Springtails | Des Moines, IA

Springtail Appearance

This wingless insect is only about 1/16 to ? of an inch in size, and is most often black in color. To the untrained eye, a springtail can be very difficult to tell apart from a gnat or flea, but their heads and humpback appearance gives them a unique look. Springtails also have a distinctive lever-looking appendage underneath the abdomen which allows them to spring into the air. This feature is how these tiny black bugs that “jump” got the name springtail.

Springtail Behavior and Diet

Springtails thrive in damp environments because they need a lot of moisture to survive. They are typically found in wet, wooded environments, and live in soil, decaying wood or bark, leaf composts and organic mulches. When found inside the home, they are seeking out the places with the most moisture. Homeowners will typically spot a springtail infestation when they see dozens of these tiny jumping bugs in the sink or bathtub.

These types of insects are usually herbivores and eat fungi, mold, plant materials, feces and algae. Some species are carnivorous and will feed on other springtails, nematodes and other small arthropods.

Springtail Reproduction

Once you have a springtail infestation, these nuisance pests can be difficult to control since they reproduce very quickly. These tiny bugs go from egg to adult in about four to six weeks. Male springtails will distribute packets of sperm cells into the soil where they live, and females will pick up the sperm sacs as they lay their eggs. Female springtails can lay up to 400 eggs in their life span, and eggs can be laid singly or in large groups.

Signs of a Springtail Infestation

Since this is such a minute pest, homeowners can go extended periods of time without noticing a springtail infestation. Once they’ve increased in numbers, you’ll likely spot springtails in the bathtub or tiny jumping bugs in the sink. Springtails are found in the bathroom since it’s usually the most moist environment. Additionally, homeowners may experience a springtail infestation if they have mold or fungus in the walls since that’s what these insects prefer to feed on.

Preferred Pest Springtail Treatment

Our pest control technicians focus on controlling as much of the springtail infestation as possible by using integrated pest management best practices. This means we try not to use chemicals and insecticides inside the home for our customers’ safety. Instead, we recommend steps the homeowner can take to reduce the moisture inside and outside of their home, which makes the environment less desirable and limits their ability to survive. We also recommend vacuuming if any springtails are found inside of your home. Our typical service includes applying a ten foot band of insecticide around the perimeter of the house. If we encounter a serious infestation, our pest control experts may still recommend chemical treatment indoors along with other springtail prevention tactics.

Des Moines Pest Control | Springtails

If you’re noticing tiny black bugs that jump around your home, give the experts a call! We’ll come inspect the problem and determine the best strategy to get rid of your springtail infestation. Reach out to Preferred Pest Control, the Des Moines pest control experts, to take care of the problem. Schedule an appointment online or call our office at (515) 276-7277.