08.31.09

Spingtails in My Home

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:20 pm by livefood

To: questions@livefoodcultures.com
Subject: Questions about Springtails

We have a infestation of springtails in our home. They are crawling on the
ceilings in our bedrooms and throughout the home. We also have had Orkin
come once a month to spray the home. We don’t know how to get rid of these
critters. Do you have any suggestions? Sanjana

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Sanjana,

Springtails are only motivated by very basic needs. If you remove any of those needs they either leave the area or die.

Moisture…they are a primary component in most area in the decomp of vegetation. They are great in compost piles and old lawns where there is a fairly constant temperature and usually humid or moist.

Food…They only eat vegetable matter. In the wild hey will look for food in areas that have same…dead (not live) plants or other organics. We used to feed them oatmeal…but dry oatmeal would be hard for them to eat…it would have to be moist.

Temperature…they do best when the weather is about 75-80. If it gets too cold they die back and/or burrow deeper. If it gets too hot (summer time around here) the same thing happens..they die back and or burrow deeper.

Typically you would find them in a houseplant or around a house plant…if you found them indoors at all. They are sort of difficult to cultivate because they need to be feed frequently and the moisture/temperatures need to be right. They can be found in the thatch of the lawn (almost any lawn anywhere)…old forest floors around the world.

You need to inventory your situation. Why do you have them and what can you do to change the environment so that they can’t be happy there. A dehumidifier maybe, move the houseplants if you have a lot of them. Remove cat and dog feeding stations.

Have these critters been positively identified as Springtails? If they have not been positively IDed, you might jar a few and take them to the local AD Extension folks for that ID.

Spraying for them won’t help much…very temporary IF it helps at all. They are a naturally occurring “pest”…that don’t bite or transmit any know diseases. They can be a nuisance but usually it’s very temporary (I’ve never heard of situation that was more than a change of seasons long. You can not kill all of them in the area…they will return if you don’t find the reason that decided that your home was “cool.”

The best practice is find the environmental cause of the bloom and change the environment to un-suit them.

Good luck,
Jim
The Bug Farm

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