Springtails are minute, wingless insects that get their name from the fact that they have an unusual locomotor organ which acts a spring to flip them into the air.


The usual habitat of these small insects is in soil of woodlands, in decaying vegetative matter, or on the surface of stagnant water. Most soil-inhabiting springtails feed on decaying plant material, fungi and bacteria, and thrive in an environment that is moist or high in humidity. Springtails become abundant among wet leaves, soil, and plant material along a house foundations or sidewalks where they can be a temporary annoyance. Because springtails infest decaying organic matter, they can infest soil of pot
ted plants.


Scavengers, feeding on decaying plants, fungi, molds, or algae.


Most common springtails do not survive in dry conditions. Taking steps to improve ventilation and promote drying are the best long-term solutions. Remove accumulations of wet leaves or other organic matter to eliminate breeding sites. Insecticides can be used to treat infestations but will provide only temporary relief if the favorable conditions are not corrected.