Springtail bugs are a common pest throughout the United States. Attracted to moisture, they often congregate outside in gardens, mulch, soil, garden sheds, and sometimes beneath dog houses.
While they typically go unnoticed, springtail bugs can become problematic when they enter our homes, where they can multiply quickly and congregate in the thousands.
Luckily, these pests are not harmful to people or pets and don’t cause any damage to home structures or property. Better still, they play an important role in our ecosystem by providing a natural form of decomposition to decaying matter like mold, algae and fungi.
That said, springtail bugs can infest homes in large numbers if the conditions are right and their presence can often be a sign of a more serious problem in your home like water damage or a pipe leak.
Are you dealing with springtail bugs? It’s important to be sure before you go about finding the proper treatment plan to eradicate them. In this article, we are going to talk about how to properly identify a springtail bug infestation and which types of products, home remedies, and methods work best for getting rid of them.
What Are Springtail Bugs?
Springtail bugs can be round or elongated, and are named for the tail that “springs” them into the air when they are frightened.
Though springtail bugs look an awful lot like fleas, they actually belong to the hexapod family and are not considered insects at all. These Arthropods are very small, growing to be between 1 to 2 millimeters in length once mature.
Springtails are often mistaken for fleas not only due to their size and appearance, but also due to their ability to jump or “spring” about a half foot into the air when frightened.
There are thousands of different species of springtail bugs, and some can have elongated bodies or be more spherical in shape, as the picture above shows. They can also vary in shape and color.
Springtail bugs have a diverse diet that includes molds, algaes, and fungi. They need moisture to survive and thrive outdoors in lush landscapes that provide decay, like in leaf litter, soil, and mulch. They love flowerbeds, decaying logs, woodpiles, and paving stones, but can find their way inside homes if the conditions are right.
In fact, springtail bugs will typically go unnoticed until they infiltrate your home, where they can multiply quickly if they find an ideal source of food and moisture. Most springtail infestations are discovered in bathrooms, basements, beneath sinks, or near leaking pipes or drains.
While springtail bugs are harmless to people and pets and often even good for the environment in the right habitat, they can cause alarm to people who confuse them for fleas and even discomfort in those who don’t like bugs.
More importantly, and as we mentioned briefly above, the presence of springtail bugs inside your home may be an indicator of water damage, mold, or fungi growth which can be quite serious and lead to health concerns for you and your family.
What Has Attracted Springtail Bugs To Your Property?
Springtails often live in areas rich in moisture and decay, like beneath leaf litter and in soil.
Most pests enter our homes in search of food, shelter and water, and springtail bugs are no exception. While these pests do live in a variety of climates, they perpetually seek out moisture and humidity and will often infiltrate your home after a heavy rainfall or when the weather gets dry.
Springtail Bugs are also attracted to light, and are often lured into homes because of this. That said, springtails stick around and cause an infestation only if conditions in your home are ideal. This means that your home must have a good source of moisture, algae, mold or fungi in order for springtails to live happily.
If the conditions are right inside your home, springtail bugs can breed and multiply quickly. In fact, it’s common to find upwards of thousands of springtail bugs at a time in one location or another inside the home.
The good news is that getting rid of springtail bugs is relatively simple using the proper methods.
Because springtail bugs are so sensitive and rely heavily on moisture to survive, it is often enough to simply clean and dry the affected area to get rid of these pests. Of course, this sometimes is not enough and you must use other methods to get rid of a severe springtail bug infestation.
That said, keep in mind that springtail bugs look an awful lot like fleas, and fleas and springtail bugs require completely different treatment methods in order to control.
Before you decide on a treatment method for your springtail bug infestation, let’s first make sure you are indeed dealing with springtail bugs.
How To Get Rid Of Springtail Bugs – Identifying A Springtail Bug Problem
While they can look like fleas, springtail bugs have antnean, which is often the defining feature that sets them apart.
Are they springtail bugs or fleas? It can be difficult to tell upon first glance, especially considering both pests are around the same size and color and even have the same characteristics, including jumping several inches into the air.
However, there are a few ways you can identify the difference between springtail bugs and fleas. Perhaps the most telling difference is that springtail bugs have antenna while fleas do not.
The below video discusses the importance of identifying a springtail infestation and making sure you are indeed dealing with sprintals as opposed to fleas.
Springtail bugs also have different habits and prefer particular locations inside your home. You may have springtail bugs if you notice:
Large Clusters Of Small Insects Around Water Sources
Springtail bugs are not parasitic the way fleas are. They do not bite or live on animal blood or tissue, and instead will congregate around their food source, which is water, mold, algae and fungi. If you notice clusters of small, leaping insects huddled around water sources and leaving you and your pets alone, you are likely dealing with springtail bugs
Mildew Growing In Areas Of Insect Activity
These pests generally stick close to their food source. If you have noticed what you assume are few springtail bugs in a certain area of your house, do a quick inspection. For example, if you have found springtail bug activity in your kitchen, look around under the sink. Keep an eye out for signs of mold or mildew growing at the back of cabinets, beneath appliances, or anywhere else you have discovered springtail bug activity.
