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Spring Tales/Silver Fish

SpringTales-SilverFish_hagerstown-pest-controlSpringtails are tiny insects. Their size ranges from 0.25 to 6 mm. They get their name from a spring-loaded structure, called the furcula, located on the underside of their abdomen. When the insect is disturbed, the furcula is released causing the insect to be flung into the air. One jump can cover 10 centimeters.

Springtails normally live in damp soil. They eat mold and fungus. They are common in flowerbeds, under logs, paving stones and landscape timbers. Woodpiles are also a common place for springtails to hide.

Springtails lose water through the surface of their body. If their environment becomes dry, they try to migrate to a wetter place. They sometimes enter homes under door thresholds. When they get inside, they go to humid areas. Rooms that offer the needed moisture often are basements, kitchens and bathrooms. They also find areas where there has been moisture damage. Springtails have been found inside walls where a pipe has been leaking. They have also been found in furniture that has become wet and mildewed. Overwatered potted plants and planter boxes are also places where springtails live.

Springtails do not bite or sting people. They do not damage buildings or the contents. They develop quickly. It is common to find springtails in very large numbers. The fact that there can be thousands of jumping insects in an area can be very distressing to homeowners.

When the dampness is corrected, the springtails disappear very quickly. Eliminating dampness is very important in preventing or eliminating springtails. A thorough inspection is the first step.

If springtails have been a problem in the kitchen, start inspecting under the sink. Empty the cabinet and check the drainpipe. If it has been leaking, there could be mold or mildew present. Dry the cabinet completely to discourage the springtails.

If springtails have been active in the bathroom, start the inspection under the sink. Also inspect the trap behind the tub for leaking pipes. Examine tile walls carefully. If there is missing grout, mildew can develop behind the tiles.

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