Springtails are the tiny jumping bugs in bathrooms. Springtails are more common in bathrooms at the peak of the summer when the weather outdoors becomes hot and dry.
Springtail bugs are harmless, and they don’t bite humans. However, springtails can enter homes in large numbers and soon become a nuisance.
In this guide, you’ll find out how to identify springtails, how they enter homes and bathrooms, and the best ways to get rid of them.
Springtails – Identification
Springtails are tiny, usually 1/4 inches in size. Some of them are tinier, growing only up to 1/16 inches in size – approximately the size of a pinhead.
Their body shape is elongated like a cigar. They’ve a pair of long antennae that is clearly visible.
Springtails color vary depending on their age and species. The most common colors are black and brown.
However, they can be blue, gray, white, yellow, and even metallic green, blue and pink with patterns on their bodies.
Springtails are common bathroom bugs with no wings. They can’t fly but they’re able jumpers.
Springtails have spring-like organ tucked in their abdomen. That organ is known as furcula.
Springtails use the furcula to push them against the surface that enables them to jump.
So, when you try to kill a springtail, it jumps to escape.
Springtails live in moist conditions such as decaying organic wastes such as leaf litter and wet soil beds.
They can also live on the plants and in grassy areas such as lawns. But they’re not plant pests.
Springtails feed on the molds, fungi, and algae that form on wet decaying organic matter.
They play a crucial role in the ecosystem by breaking down organic matter and by recycling nutrients in the soil.
Springtails are not pests. And they don’t pose any threat to humans and pets.
Many people think springtails as fleas because they jump too. But fleas are tinier than springtails and they survive solely on their hosts’ blood.
How Do Springtails Get Inside The Bathroom?
Springtails are tiny moisture bugs. They need to live in the damp areas to survive.
When the weather outdoors becomes too hot and dry, and their habitat dries up, they look for a temperate and moist area to hide.
Springtails enter bathrooms, or homes, through the gaps on the windowsills. Any small hole or crack in the walls can also be an entry point for the springtails.
Springtails in the house will target the damper areas of the house such as bathrooms, kitchen, and basement.
They’ll hide in the thin cracks on the bathroom, floor, walls, underneath fixtures, and in places like the plumbing area below the bathroom sink.
Springtails in the bathroom will feed on the molds that form on the bathroom floor, walls, furniture, and fixture.
Springtails search for food makes them end up in fixtures like bathtubs and bathroom sinks from where they can’t jump out.
Despite being harmless, springtails can soon turn into a nuisance.
Springtails are capable of breeding inside the house if there’s enough humidity and food sources causing an infestation.
And when their numbers increase, they can show up in unlikely places such as your bed and bedroom.
So, it’s important that you eliminate springtails in the bathroom and prevent them from coming back.
The following section covers it all.
How To Get Rid Of Springtails Infestation In The Bathroom?
The best part is getting rid of springtails in the bathroom is a cinch. You don’t need to hire an expert pest controller to do the job.
All you need to do is eliminate the springtails, clean the bathroom, and seal their entry points. Here’s how –
Use An Insecticide Spray
Any standard insecticide spray, such as Raid or Ortho Home Defense, will work against springtails.
Use the spray on these insects to eliminate them. Also, use the spray in the tight corners such as underneath bathtub, sink, and near the drains.
Do not use the spray in the bathroom storage sections such as medicine cabinets.
And always read the safety instructions on the spray, and follow them, while using the spray.
Clean The Bathroom
Take your vacuum cleaner and give your bathroom a thorough clean.
Don’t skip over the corner, storages, and the tight spaces. These areas are the hiding places for many bathroom bugs.
Vacuum cleaning will not only clean your bathroom but also will remove the dead springtails and dead insects that might have died because of the spray.
After vacuuming, dispose of the vacuum dust bag safely outside the property.
Fix Water Leaks From Pipes
Water leakages from pipes and faucets are responsible for increasing the dampness levels in the bathrooms.
