Wacky Pest Wednesday: Springtails
During the colder months of the year, you’re likely to have a reduction in the number of pests that bother you, yet the springtail is something entirely different. These crafty critters utilize a protein in their body which works a lot like antifreeze, keeping their blood pumping even in the harshest of temperatures. Not only that, but they aren’t picky eaters, which makes them a menace to gardeners year-round. At a first glance, you may mistake them for a flea or another small critter, but upon a closer look you’ll see the springtail’s signature antennae and slender body.
Springtails are part of a larger class of critters known as arthropods. These bugs can be beneficial because they will feed on dead and dying plants, but some are known to be a pest because they’ll chow down on healthy plants, which can be a problem for your succulents, houseplants, or garden out back. Generally, springtails are classified as the former as a beneficial type of arthropods. In addition, springtails are not known to transmit diseases or to bite, so at most they are just an annoying critter around your home. However, because springtails love to be around moist environments, their sheer presence may indicate that you have a moisture problem somewhere in your home.
Should you spot some springtails around your home, you should do your best to check and see if you have a leak somewhere in your home. Moisture problems in your home may indicate that another pest problem is not far behind, especially in these winter months when some critters are hard-pressed to find water, warmth, and food.
Did you know that springtails can jump up to 100 times their body length? To put it in perspective, if the average male were to do that (5’ 9”), then they could jump up to 575 feet! Now, how’s that for wacky?
Enjoy your Wednesday!