Clusters of Small Insects In Areas Like Bathrooms, Basements, Sinks, Carpets Etc
Remember, springtail bugs stay near water. They are rarely found in clothing, bedding, linens or other areas unless these surfaces are saturated in moisture and are growing mold or fungus.
Springtail bugs will generally be found in damp carpeting, near sinks, drains, in damp basements, in kitchens beneath the sinks, and in bathrooms.
How To Get Rid Of Springtail Bugs – Most Popular Methods
Springtail bugs are actually beneficial decomposers when outside, feeding on fungi and mold. When they get inside, however, they can became a nuisance.
So, now you know you are dealing with springtail bugs and not fleas. While this is a relief, it’s still important to remember that springtail bugs can infest homes in large numbers and that their presence may be a symptom of mold, algae or fungi inside your home which obviously isn’t good.
Along with making sure you are keeping up with home maintenance and repair, especially when it comes to water damage, we also recommend coming up with a treatment plan for how to get rid of springtail bugs.
A few of the most common methods for getting rid of springtail bugs include the use of natural products, home remedies, insecticides and professionals.
Springtail bugs don’t live long and often die out in two to three days if their water source is depleted. With that in mind, many people opt to use natural repellents and products that are free of harsh chemicals or toxins to get rid of them, especially when springtail bugs infiltrate areas like kitchens and bathrooms.
Most natural products to get rid of springtail bugs include sprays that contain essential oils and dusts that dehydrate and kill these pests quickly.
Because you can use a number of different types of natural ingredients to kill springtail bugs, and because the simplest way to get rid of them involves keeping your home clean and dry, you can easily use home remedies to manage a springtail bug infestation on your own.
If you scroll down below, you will see that we have listed some of our favorite DIY methods and recipes you can use to get rid of and prevent springtail bug infestations.
Springtail bugs are common in a number of environments. However, they can be much more problematic in regions rich in humidity year around. In these types of environments, getting rid of springtail bug infestations can be a bit more complicated and may require the use of insecticides.
While insecticides are an effective form of pest control and prevention, especially when it comes to pests like springtail bugs, it is important to remember that these types of products can contain harsh chemicals and toxins that can be dangerous to people, pets and the environment if not used correctly.
Severe springtail bug infestations may be a sign of serious water damage to your home. If you find you cannot get rid of springtail bugs, it may be time to contact professionals. That said, most of the time people are able to get rid of springtail bugs on their own as these insects are so fragile and rely so heavily on moisture to survive.
With that in mind, let’s move on to some of the best products you can use to get rid of springtail bugs, beginning with natural products you can purchase. Keep reading.
How To Get Rid Of Springtail Bugs Using Natural Products
Regardless of the species, springtail bugs are generally simple to get rid of using natural products because they rely so heavily on moisture to survive.
Springtail bugs can be annoying when they infest your home, but the good news is that they are relatively easy to get rid of using any combination of common pest control remedies. This is great news because it gives you the option to implement the pest control remedy that is ideal for you and your home.
If you are interested in getting rid of springtail bugs naturally using organic forms of pest control, then this is the section for you. We have listed a few of our favorite products you can use to get rid of springtail bugs naturally inside your home below.
Natural Armor Insect and Pest Control
The product above by Natural Armor is an all natural pest control spray that you can use both inside and outside of your home to kill and control springtail bugs as well as spiders, bed bugs, dust mites, ants, ticks, fleas, and roaches. It includes a spray nozzle for easy application along your perimeter as well as inside and hard to reach places like behind the sink or bathroom toilet.
It not only kills springtail bugs on contact but can help repel future insects for up to a year using natural essential oils like clover oil and vinegar oil. It is also safe to use in garages, pool houses, around your garden, and around your foundation.
Wondercide Indoor Spray
Wondercide uses a number of essential oils that kill and repel pests like springtail bugs. It is safe to use inside homes and in areas where food is stored and prepared, making it ideal to use for springtail bugs who have invaded kitchens or are lurking below kitchen sinks.
This product is harmless to use around people and pets and is also safe for the environment. Plus, the essential oils it uses leaves behind a lovely smell that pests hate but people love. Other pests repelled by Wondercide include spiders, roaches, fleas, and ticks.
Wondercide Outdoor Garden Spray
If you are looking for a natural outdoor pest repellent spray to apply to your perimeter, we recommend trying Wondercide Outdoor spray. You can use this natural spray directly on garden plants to kill pests as well as around the perimeter of your home to keep pests like springtail bugs from entering.
