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Need Springtail pest control Phoenix services? Given that Springtails thrive in moist and rich soil one would think they would not be much of a problem in our desert environment. In recent years pest control calls related to Springtails have increased. Attempts by inexperienced exterminators to solve Springtail infestations with pesticide only pest control services often fall short leaving homeowners frustrated. To successfully eradicate this pest a good exterminator will locate nesting areas and make corrections to conditions conducive.
Springtails are very small, jumping insects that may alarm homeowners by appearing in large numbers in moist both inside and outside. Indoor infestations can result from moist potting soil. Exterior infestations are often near water sources (water fountains, pools etc) in close proximity to nesting areas. Generally infestations occur during the monsoon season and/or during heavy spring rains. Heavy rains followed by rising temperatures seem to be a trigger. In ideal conditions infestations can persist year round. Because they jump when disturbed, springtails are sometimes confused with fleas, or white flies. However, springtails do not bite, nor spread disease or damage household furnishings. They are mainly a nuisance type pest. In most cases populations dwindle during our summer drought.
Small and wingless these insects measure about 1/16 inch in length. They lay their round eggs in moist soil, especially where organic matter (food) is abundant. The immature stage is usually whitish, and adults tend to be whitish, bluish, or dark gray to black. The immature stage differs from the adult stage only in size and color. Springtails get their name from the ability to jump up to several inches high by means of a tail-like mechanism tucked under the abdomen. When disturbed, this appendage functions like a spring, propelling them into the air away from the danger.
Springtails live in soil, especially soil near compost, in leaf litter, organic mulches, and under bark or decaying wood. In the Phoenix area they are often found under stored items around and near home foundations. Most any area that provides constant moisture and shelter from the desert sun can be used as a nesting area. They feed on decaying plant material, fungi, molds, or algae. They are also found on the surface of stagnant water, in flower beds, or near water fountains and swimming pools. Greenhouses can provide the damp environment required for their development. Improperly stored tires with standing water can create a challenge to controlling Springtails.
When their environment outdoors becomes dry, springtails migrate to moisture. They may invade homes or move to more favorable outdoor areas such as areas near swimming pools, hot tubs or water fountains. They are often imported inside via potted plants. They may be attracted to light, entering through windows or under doors. After a hot day, they may congregate on the side of a building in tremendous numbers, increasing the chance of indoor infestation. After entering a house, they crawl in search of moisture, and are often trapped in sinks, washbasins, and bathtubs. They may also occur around floor drains, in damp basements, crawl spaces, and wall voids. They soon die after entering a home unless they find moisture.
Generally springtails are harmless scavengers, feeding mainly on decaying organic matter. Some species may damage plants by chewing on the roots and leaves of seedlings. The seedlings may appear wilted and may die if damaged when young. Damage occurs as minute, rounded pits on young leaves or roots, or as irregular holes in thin leaves. Mature plants are not significantly injured. Springtails rarely cause enough damage to plants to warrant pest control measures.
Springtails can become a nuisance around swimming pools when they fall in and drown in large numbers, often coating the pool surface. Although unsightly in the pool, they can be safely removed without cause for concern. Springtails will not bite or otherwise harm people or pets.
Large populations can also make them a nuisance in homes, greenhouses, and other locations where there is a source of moisture. Their continued presence indoors is an indicator of moisture.
Is Springtail pest control Phoenix Necessary?
Yes, Springtail pest control Phoenix services combined with correcting conditions conducive can eliminate the problem. An important key to controlling springtails is to reduce moisture and excess organic matter in gardens, plant pots, and around building foundations. Also screen or caulk cracks that provide entryways for springtails into homes. Pest control only services seldom are necessary and provide little long term protection.
Outside the house, eliminate nesting areas by removing excessive mulch and moist leaves around the foundation. Low, moist places near the house or in the crawl spaces should be dried out. Do not overwater mulched landscape plants, and let the soil dry slightly before continued watering. Where springtails have been a problem in vegetable gardens, provide good drainage, reduce irrigation, and reduce application of organic amendments. Inside the home, springtails can be controlled by airing out and drying infested areas. The use of a fan can speed up the process. Water leaks or other sources of excess moisture should be repaired. Springtails in indoor potted plants can be controlled by avoiding overwatering. Do not allow drain water to stand in plant saucers. In sinks and bathtubs, simply wash the insects down the drain.
Springtails are attracted to light and are so small that they can enter houses through cracks and crevices such as around doors, utility pipes, or window screens. Repair torn screens and close up places where the springtails can enter the house, such as spaces under doors and around windows and attic or basement vents. Use caulk, weather stripping, fine-mesh screen, steel wool, or expandable foam as appropriate. Springtails that enter the home may be controlled by sweeping or vacuuming. Repeat as needed.
Springtails in the pool will be removed by normal pool filtering or can be manually removed using a pool skimmer. Limiting lush vegetation and mulch around the edge of the pool may reduce recurring problems.
Pest Control Services are generally not recommended for springtail infestations in the Phoenix area. They are often no more effective than vacuuming, and repeated applications may be required. At best, pest control service will provide only temporary relief if the conditions favorable for springtails are persistent.