What is a Springtail?
Springtails, or Collembola, are closely related to insects but are in a group of 6 legged arthropods now considered apart from insects. Tiny and soft-bodied, the Springtail ranges in size from 1mm to 6mm and tends to dwell in soil, leaf litter and other humid areas. Inside homes, they are commonly found around window sills damaged by moisture, or around showers, tubs, and sink areas.
Although they occur in a range of colors, to the naked eye they may simply appear as a very small grayish speck that moves, or “jumps.” While a springtail cannot actually jump with any of its six legs, it gets its name from an appendage (resembling a tail) that is used to hurl the springtail into the air and away from predators when it is feeling threatened.
Why do I have them?
Although Springtails typically reside in soil outdoors they will invade homes where humid conditions are present. Areas such as kitchens, bathrooms, and damp basements are likely spots to find these creatures. They are also found around window frames and if there are overwatered potted plants you’ll find springtails in abundance.