Again, this product uses essential oils and other natural ingredients to kill and repel pests and is safe to use around people and pets, while also being gentle on the environment.
EcoRaider All Purpose Home Pest Control
The above pest spray by EcoRaider uses botanical ingredients like citrus oil and other essential oils and ingredients to kill and repel pests like springtail bugs. It can be used both inside and outside of your home and can help get rid of lice, ants, mites, and other crawling insects that are driving you crazy.
It is safe to use around people and pets and is also safe for the environment. That said, it may need to be applied a few times, especially in heavily infested areas where springtail bugs are abundant.
Bonide Neem Oil And Fungicide
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Springtail bugs are especially repulsed by neem oil, which has antifungal properties and therefore not only harms them but their food source. If you are looking for an alternative to insecticides then you can try using Bonide’s Neem Oil.
This product is a natural and safe way to protect your home from pests like springtail bugs, mite, flies, and other garden and soil pests.
Safer Brand Neem Oil Concentrate
Another product that contains neem oil and is also a fungicide is by Safer Brand. This product comes in a neem oil concentrate and can take care of a number of pests and their eggs. It works on garden plants and is an effective form of organic pest control for insects like aphids, spider mites, springtail bugs, whiteflies, and more.
We also like it for springtail infestations in the home because it can kill eggs and can be used on indoor garden plants, which can help prevent a future infestation of pests in the future.
How To Get Rid Of Springtail Bugs Using Home Remedies
Neem oil is a natural home remedy you can use to get rid of springtail bugs in your home.
There are so many ingredients you likely already have in your home that you can use to get rid of springtail bugs on your own. If you’re in the mood to try your hand at do it yourself pest control, then keep reading.
Below are a few of the common household ingredients and recipes you can use to get rid of springtail bugs for good.
Like a number of pests, springtail bugs can be deterred using certain essential oils including cedar oil, clove oil, thyme oil, eucalyptus oil, and neem oil. We recommend making sure you are using pure essential oils in order for them to work effectively against springtail bugs.
To make your own essential oil spray, simply mix five to ten drops of the oil of your choice above into two cups of water and add the solution to a spray bottle. Shake the bottle to mix the solution and spray it directly on the spring bugs to kill them.
You can mix laundry detergent with water in a spray bottle until the solution is frothy and soapy. Once this occurs, spray or pour the solution over the springtails to kill them immediately. Then clean the affected area and dry it.
You may need to repeat this process a few times, especially in large infestations and if infestations occurred in soft surfaces like carpeting. However, it is an effective home remedy and even allows you to clean your home at the same time!
You can use different types of vinegar to kill springtail bugs, however we suggest using white vinegar because it doesn’t stain surfaces and is often an ingredient added to many different types of organic cleaning supplies.
Using white vinegar to kill springtail bugs is an ideal solution to use inside kitchens or in areas where children and pets frequent because it is completely harmless. You can mix equal parts vinegar and water to create a cleaning solution for countertops and surfaces and to spray on springtail bugs, or you can pour pure vinegar over the springtail bugs all at once to kill them.
Rubbing alcohol can kill springtail bugs instantly when poured over them. You can pour rubbing alcohol into a clean spray bottle and spray it on the bugs directly or simply dump acholol over them to get rid of them, then wipe them up.
For a very severe infestation, you can try using concentrated bleach to get rid of springtail bugs. Bleach is a strong chemical that can kill springtail bugs instantly and is good to use on surfaces like bathroom floors, tiles, and around sinks. Of course, bleach does stain and can be dangerous to use around children and pets, so use this DIY method with caution and care.
How To Get Rid Of Springtail Bugs Using Insecticides
In severe infestations or in certain regions, some insecticides may be needed to get rid of springtail bugs. Insecticides can also help prevent another springtail bug infestation from cropping up when it includes an insect growth regulator, which kills unhatched eggs.
If you find you are repeatedly dealing with springtail bugs, then we have listed some of the insecticides experts recommend you use in and around your home to control and eradicate them once and for all.
BioAdvanced Complete Insect Killer for Soil and Turf
These granules by BioAdvanced are insecticide granules designed to kill and control soil insects outdoors. They work by poisoning the pests using a chemical insecticide. While effective, the active ingredients can be harmful to people and pets and should be used only as directed.
However, this can be beneficial to those living in humid environments who are dealing with pests like springtail bugs outdoors who often infiltrate their homes. Using these granules to kill springtail bugs and other soil pests can help reduce the chances of them coming into your home seeking more moisture and food sources when applied and used correctly.
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Bifen IT is one of the most commonly recommended insecticides used for how to get rid of springtail bugs. It uses the active ingredient bifenthrin, which kills these pests as well as many other pests including ants, crickets, roaches, termites, spiders, earwigs, firebrats, and many more.
This insecticide is ideal for controlling garden and soil pests. You can use it inside and outside of your home. However, it does contain ingredients that can be toxic to people and pets and should be used only as directed and with caution.
