Nashville Homeowner's Guide To Springtails


Nashville Homeowner's Guide To Springtails

Springtails are tiny, typically 1 to 2 millimeters in length, and barely visible to the naked eye. These anthropoids perform a very valuable duty to our environment. They are the ultimate recyclers, feeding on decaying and decomposing matter, mold, and fungi. By doing so, they improve the soil. Fungi spores hitchhike in them to places they could never have reached on their own, and in the end, they provide valuable sustenance to a number of small predators such as spiders, pseudoscorpions, and fish.

Springtails are either black or brown. They are also known as snow fleas thanks to their habit of accumulating on the low parts of snow-covered branches. They often gather on a footprint. Their multitudes cover them, making the spot look black. Springtail bodies produce a substance that acts like antifreeze, allowing these little guys to survive and thrive in freezing temperatures.

Some springtail species have adapted to living on the water's surface and underground inside caves. All springtails have a forked tail-like structure attached to the abdomen called "furcula," which they hold contracted against their stomach and, when released, spring them against the ground and toss them into the air. Minuscule scales cover most springtails that often appear iridescent.

Springtails need very moist conditions to survive and, in nature, often spend their time under decaying logs or leaves. They are one of the few creatures that can survive in subpolar regions, and some species live on arctic glaciers.

Let's look at the types of springtails in Nashville, how to get rid of springtails on your own, and, if that fails, where to find reliable pest control in Nashville.

What Do Springtails In Nashville Look Like?

In Nashville, you're likely to come across the following types of springtails:

  • Water springtails have plump, oval bodies and grey or black scales. You can differentiate them from other springtail types by their short legs, antennae, and ability to survive on the surface of the water.
  • Elongate-bodied springtails are usually longer and have smooth bodies with detachable scales that often look iridescent. Detachable scales are a defense mechanism allowing them to escape if a predator bites on the scales.
  • Globular springtails have round, ball-like bodies with long antennae. Most globular springtails are tan or yellow and look very much like tiny spiders but with only six legs.

A springtail's young look very much like a miniature version of the adult.

How To Spot A Springtail Infestation

The only reliable way to spot a springtail infestation is to watch for the bugs themselves. Their young are too small for the naked eye to see, and the skins they shed as they molt are also invisible to the naked eye. If you see springtails accumulating in the snow, there is a very good chance that they are spending winter somewhere close by in the moist ground or rotting leaves.

Three Things You Can Do To Avoid Springtails

Springtails need an area with high moisture levels to survive, so in your house, they'll move to areas next to water pipes and any place with accumulated condensation.

To keep springtails out of your Nashville home:

  • Seal all possible pathways in the outer walls and foundation.
  • Dehumidify your house to keep moisture levels down.
  • Make sure your basement or crawl space has adequate ventilation.

Springtails are more of a nuisance and unable to harm humans or plants.

When A Call To The Pest Control Professionals Is Appropriate

Due to the sheer number of individuals in a springtail colony and the fact that some springtail species don't even need males to reproduce, taking care of a springtail infestation is not a task to be taken lightly.

At Urbanex Pest Control, we have the skills, tools, and experience in springtail control to ensure your home and property are clear of springtails or any other pests.

If your Nashville property has a springtail problem, call us for a free inspection today and learn more about our residential and commercial pest control services in Nashville.

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