Spring Bugs Come Along with Springtime: Springtails
Spring bugs “Springtails” are a bug typically associated with moisture in and around your home or office. These wingless little insects are predominately gray, approximately .05 inches long and seem to ‘hop’ like a flea due to a hair-like appendage under their abdomen giving them the name “spring tail”. See Facts below.
They can snap this appendage down and bounce as high as 100 times their own length. Springtails cannot bite (and are not known to spread diseases), however, have been associated with dermatitis, causing a localized itching or slight allergic reaction.
It is likely that Spring bugs such as Springtails are the cause of many ‘bites’ that people mistakenly blame on either fleas or mites. Since they feed primarily on algae and fungus, Springtails are most often seen around excessive amounts of water. If you find Springtails coming inside, this may be because there are pollinating plants nearby or pooling water outside a nearby window or door.
Also check to see if the Springtails are coming up a tub drain or through a sink. This could indicate possible broken water pipes which can allow many types of Spring bugs into your home.
In sheer numbers, they are reputed to be one of the most abundant of all macroscopic animals, with estimates of 100,000 individuals per square meter of groundWikipedia
What To Do
You can help prevent Spring bugs like Springtails in your yard by covering the soil with a thick layer of moss, but more importantly allow the soil to dry between waterings. If this alone does not solve your Springtail infestation, give us a call for a Spring bug treatment of your yard and the perimeter of your home.
Call SOS Pest Control today for a free, no-obligation estimate: (408) 866-6609
Facts About The Springtail
• Size: Less than 6mm (0.24 inches)
• Habitat: Soil and leaf litter. Moist areas.
• Able to Fly: No.
• Mating Rituals may involve dancing and head banging!
Springtails (Collembola) form the largest of the three lineages of modern hexapods that are no longer considered insects (the other two are the Protura and Diplura). Although the three orders are sometimes grouped together in a class called Entognatha because they have internal mouthparts, they do not appear to be any more closely related to one another than they all are to insects, which have external mouthparts.
Collembolans are omnivorous, free-living organisms that prefer moist conditions. They do not directly engage in the decomposition of organic matter, but contribute to it indirectly through the fragmentation of organic matter and the control of soil microbial communities. The word “collembola” is from the ancient Greek kolla meaning glue and embolon meaning wedge or plug.
Various sources and publications have suggested that some springtails may parasitize humans, but this is entirely inconsistent with their biology, and no such phenomenon has ever been scientifically confirmed, though it has been documented that the scales or hairs from collembolans can cause irritation when rubbed onto the skin. They may sometimes be abundant indoors in damp places such as bathrooms and basements, and incidentally found on one’s person.
More often, claims of persistent human skin infection by springtails may indicate a neurological problem, such as Morgellons Syndrome, or delusory parasitosis, a psychological rather than entomological problem. Researchers themselves may be subject to psychological phenomena. For example, a publication in 2004 claiming that springtails had been found in skin samples was later determined to be a case of pareidolia; that is, no springtail specimens were actually recovered, but the researchers had digitally enhanced photos of sample debris to create images resembling small arthropod heads, which then were claimed to be springtail remnants.
However, Steve Hopkin reports one instance of an entomologist aspirating an Isotoma species and in the process accidentally inhaling some of their eggs, which hatched in his nasal cavity and made him quite ill until they were flushed out.
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