Delta Dust is an insecticide dust commonly used to kill difficult indoor pests like bed bugs and fleas. However, it can work well to kill a large infestation of springtail bugs as it uses a dehydration method to kill and control these pests.
It is especially ideal in controlling and killing springtail bugs and other water-loving pests because it is completely waterproof and will continue working even after it gets wet. You can use it directly on wet surfaces where you have noticed springtail bug activity as well as sprinkle it directly on the springtail bugs themselves.
The active ingredient is deltamethrin, which is an effective but toxic insecticide that can be dangerous to people and pets if not used correctly. Keep it out of reach of children and pets and use only as directed.
Compare-N-Save Concentrate Indoor and Outdoor Pest Control
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Last on our list of insecticides is a concentrated product by Compare-N-Save. This product can be used inside and outside to control springtail bugs and other pests including spiders, roaches, ants, crickets, fleas, mites, and many more.
It uses the active ingredient bifenthrin, which is an insecticide that can be toxic to people and pets and should therefore only be used as directed.
However, this is an effective insecticide and pest killer that can be used in cracks, crevices, and in gardens to protect against a variety of common pests.
How To Prevent Springtail Bugs From Causing Problems In The Future
You can prevent springtails from entering your home by sealing cracks and crevices and reducing humidity.
Because springtail bugs are so reliant on water to survive, preventing them seems like it should actually be quite simple. However, if you live in a region that is high in humidity, getting rid of springtail bugs effectivley can be somewhat challenging.
Luckily, there are a few steps you can take to help reduce your chances of suffering from a future springtail bug infestation in and around your home.
Reduce Excess Moisture In and Around Your Home
Perhaps the easiest way to prevent a future infestation of springtail bugs is to reduce any excess moisture in and around your home. Only water garden plants and lawns as needed and keep fertilizer to a minimum.
Keep the inside of your home ventilated and make sure you keep drains clog-free and clean. Routinely clean and dry below kitchen and bathroom sinks and make sure you use a cleaning solution that eradicates mold, algae and fungus.
Repair Water Leaks And Damage As Soon As Possible
Water leaks can go unnoticed until obvious damage is found, so try and remain vigilant around your home and keep up with home maintenance. Repair any leaky pipes and make sure to clean and dry areas that have been damaged by water.
Dehumidify Your Home
Many people who live in excessively humid climates opt to invest in dehumidifiers. These types of products help to keep a multitude of water-loving pests out of the home while also making the inside of the home more comfortable for people and pets.
However, you can also help reduce excess moisture and humidity by keeping your home ventilated and by running fans, as well as leaving windows open when the weather permits.
Practice Routine Home Maintenance Around Your Home
Most pest infestations begin outdoors and springtail bugs are no exception. They will only get into your house if they can find a way in, so make sure to routinely examine the perimeter of your home.
Seal off any potential entry points and make sure doors and windows shut securely. We also recommend fixing or repairing any ripped or ill-fitted window screens.
Use Straw Instead Of Mulch Around The Perimeter Of Your Home
Using mulch directly around the perimeter of your home can be an unintentional invitation to a number of moisture-loving pests, not just springtails. Pests like earwigs, roaches, and even ants are attracted to mulch.
Instead, try using straw around the perimeter of your home to keep pests at bay and reduce excess moisture, mold, and fungi from building up.
Keep Vegetation At Least Three Feet From The Perimeter Of Your Home
Along with keeping mulch away from the perimeter of your home, we also suggest keeping any vegetation at least three feet from the siding of your house.
Doing this will reduce the chances of springtail bugs from getting close enough to your home to find their way in. Furthermore, you can also reduce the chances of having ants, spiders, mice, roaches, earwigs, and many other types of pests from entering as well.
Apply A Perimeter Pest Repellent Product Year-Round
Last but not least, using a pest repellent product around the perimeter of your home all year round can keep it protected from a number of different types of pests. You can use granules, sprays, dusts, or even home remedies to help protect the perimeter of your home from pests, though different methods and ingredients may be required depending on the pest you are trying to deter.
And remember, springtail bugs are not harmful to people and pets, and are even helpful to the environment when they live in gardens, grass, and soil. By using the above preventative measures, you can help keep them out of your home so they can stay outside and continue helping our gardens and landscaping thrive.
We hope this has been a helpful guide in how to get rid of and manage springtail bugs. Do you have other ideas or thoughts on home remedies for springtail bug control inside the home that we may have missed? We would love to hear from you.
Leave us your thoughts in the comment section below.
Jack founded our blog after two decades of working in the pest control industry. His vast experience dealing with a wide array of pests allows him to diagnose issues quickly and get to the heart of pest problems quickly and effectively. He has serviced more than 2,000 homes over his career and there is hardly any pest situation that he has not seen before.