Controlling Springtails


Over the past few weeks, many people have either called or come by the office with a
question about tiny, purplish-brown, hopping insects around or in their homes. These tiny
creatures are springtails.
Springtails are one of those insects that you may wonder why are they here on Earth. But
in reality, they serve a useful purpose by eating decaying plant material. They mostly live in the
soil, leaf mold, organic mulches or decaying logs. They are soft bodied so they are attracted to
moist areas to keep from drying out.
Usually springtails stay outside among the mulched areas of the yard. But on occasion
you will find them in the home around sources of moisture like sinks, bathtubs and toilets.
Keeping these areas as dry as possible is the first step in controlling springtails in the home. In a
dry environment, springtails will eventually dry out and die.
Chemical control is not necessary, but insecticides can be used. If you choose to use an
insecticide application make applications around windows and doors. Also spraying around
bathroom plumbing where the pipes come up from the basement or crawlspace will be effective.
When spraying outside of the house you have to apply insecticides with plenty of water in order
to get the chemical through the mulch and soil layers. Because it delivers a high volume of
water a hose-end spray is a good tool to do the job right. A pump-up sprayer will simply not
apply enough water with the chemical to penetrate through the mulch to the soil.
When applying an insecticide inside use an insecticide that is labeled for inside the home use.
Many of these come in a 1-gallon jug that is ready to use. For spraying outside, use an insectide,
which is labeled for scorpions, boxelder bugs or of course springtails. If you choose to use an
insecticide, remember to read and follow the labeled directions.
One other suggestion is to move any mulch away from the foundation of your home. Not
only will this help reduce the infestation of termites or scorpions by not allowing them a direct
pathway to get to the foundation, but also it will allow you to effectively spray in the soil layers.
Springtails are not going to cause major harm to your home, but they sure are annoying
and unsettling for most people. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me by
phone at the office or send me an e-mail.

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