Excessive dampness causes the formation of molds and fungi that become food sources springtails.
Springtails in the bathroom are prey for predators like pseudoscorpions and spiders. So, these insects can also enter bathrooms looking for springtails.
So, fix any leaky pipes and faucets. Check the plumbing section underneath sinks and fixtures for any drainage issues.
If there are any severe plumbing issues that need professional help, then hire a plumber.
Remove Molds And Fungi In The Bathroom
A damp bathroom will always have molds and mildew. And, mentioned earlier, these molds are food sources for springtails and many other bathroom bugs such as silverfish, psocids, and mold mites.
Take a mold cleaner and remove the molds from the bathroom’s walls, shower, floors, and fixtures. You can also do it with warm soapy water if there aren’t thick enough moldy layers.
Keep The Bathroom Dry
Install an exhaust fan or a dehumidifier in the bathroom to keep the bathroom dry. This is very important for residents of states like Florida where the weather is hot and humid.
Proper ventilation is also important to keep the bathroom dry. A clean and dry bathroom doesn’t attract bugs.
Wet towels and wet bathroom mats also increase the dampness in the bathroom floor. So, try to ensure that you don’t keep them damp in the bathroom for long.
Seal Off The Entry Points And Crevices
Cracks on the bathroom windows and walls are the entry points and hide outs for many bugs.
Many bugs such as roaches, ants, and ant-like bugs enter bathrooms from these tiny gaps and make your bathroom their home.
Take a good silicone-based sealant to caulk those crevices.
If there’s excessive damage to the bathroom walls and floor because of neglect and dampness, then repair them.
These cracks on the bathroom floor and walls become nesting grounds for many home-invading insects such as house centipedes.
How To Prevent Springtails In The Bathroom?
The above steps will eliminate springtails along with any other bugs hiding in the bathroom.
But stopping springtails from entering is a long-term solution to prevent these tiny black jumping bugs in the bathroom.
Clean The Yard
If you’ve a thriving yard or garden, then there’s a healthy chance that the source of the springtails in the house and bathroom is your yard.
These springtails must have jumped inside the house, or you might have accidentally brought them along with plant pots or wood blocks.
So, it’s essential that you don’t allow them to thrive in your yard. It’ll be best to keep your yard clean by not letting organic wastes accumulate.
Also, trim off the vegetation near the windows of the house. Springtails from these plants can jump in through the windows and enter your home.
Insects like flea beetles can also enter homes and bathroom by using the overgrown vegetation near windows.
Some scents repel insects, including springtails. The scent of peppermint is one of them.
You can spray peppermint oil on the bathroom windows and in tight spaces 3-4 days a week to prevent to keep insects away.
Vinegar is also a repellant. Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water and use the mixture as a spray in the bathroom and on the bathroom windows to keep springtails and insects away.
Scatter Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous earth is a natural insect killer that you can use both indoors and outdoors.
To keep springtails away scatter diatomaceous earth on soil beds, mulch beds, and in areas where organic wastes such as leaf litter gather.
It’ll help you significantly in keeping the insect population down outdoors.
Keep Sticky Insect Traps In The Bathroom
Sticky traps come in handy to lure and entrap any crawling insects and bathroom flies such as drain flies and fugus gnats.
Keep the traps in the corners of your bathroom and near the bathroom fixtures such as bathtub and sinks.
The bugs get stuck on these traps when they land on them. Keep the traps for a day and throw away the traps with insects on them the next day.
Springtails are harmless insects that end up in your bathroom while they’re looking for a damp area to hide.
They jump inside the bathroom through the vents or bathroom windows. Springtails from other areas of the house can also end up in your bathroom because they prefer wet and humid areas to live.
Eliminating the sources that attract springtails and sealing their entry points are keys to getting rid of springtails in homes and bathrooms.
However, you’ll also need to ensure that you treat your yard or garden for springtails because most springtails in the bathroom come from these areas.