Can termites jump like fleas


Facts, Identification and Control

Latin Name


Springtails are very small insects that jump around when disturbed, much like fleas. When the insect is disturbed, the furcula is released causing the insect to be flung into the air. One jump can cover 10 centimeters.

How Did I Get Springtails?

Often mistaken for fleas, these small, jumping pests come indoors during dry weather or after a heavy rain. While they can live in any climate, springtails seek out moisture, dampness, and humidity. They are also attracted to light, and all of these things might lead them into a home.

How Serious Are Springtails?

Springtails are just a nuisance; they do not cause damage or harm. However, if the pests find an appropriate breeding place inside, they will gather in large numbers and this may cause immense frustration and stress for residents. While keeping homes dry and sealing leaks or cracks helps, their sheer numbers can overwhelm casual removal efforts.

How Do You Get Rid of Them?

If you suspect you have a springtail problem, contact your pest management professional and ask for an inspection and pest identification. If your pest management professional determines the culprits are springtails, he or she will prepare an integrated treatment program designed to provide educational information plus effective nonchemical and chemical control measures.

As mentioned above, springtails usually are not a major exterior problem. However, when their exterior habitat begins to dry, these insects will often move inside. Therefore, your springtail treatment plan will likely focus on what is needed for both exterior and interior springtail treatment.

Exterior treatment if needed may include:

  • Locating where persistent, excessive moisture occurs and taking actions to reduce the amount of moisture there. For example, your pest management professional might recommend fixing any moisture leaks or areas of excessive water runoff from downspouts, reducing the thickness of moisture holding mulch or leaf litter and removing any wet wood or other debris. In some situations, using a labeled chemical product in areas where springtails are especially numerous and around the locations they use to enter the building may be required.

Interior treatment when needed may include:

    Locating, drying out and treating places with excessive moisture, especially if the moist condition harbors mold or mildew growth. Such locations may include dampness around tubs and sinks or ins >Tap here to give us a call: Call 844-513-0873

Signs of a Springtail Infestation

If springtails have been a problem in the kitchen, start inspecting under the sink. Empty the cabinet and check the drainpipe. If it has been leaking, there could be mold or mildew present. Dry the cabinet completely to discourage the springtails.

If springtails have been active in the bathroom, start the inspection under the sink. Also inspect the trap behind the tub for leaking pipes. Examine tile walls carefully. If there is missing grout, mildew can develop behind the tiles.


In the basement, check the walls for dampness. It may be necessary to get a waterproofing compound for the basement walls. The specialists at the home store can point out the right product. A dehumidifier can be helpful to get rid of dampness in a basement.

Behavior, Diet & Habits

Their normal habitat is the interface between soil and plant debris, but may be found almost anywhere there is high moisture content. Springtails normally live in damp soil. They are common in flowerbeds, under logs, paving stones and landscape timbers. Woodpiles are also a common place for springtails to hide.

What do they eat?

Springtails feed on mold and fungi, another reason why they prefer moist habitats. Read more about their habitat.


Do they bite? Springtails do not bite or sting people. They do not damage buildings or the contents. They develop quickly. It is common to find springtails in very large numbers. The fact that there can be thousands of jumping insects in an area can be very distressing to homeowners.

When the dampness is corrected, the springtails disappear very quickly. Eliminating dampness is very important in preventing or eliminating springtails. A thorough inspection is the first step.


Springtail males place a sperm-containing structure on the ground called a spermatophore. Females then inseminate themselves with it. Females deposit individual eggs or clusters of eggs in damp locations. Life cycle from egg to adult varies, depending on species.

Prevention Tips

Look for damp places where springtails could occur.

Stack firewood up off of the ground and move it away from the house.

Move mulch away from the foundation. Create a bare zone next to the foundation of 15 cm or more. If the zone is dry and free of leaves and mulch, springtails and other pests will not find it as attractive.

Make sure gutters are cleaned out. Downspouts should drain away from the foundation.

If necessary, trim tree limbs that cause damp shady areas near the foundation.

Check exterior doors to be sure they close properly. Replace weather stripping that is missing or damaged.

Check crawl space vents to be sure they are open to allow air circulation. Access openings into crawl spaces should have a door that closes tightly.

When the dampness has been eliminated, the springtails will leave quickly or they will die.

Springtails vs. Fleas

Springtails or Fleas?

