In the third part of our series on Springtails, we will discuss:
“What YOU Can Do if an Invasion of Springtails in your South Jersey Home has already begun.”
In part two, we discussed “Why Springtails Invade Our South Jersey Homes.”
In part one – Springtails OR Fleas, we learned “What Springtails Are and What Springtails are NOT.”
Outside your home, Springtails are very active from May through September, but they can be active indoors all year round.
Looking for sources of water, the most prominent places Springtails are found in the home are the kitchen, bathrooms, basements, crawlspaces, and in moldy furniture or carpets.
Springtails can be difficult to control by the time they are found by the upset occupants.
What you can do inside:
Repair water leaks at the source:
Springtails can indicate leaking pipes which leads to moisture on the wood and the possible growth of mold or mildew that you need to eliminate.
If Springtails have been a problem in the kitchen, start inspecting under the sink. Empty the cabinet and check the drainpipe. Dry the cabinet completely to eliminate the mildew and the springtails.
If Springtails have been active in the bathroom, start the inspection under the sink. Also, inspect the trap behind the tub for leaking pipes. Examine tile walls carefully. If there is missing grout, mildew can develop behind the tiles.
Springtails may breed in drains, check for leaks in the piping systems if they are found above the basement or cellar.
Remove wet, moldy wood or other moldy items.
Use a fan or dehumidifier to increase circulation and dry out the affected area.
Allow soil in potted plants to dry out between watering.
If you have a French drain – carefully inspect the entire perimeter of its installation.
What you can do on the outside:
Keep outdoor lighting to a minimum – this will reduce ALL types of pests from entering your home.
Keep a check on automatic sprinkler systems – allow the lawn to completely dry before watering.
Remove the cause of the moisture in wooden windowsills. Continued moisture will cause the wood to decay and become a prime location for Springtails. Refinishing the wood surface will eliminate the attractiveness of these areas.
Compost piles and decaying vegetation should be removed from areas close to the house.
Piles of lumber or firewood that are directly in contact with the soil create the perfect habitat for Springtails and many other bugs, as will piles of garden trimmings – make sure these are as far away from the house as possible.
Mulch should only be 2-4 inches deep so it remains dry most of the time, and kept away from foundation walls approximately 6 to 12 inches. If that zone is dry and free of leaves and mulch, springtails and other pests will avoid it.
Check exterior doors to be sure they close properly and completely.
Weatherstrip 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 – and save you money on your heating and electric bill!
Check crawlspace vents to be sure they are open to allow air circulation.
Access openings into crawl spaces should have a door that closes tightly.
Remove old boxes or other trash on the soil, and thick shrubbery that covers the soil.
Presence of plants and mulch under windows causes large populations in these areas. Trim these away from the windows.
Seal any direct routes of entry into living areas – common locations where they gain access include:
- expansion joints in concrete
- pipe entryways through slabs and basement walls
- electric line entry points
- in ground ventilation ducts
- bathroom trap boxes where water and drain lines run.
Trim tree limbs that cause damp shady areas near the foundation.
Make sure gutters are cleaned out and downspouts drain away from the foundation.
Find the source of any standing water around the perimeter of your home and correct it.
Fix any leaks on the outside of the home – for example, a poorly draining air conditioning unit or a leaky roof. Such areas can become secondary nest sites for migrating springtails that find their way inside and if you don’t stop the moisture, you won’t stop the springtails.
If you need help with your Springtail invasion, feel free to give us a call.