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Springtails Snow Fleas: Top 5 Questions About The Snow Flea Answered

by | Dec 28, 2022 | Knowledge Center


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What are Springtail bugs? (aka Snow Fleas)

A springtail bug (snow flea) is a small, wingless insect that is commonly found in areas with cold climates, such as mountain ranges or regions with heavy snowfall. They are typically black or dark brown in color and have a hard, shiny exoskeleton. Snow fleas are not actually fleas, but rather a type of springtail, a type of insect that belongs to the order Collembola. They are usually found on the surface of the snow, where they feed on algae, fungi, and other organic matter. Despite their small size, snow fleas are known for their ability to jump great distances, thanks to a flexible appendage called a furcula that they use to propel themselves through the air.


Where do Springtails come from?

Springtails are found in many areas with cold climates, such as mountain ranges or regions with heavy snowfall. They are widely distributed throughout the world and can be found in both the northern and southern hemispheres. In the United States, snow fleas are commonly found in the northeastern and Rocky Mountain states, as well as in Canada and Europe. These insects are adapted to living in cold environments and are able to survive subzero temperatures by entering a state of suspended animation known as diapause. They are often found on the surface of the snow, where they feed on algae, fungi, and other organic matter.

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Do Springtails bite humans or pets?

Springtails are small insects that do not bite humans or pets. These insects do not have the mandibles or mouthparts necessary to bite or sting, and they do not pose any threat to people or animals. They are generally harmless and are not considered to be a dangerous pest. In fact, snow fleas are often considered to be a beneficial insect, as they help to decompose organic matter and recycle nutrients back into the soil. If you do come into contact with snow fleas, you may feel a slight tickling sensation, but they are not capable of biting or causing any harm.


How to get rid of Springtails

There are a few steps you can take to reduce the population of springtails in your yard or garden:

  1. Remove excess moisture: Springtails thrive in moist environments, so reducing excess moisture in your yard can help discourage their presence. This can be achieved by properly draining any standing water and keeping your lawn and garden well-drained.
  2. Apply a pest control product: There are a variety of pest control products available that can be effective in controlling snow fleas. Look for products that contain the active ingredient pyrethrin, which is a natural compound derived from chrysanthemums that is effective against many types of insects. Be sure to follow the instructions on the label carefully and apply the product according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
  3. Keep the area clean: Springtails are attracted to organic matter, so keeping your yard or garden clean can help reduce their presence. This means removing dead leaves, grass clippings, and other debris that may attract these insects.
  4. Encourage natural predators: Many birds and other animals, such as spiders and beetles, feed on snow fleas. Encouraging these natural predators to visit your yard can help keep the population of springtails in check.

It’s important to note that springtails (snow fleas) are generally not considered to be significant pests, and they are not known to cause any harm to plants or animals. In most cases, it is not necessary to take any drastic measures to control their population. Simply following the above steps can help to keep their numbers in check.

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Why are they called springtails or snow fleas?

Springtails are called snow fleas because they are often found on the surface of the snow, especially during the winter months. These insects are not actually fleas, but rather a type of springtail, a type of insect that belongs to the order Collembola. They are known for their ability to jump great distances, thanks to a flexible appendage called a furcula that they use to propel themselves through the air. This ability, combined with their shiny, black appearance, may have contributed to their being given the name “snow fleas.” However, the term “snow flea” is not a scientific term and is not used by entomologists to describe these insects. They are more commonly referred to as springtails or by their scientific name, Collembola.


Summary

A springtail snow flea is a small, wingless insect that is commonly found in cold climates, on the surface of snow. It is a type of springtail insect that feeds on algae, fungi, and other organic matter. Snow fleas do not bite humans or pets and are not considered to be a significant pest. To control their population, reduce excess moisture in the area, apply pest control products, keep the area clean, and encourage natural predators. Snow fleas are called snow fleas because they are often found on snow and can jump great distances. They are not actually fleas, but rather a type of springtail.


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