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WinterTails?

Tuesday December 13, 2011

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Mr Pest Control

Question:

Is it unusual to see Springtails (Snow Fleas) in the south during November/December? I had a customer last week that had a large amount of these little creatures around a garage.

Tim, GA

Mr Pest Control

Answer:

I don't think this would be at all unusual, and in fact California has been having unusually dry weather in December this year, with cold nights but very nice, sunny, and relatively warm daytime temperatures. Since all insects live through the winter in some way or another, some in their adult or nymph stages, a warm day could easily generate some activity on their part. My front yard faces south and it gets pretty toasty during the day, and I assume this warmth moves into the soil and under materials and mulch on the soil as well, bringing bugs out of hiding for awhile. Since you are in Georgia you too may be experiencing enough warmth during the day to activate these insects, and as you mention with their nickname of "snow fleas" they typically will be active at cool times of the year.


Since these are around a garage it also is possible there could be some interior source for them, so I wouldn't dismiss their presence as just one of those outdoor things. Since springtails are nearly always associated with moisture they sometimes are indicators of moisture problems within the structure. Perhaps the water heater is leaking, or some other plumbing leak that could even be hidden within walls or under slabs. It's at least worth the second look to be sure that they are only from the outside in this case. 

Mr. Pest Control

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