Do springtails hibernate? Could they survive a winter in an upper level empty flower box over a winter? It is wooden. Can they reproduce in a box like that? Do sprays not penetrate the soil enough to bring the population down?
Springtails don't "hibernate" in their adult stage. Most that adults that confront the harsh reality of winter will die. And since their life span is so short, even if they were alive at the start of winter, chances are they'd be dead by winters end anyway.
What does happen is the stages before adulthood are slowed or even stopped from progressing. So they are more or less in a state of suspended hibernation. They're neither growing or dying but merely waiting for warm weather to once again make them active.
As for where this can happen; no doubt flower boxes and planters are prime locations and there are some sprays that will knock out springtails living in these areas. We have found the MULTI PURPOSE INSECT KILLER is an excellent product to use for such a treatment. It's fast acting and can be poured into the pot or flower box every 2-3 months to prevent any insect from living there. This treatment won't affect the plant and as an organic option is very safe to use.
Lastly, if you have springtails out and about in your yard, you'll need to do more than just liquid spraying. Details can be found in our springtail control article located below. Here are direct links to the information and products listed above:
Multi Purpose Insect Killer: http://www.bugspraycart.com/organic/liquid/multi-purpose-insect-killer-24-oz
Springtail Control: http://www.bugspray.com/article/springtail.html