Collembola

Sringtails - Collembola
Color: Black
Legs: 6
Shape: Segmented, oblong
Size: 1/16"
Antennae: Yes
Region: Throughout the United States

Certain species of springtails are referred to as “snow fleas” when found in winter, but they are not fleas at all. Springtails are found year round, but because of a special protein that acts like anti-freeze, this type of springtail is able to survive in cold winter temperatures. Springtails don’t have wings, instead they get around by jumping, using a unique catapult system. Their jumping is especially noticeable in winter when they are contrasted against white snow.

Habits

Springtails are very common around pools with nearby vegetation, around air conditioning condensate drain lines and other moist areas. In winter, snow fleas emerge on sunny days and gather in large numbers around bases of trees where snow has melted. Because of their small size, they look like flecks of pepper or ashes on the surface of the snow. Springtails feed on decaying plant matter.

Habitat

Springtails fleas prefer damp soil, leaf mold, decaying logs and fungi.

Threats

Springtails do not cause any structural damage and should not be of concern to homeowners. In addition, snow fleas are not a threat to family pets as they are not a flea at all. Their sole diet consists of rotting plant food.

Prevention

The best management of springtails is prevention -- take steps to keep them from entering your home from the start. 

* Information courtesy of National Pest Management Association, Inc., Picture courtesy of Susan Ellis, Bugwood.Org

For more information - check out AB-Con's Bug BLOG:

Springtails or Fleas? - Part One - What is the difference?

Springtails - Part Two - Why Springtails Invade our South Jersey Homes

Springtails - Part Three - What You Can Do if an Invasion of Springtails in your South Jersey Home has Already Begun

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