Springtails are not insects but hexapods and they are widely distributed. Most springtails are dark-colored, brown, grey or black. Some species may be white and some are even brightly colored. They are usually slender and elongate, but there is a group that is round and stout. Springtails are very small, between 1/16” and 1/8” long. Springtails do not have wings and cannot fly but they can jump up to several inches using a special forked structure under the abdomen called a furcula. Springtails can often be mistaken for fleas. They are similar in size yet fleas are flattened from side to side and have very hard bodies, while springtails have a more rounded, soft body.
Springtails are naturally found between soil and plant debris, but they can inhabit many other areas where there is high moisture content. They are common in flowerbeds, under logs, paving stones, and landscape timbers where they feed on fungi, pollen, algae or decaying organic matter. When springtails are found close to the home it is typically due to high moisture conditions which could eventually lead them to move indoors. However, in most cases when springtails invade a structure, it is due to dry outdoor conditions that cause springtails to move inside to seek out moisture.
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