Despite both fleas and springtails possessing the ability to jump, there are many important differences between these two insects that will help to identify if you are dealing with a springtail or a flea.


Biology and Habitat

Flea adults are blood-feeding insects that have piercing mouthparts which enables the insect to bite. Infestations of fleas usually are the result of an infested pet that spends most of its time inside.

Flea eggs are laid on the host and when the eggs hatch, the larval stage drops off the host and seeks a hidden, protective location to develop into the pupal stage.

Flea pupa are immobile and when the pupal stage has sufficiently developed, they will become adult fleas, which will jump on a host, feed on blood and produce another batch of flea eggs.

SpringtailsSpringtails normal habitat is in the soil, but they can be found in other places where the moisture content is high. They are common in:

  • Woodpiles
  • Flowerbeds
  • Under logs and landscape stones

Springtails are usually outdoor critters, but if outside conditions become too dry for them, they will move inside where conditions are more humid. Typical indoor locations include:

They are very hard to see unless they jump. Springtails feed on mold and fungi and do not bite.

Damage and Health Implications

Fleas are also transmitters of diseases for both pets and humans and may cause allergic reactions as the result of their bites.


Springtails do not bite and their impact on homeowners is limited to being a nuisance. However, springtails located inside a home may indicate moisture from a plumbing leak, leaking roof or some kind of a moisture source that caused mold and mildew.

So, whenever springtails or fleas become a problem, contact Orkin for science-based, integrated plans for controlling these pests.

Springtail Infestation

How to Tell if Your Home Is Infested With Springtails

Scientists have identified more than 500 species of springtails in the United States and Canada. Most of them are tiny insects. Depending on the species, they range from 1/32” to almost 1/8” in length.

In their normal outdoor habitat, most springtails live in moist or damp environments. They will dehydrate fairly quickly if their environment turns dry. Springtails eat fungi, algae, and bacteria that they find in their environment.

Springtails occur in great numbers. Scientists have found as many as 30,000 springtails per square meter of planted fields. They found as many as 50,000 springtails per cubic foot of forest litter.

Where Are They Found?

In urban areas, springtails are found on golf courses, in gardens, in parks and in greenhouses. They have even been found in offices, malls and hotels where they have been brought in with potted plants.

Around homes, springtails are found in gardens and flowerbeds. They live under mulch and leaf litter. They are common around swimming pools. They also live in water meter boxes, around ponds, under landscape timbers and even under dog houses.

How Do They Get in the House?

Springtails prefer an outdoor environment that is damp and has plenty of mold and organic debris to feed on. However, if their outdoor habitat becomes too dry, springtails may move indoors seeking a more supportive habitat through openings around and under doors. Once inside, they will seek out and occupy areas of dampness and mold such as a basement, bathroom or kitchen.

Sometimes new homes are infested by springtails shortly after the home is finished. This is ordinarily the result of construction materials that are damp and support mold growth that attracts springtails to the wall voids or other hidden locations inside the home. Also, springtails may be introduced to the property in infested mulch and natural, waste-based fertilizers that are spread on the grounds.

Springtails become very active when their environment starts to dry. As they hop, they are able to enter homes. They enter through basement windows, crawlspace vents, and garage doors. Springtails are able to crawl under doors that have damaged weather-stripping.

Sometimes Mistaken for Fleas

When springtails invade, homeowners often mistake them for something else. Many homeowners think these tiny, jumping insects are fleas.

Springtails Seek Moisture

When springtails move into a home, they usually go into areas where they can find moisture. Kitchens, bathrooms and laundry rooms are common springtail habitats. Homeowners often find springtails in sinks and behind appliances.

Springtails also seek out areas where pipes have been leaking. Plumbers have found springtails in walls and under floors. They had been living in wet sheetrock and feeding on fungus and mildew.

Homeowners have also found springtails in damp basements, in garages and in storage sheds. Springtails infest boxes of stored items and even in upholstered furniture that has gotten wet. These damp items provide the mold or mildew that the springtails need for food.

The Orkin Man™ is trained to help homeowners get rid of springtails. He uses Orkin’s exclusive Assess, Implement and Monitor (A.I.M.) system. With the A.I.M. system, the Orkin Man™ designs a solution specifically for your home’s unique situation.

During the Assessment phase, he will identify the causes of the problem. And during every follow-up visit, he will be on the lookout for any changes to your home or landscape that might allow springtails to reinfest.

For more information or to schedule an inspection, please contact your local Orkin branch office.

