How To Get Rid Of Springtails in Your Bathtub?
Though springtails (Collembola) are great for the ecosystem, these hexapods become pests once they make their way into your house. Though small to the human eye but visible since they are usually found in large groups, springtails can be a nuisance inside your home, and it’s best to exterminate them as soon as you can. However, because springtails are beneficial to the environment, it’s important to use caution in how you get rid of them.
Just What Are Springtails?
Although they look like normal insects and resemble fleas, springtails are actually a type of hexapods – six-legged anthropods (which is why they are often confused with being insects) – that is a type of insect that decomposes organic material. They are often referred to as snow fleas, Hypogastruna Nicola is more commonly found in the winter months, as they prefer conditions that are moist and the wet snow that surrounds the bottom of plants when that snow melts.
On white snow, springtails usually appear to look like pepper flakes that have been sprinkled gently on top. Springtails feed on decaying organic material in the dirt or on decaying logs and help in the process of natural decomposition.
How To Identify Springtails
Springtails may be hard to identify at first glance and may appear different depending on whether you’re seeing them outdoors or if you’re seeing them inside. Springtails range from one-sixteenth to one-eighth of an inch in size. They get their name because of their spring-like tails, which are actually furcula.
The furcula is a tail that’s a fork-like appendage tucked beneath a springtail’s body. When a springtail is threatened, this appendage is triggered and pops out like a spring, allowing the springtail to jump up to 10 centimeters high which is pretty amazing.
Where Are Springtails Found?
Springtails are found in environments with moisture, and because they feed on decaying compost in soil and fungi, they’re typically found in your garden or somewhere with shade where it’s mostly damp. This could be in mulch, flowerbeds, under logs, and essentially anything that’s not dry. Springtails are not only in the US, they can be found all over the world.
Do Springtails Bite?
Unlike fleas and ticks, which can bite both pets and people, the good news is that springtails are not harmful whether they are in or outside. Outside, they do not harm plants, though they can chew on plant roots, which can impact the plant’s hardiness in a small amount.
For the majority, springtails help plants because they can spread beneficial fungi to the plant roots. They do have the ability to injure some young greenhouse plants or indoor plants but not nearly as much as other pest insects do. That being said, they do not bite or sting, pose no health risks, and are more of a nuisance than anything else.
What Causes Springtails to Enter Your Home?
Springtails need to live where there’s moisture. When the summer months become too dry, they need to move to an area that’s more moist, which for many people ends up being the inside of your home, particularly the bathroom because bathrooms due to increased humidity and water on the floor and around drains. Springtails may enter your home via open windows and doors, screens, pipes, cracks in the foundation, or indoor potted plants.
Recognizing Springtails in Your Bathroom
Springtails are small and may not be easy to notice. The first time you see bugs jumping, your first thought is that it might be fleas which can be alarming and logical if you have pets. Springtails are more elongated though than fleas, which tend to be more round. If you have a magnifying glass, you can see that the springtails appear dark in color but can be bright almost white as well. While fleas’ bodies are very hard, springtails actually have soft body.
If you’re noticing springtails in your bathroom, it’s likely because there’s a larger group of them gathered together.
Most of the time, springtails gather where there are pipes, drains, or potential leaks in your plumbing, as they need to be living in an environment that has a lot of moisture. You may notice that springtails can also be found in sinks or tubs or less-obvious areas of the bathroom. If you start to notice a few of them in a certain area, you may need to do some investigation in your bathroom to see exactly where they’re being attracted to the moisture.
Getting Rid of Springtails in Your Bathroom
Once you’ve identified you have springtails in your bathroom, you’ll want to exterminate them fast as possible despite the fact that they aren’t harmful and don’t cause much damage. The truth is, no one wants to have pests in any part of the home. To get rid of springtails, there are a few things you can try:
- The first thing is to dry the area where you have noticed the springtails in your bathroom. Being that springtail need moisture to live, drying the area with a towel and/or sealing any areas that are leaking or that play host to a lot of water can help reduce their numbers.
- Next, you’ll want to wipe them away with a tissue or a vacuum.
- It’s a good idea to get rid of your bathroom of any plants to which the springtails may be attracted or let the soil of the plants dry by not watering the plants so much.
- Run a humidifier in your bathroom, or if you have an exhaust fan, you’ll want to let all members of your household know to use it, especially while showering.
- It is possible for springtails can get in through a window, but less likely that they are getting in that way in your bathroom. Keeping a bathroom window open with a screen can actually help reduce the humidity and get rid of the springtails depending on the outside humidity levels.
Though this article is about getting rid of springtails, springtails do not need to be treated when they are outdoors because they do not cause damage or cause any threat to humans or animals. However, if an investigation of the yard reveals that there are many springtails living in one concentrated area, and that place is outside near your bathroom, then you’ll need to fix any moisture leaks or water runoffs. The problem could be drainage, slope/grade of your yard, or that you have too much mulch and organic material holding in moisture near your foundation.
How to Prevent Springtails From Coming Back
The best way to get rid of springtails in your home is to do everything you can to prevent them from coming in, to begin with. There are several ways you can achieve this. The first step is to seal any pipes, leaks and drips that are in the bathroom where it’s clear that the springtails are flourishing. Additionally, you’ll want to fix any areas that have moisture intrusion and make sure all the gutter downspouts drain away from your home’s foundation. You can also clean out the gutters if they are clogged.
Of course, if you’re having a hard time removing the springtails as well as keeping them away, then you can always call a pest control professional to help you manage the situation.
South End Plumbing specializes in all things plumbing related, so remember, we are just a click away. We also specialize in leak detection – give us a call! South End Plumbing is one of the only companies that will give you a free estimate. Call us at 704-919-1722 or fill out the form online to schedule a visit.
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