Description Very small - 1 to 2 mm. in length. Color ranges
from whitish to a dark gray. Can crawl or "hop" with the use of an
appendage called a "furcula" that folds from the insect's abdomen tip
underneath to the front. When disturbed the furcula is released
propelling the springtail into the air away from danger.
Habits Feed off certain types of fungus, generally. Do not bite
and are attracted to light. Often occur in very rich, moist soil.
Lifespan/Reproduction In Southern California, springtails will
generally breed and live during the cooler winter months in areas with
fairly constant shade, moisture, and nutrients for fungus. They cannot
live indoors long because of rapid body moisture loss.
Problems Encountered Springtails can occur in large numbers,
becoming more of a nuisance than a health hazard. They generally do not
pose a great threat to food or the environment.
Tips for Prevention Trimming vegetation and allowing the area
that is the source of the springtail infestation to dry will help in
killing these pests faster. Reducing the amount of mulch can also help
in preventing future infestations. Generally the problem lasts until
the area has dried sufficiently to eliminate the population of