4-Step Process to Springtail Eradication and Management

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4-step process to springtail eradication and management

The inside of your home is not typically the source for springtail infestations. They almost always are hatched from outside the home and migrate indoors from the outside. They find their way into the home through gaps, cracks, crevasses, structure penetrations, leaking windows, etc., in search of food. Almost always, there is something attracting them to the house, which is usually a damp or wet environment. And if they find food, you could be stuck with them for a long time.

Springtails are the size of the tip of a ballpoint pen. Often confused with the tiny “sugar/cement or odiferous ant”, but the Springtail will jump if disturbed. They are attracted to wet/damp/moist environments (inside and outside your home). Places where mold/mildew will readily grow (bathrooms, kitchen sinks, basements, leaking windows, leaking roofs, etc.). 

There’s a lot you can do to kill and better manage Springtail infestations yourself by following our 4-step process for Springtail Eradication and Management. But if you still need help, a qualified building biologist familiar with Springtails can help.

Step 1 – Identification

Figuring out what you are dealing with and where it is coming from is how you start to address this problem. While it sounds simple, it might surprise you how many times people get this wrong.

Video and Photos courtesy of Victor Coppola and D.S

  1. Is it a Springtail (Yes or No)? – It is important to correctly identify the insect, as the process of eradicating it varies depending on the insect.

    Note — Knowing what you are dealing with first dictates how your project will begin and will save you time, expense, and headaches in the long run.
  2. Where are they coming from? – It is important to identify whether springtails migrate into the home from outside (most common) or breed and reproduce from within the home (becoming increasingly common).

    Note — If the moisture is coming from the home, you may need an environmental inspector to determine the moisture and food sources.

Note — More-and-more we are seeing springtail activity hidden in cantilevered windows (Victor Coppola and D.S.)

Step 2 – Reduce Attractors

Springtails just don’t start becoming a problem. They are often attracted to something that makes them want to hang around.

1. Moisture Sources (Exterior)

Moisture sources exterior

These are areas that attract springtails and amplify their presence in and around your home. Reducing or eliminating these sources will greatly reduce their migratory tendencies into the home. Common areas that attract Springtails to your home include:

  • Gutters and Yard Drains – Often hold organic debris (even if they drain well), and yard drains do the same. The organics they collect break down into soil/dirt, hold water, and allow algae, mold, bacteria, and mildew to grow. Your gutters not only need to drain well but need to be clean.

    Note – This is the most commonly overlooked area.
  • Foundation Low Spots – Sometimes improper grading / low spots close to the home will hold moisture and attract Springtails.

    Note – Poorly draining soils often attract springtails and are difficult to correct.
  • Mulch Beds – Hold moisture and are often a good source for mold, mildew, etc. to grow. And you usually re-mulch 2-3 times a year.

    Note – Mulch in excess of 2-3 inches usually stays wet for long periods.
  • Sprinkler System – Irrigation close to your home’s foundation will keep everything moist. 

    Note – A leaking irrigation system will create an oasis for Springtails. The control box housing the manifold is a common oasis area.
  • Pools and Ponds – The surface of your pool or pond often attracts massive migrations of springtails. 

    Note – Keep pool covered and skimmers in good working order.
  • New Sod – Sod has to be kept moist and is often a source for Springtails.

    Note – New construction springtails are often tied to the sod farm supplier.

2. Moisture and Food Sources (Interior)

Moisture and food sources

Note – We have found springtails (and their food sources) around deteriorated window seals, Moist tach strips (under carpets), above drop ceilings with isolated leaks, and in utility closets with dehumidifiers, wet sump pump chambers, french drains, etc. (Photos courtesy of Victor Coppola)

Places that harbor mildew or mold should be reduced/eliminated. Some common areas in the home include:

  • Kitchen areas prone to moisture – Under the sink, refrigerator water line, dishwasher, trash compactor
  • Basement and Crawl Spaces
  • Roofs and attics
  • Gutters and flashing points
  • Bathrooms – Shower, sink, bathtubs, etc.
  • Laundry Rooms – washing machine, slop sinks, etc.
  • Utility Rooms – Boilers, water heaters, sump-pump chambers, drains
  • Foundation Weep Holes – Often part of a French Drain System.
  • Leaks – No matter how insignificant, eliminate them.
  • Windows – prone to leaks
Mold on window

Note – Sometimes mold on the bottom of windows is a clue to hidden moisture and mold growth attracting springtails (Victor Coppola)

Step 3 – Treatment

There are several different treatment options for Springtails that are specific to the area being treated. Check with your local exterminator for what they use for your area. Here are some examples:

  1. Outside Treatment – Treat with:
  • Bifen Granules via hand spreader. 
  • Talstar – Activates Bifen granules and can treat homes’ windows, soffits, and crack and crevasse areas. You can also apply two feet up the exterior wall and out two feet to create a barrier/Band Treatment (Akers, 2020).
  • Orthene, Advion WDG, or Tempo WP are effective insecticides. (Cowley’s, 2024)
  1. Inside Treatment – Treat inside with a chemical treatment (safe for inside use), seal with silicone, or use Diatomaceous Earth for major entry points:
    1. Baseboards,
    2. Window sills, and
    3. Window casing (open and treat area).

Note – Make sure anything you use inside is safe for your family and will not create a bigger problem.

Note – Pictures of Client using Diatomaceous Earth (DE). DE is an effective deterrent but can be messy and irritate lungs and sinus passageways.

Note – If hidden moisture or mold is in the window assembly, it is usually necessary to deconstruct, remediate, and rebuild the window (Courtesy D.S.).

Step 4 – Prevention

Be diligent about eliminating the problems listed above. But the areas to stay focused on are the exterior migratory problems like:

  1. New Mulch – Often contaminated with Springtails, and, if applied 1 to 2 times a year, can be re-introducing Springtails to your property.

    Note — Using wood around the foundation is not recommended because it attracts Springtails, cockroaches, ants, termites, and many other unwanted pests.
  2. Trees and Shrubbery – Hold moisture up close to the home. Avoid the “rainforest effect”. (Akers, 2020)

    Note — Keep trimmed back 2-4 feet from home and repeat annually as needed.
Trees and shrubs to hold moisture


By following this comprehensive 4-step process, homeowners can effectively identify, treat, and prevent springtail infestations. Remember, consistent vigilance and addressing indoor and outdoor moisture issues are crucial for long-term success. If DIY methods prove insufficient, consulting a pest control professional or building biologist can provide expert guidance and tailored solutions. With diligent effort, you can reclaim your home from these tiny intruders and enjoy a springtail-free environment.

If you’re struggling with springtails or other indoor environmental concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. GreenWorks is a Building Biology and indoor air quality (IAQ) firm specializing in issues that affect indoor air quality. We’re here to help you create a healthier, happier home.

References: Video and Photos courtesy of Victor Coppola and D.S

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Victor Coppola

Victor Coppola is a Building Biologist with decades of diverse environmental experience spanning natural resource management and contaminated sites to Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) and building hygiene matters. He focuses on the three most prevalent issues degrading today's built environment: Moisture Odor & Mold (M.O.M.). Mr. Coppola and his Team are sought out by individuals and professionals concerned about IAQ to those actually suffering from Biotoxin Illness. His hybrid blend of environmental interests and services enable him to give a unique perspective into today's changing environment. Think your home is killing you, better call Victor and his Team at GreenWorks.

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