Springtail

Springtail

Springtail

Size: Tiny insects, most being about 1/16-inch in length
 
Color: Gray to black

About the Moth Fly

These tiny insects derive their name from their tremendous leaps when disturbed. The jumping ability comes from an appendage – called a furcula – extending from the tip of the abdomen and folds back underneath the body. When threatened, the furcula is released hitting the ground, thus propelling the insect backwards up to several inches. These insects do no damage but their presence in large numbers – and the fact that they jump – can be upsetting to many homeowners who often mistake them for fleas. 

In fact, a few species of springtails are cold tolerant and may appear on top of the snow on warm sunny days, thus giving them the nickname "snowfleas." Springtails, however, do not bite and are harmless. They can develop huge populations and can invade buildings by the thousands. Often such infestations are noticed in basements and garages and in bathrooms or the kitchen. It is not uncommon for a homeowner to complain about the huge numbers of springtails spilling over onto the patio from the lawn or mulched flowerbeds.
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