Summer in Illinois brings all types of bugs that seem intent on invading our homes. Most are easily recognizable, but there are a few that you may have never seen. If you see a small grayish-white or brown bug in your home that jumps when you come near, it is likely to be a springtail. These bugs do not have wings. They have a furcula under their abdomen. When they are disturbed, they release the furcula and the bugs are propelled upwards, thus the name, springtails.
How Do Springtails Get in the Home?
Springtails are only about 1/16th of an inch long. You will likely see them first in the kitchen or bathroom. This is because they like damp areas. They often enter homes through cracks in the foundation or basement. However, any small opening can give them access to your house.
Finding an area of thousands of jumping bugs in your home can be quite upsetting. Generally, you will see springtails when the weather is very cold, hot, or when there is a lot of rain. This is when they will migrate.
Do Springtails Bite?
The springtail does not bite. It is more of a nuisance pest. Their eggs hatch within a few days and they can live as long as a year inside your home. They like to hang out around hot tubs and pools. As they die off, they will cover the surface of the water in pools. Because they are so small if is difficult to skim them off the water.
Check the soil in potted plants particularly when bringing them in for the winter. This is one of their favorite breeding spots. Although they do not bite, they will chew on the roots of plants preventing them from being as healthy and strong as they would be otherwise.
In North America, there are approximately 700 species of springtails. Because there are so many, you may be unsure of exactly what type of bug actually has invaded your home. St. Charles pest control can identify and take care of infestations. Since they are food for other types of insects such as roaches, beetles, and ants, it is likely that they will attract these pests. So you could have a bigger problem just waiting to happen. Not only will your home need to be treated for springtails, but the area around the home should be treated as well.
What Can You Do to Reduce the Risk?
There are a few things you can do to help reduce the possibility of infestation. Check for moisture in and around your home. This includes crawlspaces, attics, basements, under sinks, and around decks. Do not over water plants. Clean gutters periodically to prevent water from standing in them due to leaves and other debris. Keep leaves and mulch away from the home. Ensuring that an area of at least six inches around the outside of the home stays dry is important to help keep springtails and other pests away.