Fleas are a troublesome pest, but when you see small pests jumping in and out of your carpets, furniture, and linens, they might not be the culprit. The truth is, there are some pests that are commonly mistaken for fleas due to similarities of appearance and behavior. One of the most common of these “faux flea” invaders are springtails, AKA the snow flea!
But what are these springtails? And are they a threat to my home?
Despite what you might expect, springtails are not actually a type of flea, and they aren’t actually even an insect! Instead, they are classified as one of the divergent groups of hexapods, a taxonomic group that includes insects as well as other groups that diverge from the definition of traditional insects. Springtails actually get their name due to their ability to leap great distances, relative to their size, using a spring-like structure on their lower abdomen known as a furcula. This furcula makes them highly mobile, allowing them to spread throughout your home with ease.
While they are not insects or fleas, springtails can still be an invasive pest that can become a nuisance for homeowners. Typically, springtails invade homes due to sudden changes in their natural environment. Springtails are constantly losing moisture from their bodies, and because of this, they must stay in highly moist environments to survive. Due to this, periods of dry weather can force them to relocate from their normal haunts and enter your home. That said, they can also be driven inside due to excessive rain when their natural environments are flooded.
Once inside your home, springtails are difficult to spot and difficult to remove. Growing to under 5mm in size, they are easily able to stay hidden until their population has grown substantially. Typically, homeowners first spot springtails when they leap around in carpets or on furniture. Since this behavior is so similar to fleas, it is easy to mistake them.
So if I think I have springtails instead of fleas, should I be worried or relieved?
The truth is, while springtails can be a nuisance pest in their own right, they are a much better invader to deal with compared to fleas. Unlike fleas, springtails do not bite, feed on blood, or cause any damage to your home. While they are certainly still a nuisance pest, they are not nearly as troublesome as fleas.
That said, this does not mean that springtails should be ignored. Their rampant reproductive rate can result in an infestation numbering in the thousands throughout your home. Further, it can be quite difficult to differentiate springtails from fleas just by appearance as they are quite difficult to catch. Due to this, it could be a grave miscalculation to assume that the pests you are seeing are definitely springtails and not fleas.
The best way to confirm the nature of pests in your home is by scheduling a thorough inspection of your home by a licensed pest control provider. If springtails are giving you trouble, then it is possible that your home has a vulnerability that other pests could exploit in the future. Oftentimes pests such as springtails serve as a sort of warning sign for a larger pest security issue, and it is essential to take this threat seriously before a more destructive invader arrives.
Ultimately, the most effective pest control starts BEFORE pests arrive, and you can save yourself a lot of time, money, and frustration by taking the steps to resolve any pest vulnerabilities in and around your home!
At Canton Termite and Pest Control, we understand that pest solutions involve a whole lot more than just pesticide. We implement comprehensive, multi-step treatment plans that identify signs of pest activity, address current pest problems in the home, and mitigate conducive conditions leading to infestation! Our industry-leading service quality will ensure that your home becomes pest free FAST and stays that way long-term!
So if you are dealing with pest problems, don’t wait! Call us TODAY at 770-479-1598!
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