Color: Pale brown to cream.
Size: Rarely more than 1/5 inch long.
Their usual outdoor habitats include mulch, leaf litter, other decaying organic matter, firewood, logs and landscape timbers. They are attracted to light and are so small that they can enter houses through cracks and crevices around doors, utility pipes, window screens, etc. They can also be brought indoors in the soil of potted plants.
Springtails "jump" not with their legs but by the spring like release of the forklike structure underneath the abdomen. When released, the "fork" snaps down against the ground and flips the springtail into the air, sometimes as high as 8 inches (20.3 centimeters). This device, present in all but a few springtails, seems to be an effective method to avoid predators, or animals that hunt the springtail for food.
Adults are capable of reproduction only every other time they molt, or shed their external skeleton. Reproduction usually requires a male and female, but some females can produce eggs without a male. Some springtails have elaborate courtship behavior, with males dancing and butting heads with females. Many males leave a sperm packet on the ground that is later picked up by the female. Others place sperm with their hind legs directly into the female's reproductive organs.
- Some species of springtails may damage plants by chewing on the roots and stems of healthy seedlings. The plants attacked normally are found in overly wet and acidic soil. The seedlings may appear wilted and, if too young, may die. Damage occurs as minute, rounded pits on young roots.
- Springtail populations have also been found floating in swimming pools. Normally, they live in surrounding soil and mulch and accidently spring into the pool while in search of food. Leaving the pool lights on at night may also attract them to the pool.
- Springtails cause no problems inside the house. They are so small that they can't really be removed with a dustpan and broom. But they can be knocked down by misting the areas where they occur with some dishwashing soap in water (about 1%). Sometimes, springtails are brought into the house on potted plants. Check plants for springtail activity before bringing them into the house. If springtails are active, let the soil dry outside for several days before bringing the plant indoors. Do not overwater plants inside the house.
- Sometimes, springtails enter the house through small cracks and crevices, under doors, or through windows. Seal cracks and crevices with caulk. Weather strip around doors and windows. This will not only seal access of springtails from the outside but will also keep humidity and moisture out of the house. This all will help control springtails.
- When springtails are found in and around bathtubs and showers, these areas must be cleaned thoroughly and kept dry to correct the problem. For a temporary solution to indoor springtail problems, you can use a household aerosol spray; however, the problem will recur if the sources of moisture and organic matter are not removed.
- Springtails may be found in wooden windowsills where moisture is causing the wood to decay. Removing the cause of the moisture and refinishing the wood surface will eliminate the attractiveness of these areas.
- A large indoor population of springtails may be an indication that large numbers are surrounding the structure. Removal of breeding sites will aid in control. Compost piles and decaying vegetation should be removed from areas close to the house. Mulch should only be 2-4 inches deep so it remains dry most of the time. Do not overwater mulched landscape plants and let the soil dry between watering plants.
- If springtails enter swimming pools, they will drown because they cannot tolerate chlorinated water for long. Since they live in surrounding soil, preventing the soil from becoming overly moist and reducing the acidity by liming controls the populations. Natural enemies, such as naturally occurring predaceous mites, may also help control springtails without the application of pesticides. Soapy water (about 1% dishwashing soap in water) or insecticidal soap can be applied to soil or mulch where springtails occur. Contacted springtails will drown or suffocate in the soapy water.
- Occasionally, large numbers of springtails congregate on the surface of the soil in masses as large as a softball. Often, these masses appear on a sidewalk, patio or concrete porch. Usually there is no need to do anything, because the masses usually disappear in a day or two. However, if immediate removal is desired, just spray the mass with water to disperse or wash it away.
MANUFACTURER RECOMMENDED PRODUCTS AND TREATMENT FOR Springtail CONTROL
Pests need food, water, and shelter. Often the problem may be solved just by removing these key items. Before even thinking about chemical pest control, it is important to be aware of Pest’s Conducive conditions & It’s Recommendations.
Pesticides can be purchased in many different forms, each form has specific uses and application methods The pesticide application method you choose depends on the nature and habits of the target pest, the properties of the pesticide, the suitability of the application equipment, and the cost and efficiency of alternative methods. Your choice is often predetermined by one or more of these factors. Follow label directions for volume recommendations and application rates based on the pest to be controlled and utilize appropriate application tips on equipment. , these application methods are for informational purposes only. To know specific applications method/s for the product you buy, please refer actual packages for complete Label Verbiage.