Springtails are tiny bugs who love a humid habitat. They’re typically found in your backyard’s compost, soil, and moist areas. However, they could be found in your home as well. While they aren’t harmful to animals, humans, and plants, they could be a nuisance when found in massive quantities. They can leap, and if disturbed, you’ll witness the entire group of them jump up in one go. This could be not comforting. The best way to get rid of springtails in your soil is to determine where they hide.
Within the home, You’ll see them in damp areas like bathrooms, the damp kitchen or basement and the frames of windows and doors, leaf litter, and even potted plants. The springtail isn’t a major cause of damage; however, their huge numbers can be a nuisance. They can eat the roots of plants and reduce the plant’s toughness. Are springtails harmful? They’re not harmful to humans and aren’t a nuisance to bite. Here we will discuss how to get rid of springtails in your soil.
What are springtails
Hexapods are springtails. Hexapods are arthropods that have six legs. There are two main Hexapod families: the insects and springtails (or Entognatha). They have three segments on their thorax. They are called the mesothorax and pro-thorax and the meat and the metathorax. Each segment is a pair of legs that total at least six. Springtails range from 1/16th and 1/8th of a centimeter in size. They’re also wingless. Springtails are available in shades like brown, gray, white and black. They’re cylindrical and shape-wise. All species of springtail have mouths that retract inside their heads. Some species also have mouths that look like needles. They also have eight creepy eyes. They also have eight eyes. Unique attributes. Springtails can jump a considerable distance by using their tails.
Their tails are tucked under their stomachs. They also have eight creepy eyes. However, these aren’t unique characteristics. Springtails can leap a great distance with just their tails. Their tails are located beneath their stomachs. They are appendages of forks called formulas. When something is frightened by an animal’s springtail, fluid flows into the furcula. It flows to the base of the furcula. The springtails are attracted by damp places and soil that is damp. They don’t like dry conditions. It is crucial to keep this in mind when considering ways to eliminate springtails.
How to get rid of springtails in your soil
Let the soil dry 2 inches (5cm) and use less water to eliminate springtails. Make use of potting soil that contains peat and a damp sponge to remove springtails. Spray your plants or soil in oxygenated bleach (sodium percarbonate) with a spray bottle. Alternately, you can mix water, neem oil, and apple cider vinegar. This will cause the springtails to be burnt. It is also possible to make a cover with diatomaceous earth and then decorate the container with DE dust. Follow the below steps to get rid of springtails in your soil.
An informative guide to read: How to get rid of mealybugs on succulents
Watering plants less frequently
If you notice a springtail infestation within your house plants, allow the soil in your potting pot dry before irrigation of your garden. The springtails don’t like dry soil and can interrupt their natural habitat and cycle of reproduction. The reduction of moisture issues can make the springtail population at your home temporary. Consider watering the entire area from the bottom by allowing the plants to “wick up” water.
Spray these nesting sites with an insect growth regulator
Most insecticides you can purchase to control springtails do not effectively eradicate the problem. It is better to stop the growth cycle by using an insect growth regulator like Azadirachtin. This chemical can disrupt insect growth by cutting them off. It blocks their synthesis and metabolism. It is derived from the neem plant. Therefore, you can consider spraying the nesting areas with a mix of neem oil with water. Cedar essential oil has been proven effective in treating springtail colonies. Be sure to use only essential cedar oil that hasn’t been cleansed.
Periodic inspection and removal
Look for any signs of springtail infestation on the edges of pots and exposed root crowns of the plants where the pests gather. Examining pots and potting soil regularly and eliminating plants with infestations aids in springtail management by lowering their population. It also allows you to identify other garden pests lurking in your home or garden.
Treat your soil with diatomaceous earth
Diatomaceous earth is made up of sedimentary rocks and fossilized phytoplankton bones. When insects walk over the surface, they are cut by their sharp edges. The body fluids escape and cause the loss of water. Thus, insects eventually die. It is recommended to apply this product to dry soil if possible. If the soil becomes humid, the diatomaceous earth will dissolve into the soil instead of resting on top.
