What are Springtails? How to Identify Snow Fleas?

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Springtails are a type of hexapod that can be found all over the world. What are Springtails? How to Identify Snow Fleas

The scientific name of this species is Collembola and they belong to the class Insecta. These collembolas are most commonly known for their ability to jump, which is how they got their name. They use this jumping ability to escape predators or to move from one place to another.

Snow fleas are a type of small, primitive arthropod that can be found all over the world. They are wingless, so they cannot fly. Springtails were once classified as insects, but they have been reclassified as a separate group. 

Snow fleas are most active during the afternoon or early evening. They are usually not seen during the night. Springtails can be identified by their long antennae, appendages, jumping ability, and cylindrical body shape.

What are Springtails? How to Identify Snow Fleas

Springtails are a type of insect that is found all over the world. They are most commonly known for their ability to jump incredibly high, using a special forked structure on their abdomen. Springtails vary in color, but most are dark-colored, brown, grey, or black.

What are Springtails?  How to Identify Snow Fleas

Their habit of appearing en masse when they emerge from the soil to mate in the springtime. Although fleas may be the same size, they have some differences in their structures: In contrast, springtails have chewing mouthparts that allow them to eat a variety of things, including decaying organic matter.

Springtails are small, primitive insects, usually about 1/8 of an inch long. They have a more rounded, soft body that is easily crushed, and they are found mostly outside on decaying organic matter, pollen, and fungi.

If the conditions become dry outdoors, they can move indoors to look for moisture. The easiest way to identify a springtail is by jumping; they will jump into the air when disturbed.

One particular springtail species, snow fleas, is known to live in cold climates and is commonly found in the snow. They will leap into the air like a flea when disturbed.

Where do you find springtails?

Springtails can be found in various environments, both indoors and outdoors. They are typically found in moist environments near ponds or streams. However, they can also be found in drier areas, such as under mulch or leaves. Indoors, they may be found in basements, crawlspaces, and attics.

Snow fleas crawling on the ice

For example, they may be present around plumbing leaks or in areas where the soil is wet for an extended period. Springtails can also be found on the surface of plants that have been excessively watered.

Springtails live in cold climates, where they feed on decaying organic matter. You can find them in soil, compost piles, and under mulch.

In addition to their typical habitats, you can also find springtails in your home if you have a water leak or excessive moisture. The snow flea lives in the snow and feeds on bloodshed caused by other creatures, such as humans or animals. 

Springtail habits and behaviors

They are active year-round, but some species can be seen jumping across the snow in the winter. They need a constant moisture supply to prevent them from drying out and migrating indoors. Springtails will emerge in large numbers when the ground becomes saturated with water or when 

They are translucent, making them blend in with their surroundings, and they have eight legs. Springtails have a keen sense of smell to find food and shelter. 

In general, springtails are shy by nature and avoid contact with humans unless necessary. Springtails exhibit a variety of interesting habits, including eating sugar, eating other insects, escaping from danger, reproducing sexually, and building nests.

Are springtails dangerous?

Springtails are a common type of pest found in many parts of the world. They are considered a nuisance pest and are not known to cause health risks to people. Springtails do not bite and aren’t known to cause structural damage to homes or cause any harm to established potted plants in your home.

Though they are not dangerous to humans, springtail populations can be difficult to eliminate without the help of a professional. The insects thrive in moist environments, so property owners will need to address any water damage and insulation issues to get rid of them for good.

How do I get rid of springtails?

Springtails  infestation

Springtails are small, primitive insects that can be a nuisance if they invade your home. If their exterior habitat begins to dry out, they may enter your home searching for moisture, including DIY methods and professional extermination services.

To get rid of springtails, you’ll need to focus on both exterior and interior treatments. If you have a moisture leak or areas with excessive water runoff, these will need to be fixed. Additionally, if there is mold or mildew growth in your home, you may need to use a pesticide product.

How long does the springtails bug infestation last?

Springtails are small, wingless insects that you can find in damp places such as attics, crawl spaces, and moist basements. Springtail infestations usually last for a few weeks, but can last up to six months in some cases.

In most cases, a springtail bug infestation will last until the source of moisture is removed. Vacuuming up the insects, sealing entry points, and removing sources of moisture will get rid of the infestation.

Where are Springtail nests?

Springtails are a type of small, primitive arthropod that can be found all over the world. Springtails build their nests around moist areas, such as under mulch and leaves, in the presence of standing water, and other damp environments. They are most commonly known for their ability to jump long distances. 

So you can often find their nests near water sources or in places with a humidity problem, such as under linoleum or plumbing areas.

Springtail vs. flea

Springtails and fleas are two very different creatures. The most obvious way to tell them apart is by their physical appearance. Springtails are small and easily crushed, while fleas are larger and more resilient. Another key difference is that springtails feast on decaying matter, while fleas feed on blood.

Interestingly, springtails can survive cold winter temperatures, while fleas cannot. Springtail species, commonly known as “snow fleas,” can survive because they produce a protein that allows them to resist freezing.

Do springtail bugs bite you?

Springtails are small, primitive insects that you can find worldwide. They can be irritating because they crawl inside clothes and bite skin with mouthparts that resemble pincers when handled. The bites of the snow fleas are not harmful.

Snow Fleas on the human finger

What is the damage caused by collembolas?

Springtails are a type of small, harmless scavenger that feeds mainly on decaying organic matter. They can be found worldwide and come in various shapes and sizes. Some springtail species can damage plants by chewing on the roots and leaves of seedlings.

Springtail burrowing into the ground

Although springtails are not generally considered pests, they can cause some damage to plants. The damage typically occurs as minute, rounded pits on young leaves or roots or as irregular holes in thin leaves. Mature plants are not significantly injured by springtail damage.

Final Thoughts

Springtails are small, soft-bodied creatures that can be a nuisance. They often show up in large numbers and can be difficult to remove. If you see small springtails, ignore them or physically remove them by hand or with a vacuum. 

If springtails become a problem, first, dry out the areas that are congregating with a fan or dehumidifier. If there is wet wood present, remove it, especially if there is mold. You can also make structural changes to correct moisture problems.

If you have springtails in your houseplants, water them less frequently but more deeply. Finally, you should not use pesticides to control springtails, as they are ineffective against these small pests.

About the author

A biotechnologist by profession and a passionate pest researcher. I have been one of those people who used to run away from cockroaches and rats due to their pesky features, but then we all get that turn in life when we have to face something.