Springtails are minute insects that teem in soils. In a typical lawn thousands may occur per square foot where they innocuously feed on fungi and dead plant matter. The most common springtails are gray or purplish, about 1/20-inch long. They can jump due to the presence of a special tail-like structure.
Springtails sometimes move into buildings during hot weather because homes are cooler and more humid than outdoor conditions. While migrations are upsetting, they are of short duration. Springtails will not feed on anything in the home, don't bite, won't reproduce in the home and soon die out.
Migration problems can be reduced by eliminating all sources of moisture around the home such as leaking faucets. Windows and other entrances should be sealed. Drying dusts such as diatomaceous earth, baby powder or baking powder sprinkled around the perimeter of the home will probably be an effective barrier to further block movement indoors. Soap or detergent sprays can kill springtails on contact. There are no insecticides with residual action that provide extended control, so none are recommended. Try luring the springtails from the home by providing an alternate source of moisture some distance away.
For more information, see the following Colorado State University Extension fact sheet(s).
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Updated Tuesday, November 19, 2013