When you’ve discovered a springtail’s nesting spot, you can sprinkle the powder directly on and around the area. If springtails come into contact with the powder, they will absorb the fats from their outer layer. This will cause them to dehydrate. Be sure to use diatomaceous earth of food quality that doesn’t contain silica. This latter ingredient utilized in filters for swimming pools is dangerous if you take it in your lungs.
Many insecticides designed to kill/repel springtails fail to work. The most effective method of control comes from controlling the amount of moisture. Additionally, liquid insecticides may produce adverse reactions in those who spray the chemical because of the active components.
Turn over your mulch and compost frequently
Springtails are known to construct their nests beneath mulch or in compost piles, particularly if they contain lots of water. If you regularly turn over your compost or mulch often and expose the eggs to drying conditions. This could disrupt the cycle of reproduction. If you’re experiencing an issue with springtails in your soil, you should avoid adding additional mulch. Then, at the very least, try all of the methods listed above. The soil will be exposed and let dry out. When this is done, the springtails leave in search of areas that are damper, and you can add more mulch.
Aerate your lawn to remove thatch
If your lawn is compact, there will be an overhang of thick thatch just over the soil. This is the ideal place to breed springtails. Therefore, you must aerate the lawn to remove the thatch, allow the water to run off into the soil and then away.
Clean up areas of leaf litter
It’s essential to wash all areas of your yard where leaves are likely to build up. Springtails are attracted to the moist, decaying litter. You can add this litter to your compost because it’s rich in nutrients once it begins to decompose. A composter that has a secure lid is a great idea. A compost tumbler can be better since you can turn it often to air out the decomposing material. If there is an unfenced compost pile, regularly turn it over using a garden fork. This will aid in the decomposition process. It can also deter springtails from growing within your pile.
Get rid of springtails in your soil with the use of cedar essential oil
A different method to get rid of springtails in your soil is using the essential oil of the cedar. Make sure your plants are treated in your yard with this natural oil. Do not use aromatherapy or cosmetic cedar oil since they’re not purified and usually come from different varieties of cypress trees. Cedar oil is designed to eliminate parasites, including the springtail—the cedar fog machine to reach the hidden cracks and crevices.
Read more: How to get rid of termites in mulch
Inspect plants before buying
Most of the time, springtail bugs are found in plants in pots. Examining the potting mix before purchasing will ensure that the plants don’t arrive home already with the pest infestation. Utilizing your fingers, gently push or press down on the potting mix and be on the lookout for “jumping” springtails.
Use of food-grade diatomaceous earth
To rid your garden of spider mites, springtails, and other bugs, sprinkle DE on your plants’ pots. If the problem continues, you can try using biodegradable and non-toxic soil spray to repel or kill insects. If you do this, it is possible that you need to apply it more than once to test the results. Another option to consider is Bifen granules to control.
How springtails attack to plant
Anywhere you can find springtails, You can be certain they’re feeding on the plant’s roots. The reason is that most people look for methods to get rid of springtails. However, they favor the decaying root often. The springtails can also feed upon fungi, algae and even mold. Springtails aren’t going to cause harm to your plant. They aren’t able to harm your plant in the long run. They could harm your plant, but they can rebound once the pest is gone.
Since they feed off roots, there can be some negative effects on your plants. The roots take care of the majority of the work for your plant. They take in the water and nutrients, which they then pass across with the rest of the body. When they are slurped on, their leaves begin to turn yellow and brown. Most plants recuperate from root damage, so they don’t exceed 1/4th of the root. Springtails aren’t likely to cause this amount of damage.
Although springtails aren’t harmful to animals, humans, and plants, they could cause trouble if they are allowed to reproduce in large numbers. Although it’s unlikely you’ll be able to rid your garden of pests completely, there are steps you can adopt to eradicate these pests from your soil. One of the most crucial things you could do is let the soil dry between watering. Clean off any leaves or debris, and then regularly turn your compost and mulch. Do you have alternative tried and tested methods to get rid of springtails in your soil? Do not forget to share them in the comments below.