My husband and I moved into a home at the end of August in in October we found springtails all around the exterior of our home. They have not entered our home to my knowledge. We live in CT so we have been going through a funny weather pattern right now. We’ve had 2 snowstorms this week and for each one I have seen a mass of springstails in the snow. They are not close to our home at this point, but I am nervous they will get closer as spring approaches. We were able to kill the nest in October. My husband set it on fire. I followed the population as far as I could into the woods, but I was unable to find the nest today. I would like to find it before spring comes. Do you have any advice to finding the nest in the woods? Please let me know. Thank you for your help.
If you read through our online SPRINGTAIL CONTROL ARTICLE, you’ll learn that springtails live in the soil and that they target moist, nutrient rich dirt. This type of soil can readily be found around most any home that fertilizes or irrigates and many things the average homeowner does will actually “feed” the local springtail population. In addition to watering the lawn, pinestraw islands, wood chips and compost piles all tend to attract springtails as does mulching your grass clippings.
I’m making this point to emphasize that most dirt has nutrients from which springtails can sustain themselves. And if you were somehow able to look through the dirt, say down a depth of 10 feet or so, you would find them dispersed all around your yard. There might be more at a certain “depth” but there is no one location they’ll want to stay; they will readily move up and down in the soil column depending on local water supplies and the nutrient content of the soil where they’re living. As the soil gets more moist, they tend to “rise to the top” to avoid drowning. And this will commonly happen following a big rain or snow.
What this all means is that what you are seeing is really only a drop in the bucket compared to the population of springtails that undoubtedly living on and around your property. And though your effort to “kill the nest” is valiant, by all measures it’s a doomed approach to springtail control. First, there really isn’t a “nest” anywhere. As explained above, springtails will be found dispersed throughout nutrient rich soil and though you might come upon a thick population here and there, the migrating adults that surface are not the crux of the problem and certainly do not represent a nest. In most cases, they’re just fleeing for their lives the very water they need to survive. But many soil living animals have been flooded out up and down the east coast for the past 6-10 months and what you’re seeing now is an all too familiar scene being played out anywhere it’s been wet and rainy here along the East coast.
So what should you do? As you know, springtails can be a major problem once they start surfacing in your home. But if you hold them off before they get to the house, chances are good that you’ll keep them at bay. As explained in our PREVENTIVE PEST CONTROL article, the main reason people get any invasive pest in the first place is because they don’t take a little time to treat the yard on a regular basis. This leads to wide range of insects getting established out in the turf and from there, it’s only a matter of time before some move into the home. This is how 99% of the springtail problems form along with many other pest problems like ants, termites, millipedes, centipedes, earwigs just to name a few.
So at this point I would give up the “torch” and opt for some lawn granules. The CYFLUTHRIN GRANULES applied 2-3 times a year will help a lot. As they dissipate down into the soil, they’ll kill off all the springtail activity where applied. In the end, this is the best approach to most all insect control and with springtails, a little bit of preventive treatment goes a long way. Oh, and a really good time to apply them is in late winter/early spring. This is because as the snow melts, it will leech the active ingredients down into the soil so it can have the biggest impact on pests like springtails. Treat now, again during the summer and then again in the fall and you should be able to keep the yard pest free without burning down your house!
Links for this post: