What Are Springtails? All About The Tiny Jumping Bugs in the Sink
August 19, 2020
During the hot and humid months of July and August you may start to see a few new pests in and around the home you might not be familiar with. Have you noticed any tiny jumping bugs in the sink or the bathtub lately? It might be a common summertime pest that’s not very well-known among homeowners - springtails! So what are springtails? These tiny black bugs that “jump” get their name from the distinctive tail-like appendage under their abdomen, known as a furcula, which will spring them into the air. Despite springtails only being 1/16inch, these tiny black bugs can jump a distance of up to 4 inches.
Springtails thrive in cool and damp settings, but will find a way indoors when their environment gets too hot. They don’t do any damage to homes, but can be a real nuisance that make homeowners feel a bit uneasy since they’re usually spotted in large numbers.
What Attracts Springtails? How to Spot a Springtail Infestation
Since these pests require a wet environment to survive, they’re usually discovered outdoors in primarily wooded areas that can support their diet of fungus, mold and other plant materials. Springtails in areas near a home are most commonly detected in wet and shaded areas of the yard or within the mulch found in gardens. Settings like the photo below taken at a Des Moines area home we treated are the perfect conditions for springtails to thrive.
After springtails have spawned and accumulated in size throughout the spring and early summer, they will start to migrate indoors once the hotter weather starts to dry up their environment. This is why homeowners will most likely notice these tiny black bugs that jump during July and August when it’s hot and humid outside. These minuscule insects will squeeze through the smallest cracks to search for more moisture, which is why homeowners typically see springtails in the bathtub or notice the tiny jumping bugs in the sink where they can find a water source. If your home has accumulated excess moisture over time, springtails could also be found in the walls if there’s mold or fungus growing inside. Usually, when springtails move indoors they will discover there’s not enough moisture to support their typical wet habitat.
Since springtails are so small, it can be difficult to notice this tiny jumping bug in your home until you have a full springtail infestation on your hands! If you do notice springtails in the bathtub or the sink, contact a professional to treat the problem and begin springtail control tactics right away. These pests can lay eggs in large groups and multiply very quickly, so it’s important to act fast!
Springtail Control: How to Get Rid of Tiny Black Bugs That Jump
The fast rate of reproduction makes springtail control very tricky. When Preferred Pest Control gets a call for a springtail infestation, we will usually perform a chemical treatment in and around the home, with a 10-foot band of insecticide around the perimeter to kill any springtails in mulch and nearby damp areas. Our springtail control technicians also make recommendations of areas that need to be sealed and perform a series of integrated pest management (IPM) tactics to prevent future springtail infestations.
Along with our springtail control services, homeowners can follow some helpful yard maintenance tips to reduce moisture and make your yard less desirable for springtails and other insects.
- Install an extended downspout. Sometimes after a storm, water can pool around the end of a downspout, which will attract springtails and many other pests. By choosing to extend the end of the opening with a tube or another aluminum piece you’ll keep the area around your home less damp and less attractive to insects.
- Replace mulch with rocks. Mulch is a popular gardening and landscaping item, but it can be inviting to pests since it holds moisture and provides protection. We suggest switching out the mulch around your home with rocks to keep insects away.
- Reduce sprinkler usage. Many homeowners covet a well-maintained lawn, but having a sprinkler system that runs to keep things growing might not be the best choice. Your grass may be greener, but the wet soil near your house won’t be beneficial in the long run. Keep your sprinkler usage down to fix the problem, or if you have an automatic sprinkler system, space out the times when you water your lawn.
- Fix clogged gutters. When your gutters get clogged up with last fall’s leaves, there are a plethora of pest problems that could be an issue if you don’t remove the debris. This provides a nice, damp habitat for insects or mold to thrive in, and those pests could sneak indoors through a crack in the roof or siding. Make sure every once in a while you take time to clean your gutters to prevent issues.
Call Preferred Pest Control to Prevent Springtail Infestations
If you see tiny jumping bugs inside or around your home, let the experts solve your springtail infestation problem. Our IPM and prevention tactics will keep springtails under control and help you fend off more in the future. Schedule an appointment online or call Preferred Pest Control at (515) 415-5550!
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