Springtail Prevention Tips
When springtails enter a home, it causes some homeowners to scratch their heads. These tiny insects, which range from 1/32 of an inch to ⅛ of an inch, hop around like fleas, but do not behave like fleas. You’re not likely to find these insects on your dog or cat. And, they aren’t likely to be hopping around in the areas where your pets sleep–unless that area is damp. These are moisture pests. They are not blood-eating parasites. But, sadly, that is the end of the good news. Here are a few things you need to know about the appearance of springtails in a home and, more importantly, what you can do about them.
Springtails, like other moisture pests, are a warning sign of possible water damage. If you are seeing springtails, it would be a good idea to do an inspection of your home to find areas of water damage and rectify the situation. For instance, you may find that you have obstructed or broken gutters that are allowing water to run down your outside walls, creating soft and rotting areas. Springtails, and other moisture pests such as silverfish, centipedes, millipedes, and earwigs, love this sort of thing. And since springtails tend to feed on mold, fungi, algae, and bacteria, if you are seeing them, chances are good that you may have these problems as well.
Sometimes springtails find gaps or cracks in your home and make their way inside because it has gotten too hot and dry outside. These pests need moisture to survive, so if they have found a nice humid location in your home, they will stick around. This will often happen when new homes are being built and moisture gets in during construction.
How Do You Keep Springtails Out?
- Remove standing water. If you have standing water around your perimeter, or in your yard, this will attract moisture pests (not to mention, it will give mosquitoes a place to breed). Remove items that hold standing water.
- Examine and fix gutters. If you have gutters on your home, do a close examination of all of them to find any places that might be damaged, leaking, or blocked. If areas are damaged, make sure to repair or replace those sections so that water is properly channeled away from your home. Also, remove any blockages of leaves, sticks, or anything else that may be causing water to build up and spill over the edges.
- Remove yard debris. Rake up and remove leaf piles, grass clippings, and any other waste materials that tend to retain moisture after it rains. These are places springtails, and many other pests, love to hide. And the closer these things are to your home, the closer these pests will be drawn in.
- Fix spigots. Again, springtails love moisture. If you have a spigot that is dripping and water is pooling and causing a moist area, springtails will love you for it.
- Remove or replace mulch. If you have mulch or other moist material up against your home, consider removing it. One alternative is crushed rock. If you cannot bear to part with your mulch, consider doing a strip of crushed rock up against your home surrounded by mulch.
- Trim back bushes and other vegetation. If you have bushes, trees, ornamentals, or any other type of vegetation, against your home, trim them back well away from the foundation and walls of your home. Not only will this allow air and sunshine to get in close to your home to dry things out, but it will also remove the bridges that so many pests use to reach the outside walls of your home.
- Fix gaps and cracks. Carefully examine the outside of your home and, using a caulking gun, seal up any gaps, cracks or holes that you find in your walls. Make sure to pay special attention to areas where items enter into your home, areas where pipes, air conditioning units, wires, etc., go through the walls.
- In moist or humid areas, utilize fans and/or dehumidifiers to dry things out.
- Repair any leaky fixtures or pipes you may have. And, dry up areas where water has accumulated from these spills.
If you need assistance in getting rid of springtails from your home, or you would like help in keeping them out, the experts here at Schendel Pest Services are standing by to assist you.