abdomen with a clasp at the end.  When disturbed the furcula is release, snaps down, forcing the jumping movement away from that area. Springtails are wingless insects

Life cycle of springtails

No Metamorphosis

Springtail will breed year round with development from egg to an adult taking 5-11 weeks.  The young appear similar to the adult stage.  They will molt 4-5 times before reaching sexual maturity.  Some species will cover eggs with a glaze that helps protect them from dehydration for fungal attack.

Habits of springtails

  • Diet: Algae, fungi, fungus spores, pollen, organic debris and decaying vegetable matter.
  • Activity: Move in short runs than rest. Jumping motion can be about 4 inches high.
  • Preferred Climate: Different species can live in varying temperatures, but all rely on moisture.
  • Defense: Furcula allowing quick movement away from the area.
  • Cautions: Can grow to high numbers and invade homes or be found floating in pools in large numbers.
  • Home Invasion: Normally invades homes when outdoor temperatures are increasing and exterior moisture is reduced. Their interior search is for their preferred environments, moisture.

Are springtails dangerous?

Springtails are considered nuisance pests that cannot bite or spread disease. They are not considered threat to health or safety. 


Where do springtails live?

Inside, springtails are often found in rooms with plumbing fixtures or where there is a moisture source. Outside, you could find springtail activity bordering your lawn or near your sprinkler system. They're also found in leaf litters, soil, under stones, and other areas with high moisture content. 

Helpful hints for springtails

To prevent springtail infestations inside your home or business, our Arizona pest control company recommends the following prevention tips:

  • Reduce excessive moisture and repair any leaks
  • Replace infested soil or mulch
  • Reduce outdoor lighting
  • Sign up for pest control services that treat the perimeter of your structure 

Interesting facts about springtails

Springtails are great decomposers breaking down organic wastes, however, large populations can become a nuisance.

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