How To Get Rid of Springtails

By DoMyOwn staff

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The key to eliminating springtails is finding their nesting site. Once you know where they are coming from, you will be able to address the source of the infestation more effectively.

The Nature of Springtail Infestations

Springtails become a nuisance in and around the home in the spring and summer months, appearing in shockingly large numbers in and around puddles, patios, garages, pools, and indoors in basements, sinks, and bathtubs. It may be tempting to spray a large pile of springtails on the patio or in the sink, therefore eliminating that one group and thinking this will solve the problem. Not so. You may successfully eliminate a pile of springtails in an area, only to find another pile has formed in the very same place several days later. This is because the source of the springtails-their nesting spot-is actually hidden in a less conspicuous place. Large numbers of springtails will continue migrating from the nesting site to these smaller habitats of moisture. Springtail infestations must be attacked at the source, or you will continue to see Springtails piling up in the same places over and over.

Step 1) Determine Where Springtails Are Nesting

There are two basic keys to locating Springtail nesting sites. First, the nesting site will be somewhere damp and dark. Second, the nesting site is likely very close to the place of migration (or, where you find them piling up) since Springtails don't move very qucikly and prefer not to travel far before settling in the first suitable habitat.

Some possible nesting sites may include:

  • Under mulch and moist soil
  • Under patio slabs
  • Around pool decks
  • Under logs, pinestraw, and wood chips
  • Under wood decks built
  • Indoors in bath traps, under kitchen or bathroom sinks, and under linoleum
  • Around jacuzzis or hot tubs
  • In damp crawl spaces and wall voids
  • Under the sheathing, insulation, or sheet rock in the siding of your home if these places are prone to moisture.

Step 2) Treat Various Springtail Nesting or Migration Sites

Once you have identified a potential nesting site, two or three applications of the following treatments, coupled with moisture reduction (fixing leaks or installing ventilation) will usually be all that is needed to eliminate Springtail infestations.

Under Cabinets, Inside Crawl Spaces & Wall Voids

  • If you suspect that Springtails are nesting in a crawl space or wall void, first try to deteremine why this area is moist or wet. The problem of excess moisture might be solved by installing more ventilation. If a wall void is damp due to leaks around windows, light fixtures, or door frames, these areas can be sealed to prevent the accumulation of water.
  • For long term control, treat these areas with waterproof Delta Dust. Delta Dust can be applied with a hand duster which allows you to "blow" the dust up to 6 feet deep inside walls and under cabinets.
  • If there are not already holes or cracks through which to apply the dust, you will need to drill ¼" holes every 2 feet. You can then pump the dust through the holes at a rate of 1 lb of Delta Dust per 500 sq/ft of wall space. This treatment lasts up to 8 months.

Under Sinks

  • Inspect this area for leaks. By eliminating moisture under sinks you will drive Springtails from this area and reduce the number of suitable habitats available where Springtails can survive.

Under Mulch, Pinestraw, Logs, or Wood Chips

  • This area should be treated by first applying Demand G with a hand spreader according to the product label. Bifen Granules are weather resistant and easily penetrate mulch and other damp materials. Bifen works through a slow-release process, providing continuous control over a period of 4 to 8 weeks.
  • For a faster contact kill to take care of surface populations and prevent migration while the Bifen is working, apply Tempo Ultra WP or Tempo Ultra SC with a hose end sprayer over the top of Bifen.

Concrete Slabs (in Patios, Walkways, Under Bathtubs, and Ground Pools)

  • Springtails nesting in concrete slabs require more than simply spraying around the concrete. Slab infestations should be treated like a termite job. In fact, areas already treated for termites rarely if ever become infested by Springtails.
  • Begin by drilling ½ inch holes every 1 to 2 feet in the slab. Next, using a gallon sprayer, pump Tempo Ultra WP or Tempo Ultra SC at the rate of ½ gallon per hole by removing the adjustable nozzle on the sprayer and pumping directly into each hole.
  • After treating the slab, finish with spraying the surface of the foundation, walkway, or other surface areas where Springtails are active. This can also be done with Tempo Ultra WP or Tempo Ultra SC using the gallon sprayer.

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