What Are These Tiny Creatures That Look Like Fleas?

What Are These Tiny Creatures That Look Like Fleas?

If you are seeing tiny jumping insects in your Georgia home, you may be tempted to think they are fleas. But, if those tiny jumping insects aren’t biting anyone, you may be dealing with a little critter called a springtail. Springtails are fascinating bugs that are less than a half a millimeter in length. That is about the size of the period (at the bottom of the exclamation point) at the end of this sentence!

Here are several other facts you may find interesting about springtails.

  • In one square yard of soil, there may be more than 10,000 springtails!
  • Springtails, as their name suggests, are very good jumpers. A springtail has a unique feature on its tail, a tiny, two-pronged lever beneath its abdomen that allows it to spring a full six inches into the air. That is the equivalent of a human being jumping over the Eiffel Tower!
  • These bugs must keep moist at all times, as drying out is fatal to them. They come equipped with a special grooming dispenser that has fluid inside it that they spread over their bodies to keep moist. They also have two inflatable tubes which help them get at all those hard-to-reach places.
  • If a springtail jumps and happens to land upside down, they use their grooming fluid dispenser to stick on the ground so they can get themselves back upright.
  • Most of the time these creatures live in the soil, but sometimes they move into homes. They are commonly found under landscape timbers, paving stones, and wood piles. If they are inside, it is because they have found a nice moist area and, once established, they will begin to reproduce.

What can you do if you have discovered springtails in your home?

Although springtails do not bite, sting, or cause damage to belongings it can be distressing for you to see thousands of them jumping around in one area. So it is important to know how to get rid of them. If they are in your home, chances are you have a dampness problem, since they require a lot of moisture to survive. Here are a few things that may get rid of springtails:

  • Clean out gutters and downspouts.
  • Trim back bushes or trees that are against your house creating damp areas.
  • Create a bare zone around your home that is dry and free of leaves.
  • Use a waterproofing compound for your basement walls.
  • Look for the cause of dampness in your home and remove the moisture. Fix leaky pipes, remove damp items, and dry out wet areas with fans or dehumidifiers.
  • Contact a professional pest-control company.

At Allgood Pest Solutions we offer FREE inspections from friendly, experienced pest experts who will be able to identify all pest activity and recommend an appropriate course of action. Whether you have a springtail invasion, or any other household pest, Allgood can help. No matter how fascinating pests may be, they do not belong in your home. Get help today.

What Are These Tiny Creatures That Look Like Fleas? in Atlanta & Knoxville Metros and Surrounding Areas

Serving Clients in Atlanta GA and Knoxville TN

“flea like bugs that jump but are not fleas”

I have these flea-like bugs in the thousands that thrive on my outside window sills (which are rotten and soon to be replaced) but these nasty little guys have found their way into my house! And every night I have to do a mad spree of “containing” them (trust me, I don’t even pick flowers because I don’t believe in hurting living things! But these guys are smushed habitually! if they don’t jump away first!). They are found all over my blinds, on all window ledges and even on my baseboards next to the floor. They seem to like crevices. They are about the size of a flea, rather flat, and long, and jump like a flea but do not have an exoskeleton. They are grey with small antenna. They range in size from tiny almost microscopic to about the size of an adult flea maybe a tiny bit larger (the largest ones that is). Their size is rather inconsistent. They stay rather motionless until you knock where they are standing and then they all scatter and/or jump. There are thousands on the outside of my windows and i usually kill at least a hundred per night. They seem to come out more at night. They really gross me out and I even found a few on my pillow lately, as my bed backs up to a window…gross. My two exterminators over the last three years have no idea what they are. I live in Alabama. Do you have any idea what these could be? Any leads would be greatly appreciated. I found you through google by searching “flea like bugs that jump but are not fleas”. Can’t believe I got any hits from that! My biggest fear is that I replace my windows (which has to be done anyhow, they’re 65 years old) and they will still be here, cause they’re on my baseboards too! Yuck! Thanks you so much for your time and knowledge.

Hi Anna,
I’m guessing Springtails, primitive insects from the Order Collembola. They can get extremely plentiful and like damp conditions. We have a page devoted to them. Go to the left side of the homepage and click Springtails in the alphabatized list. Sorry, we don’t have extermination advice, but at least now you know what they are.

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107 Responses to “flea like bugs that jump but are not fleas”

I cannot believe no one replied! I am also in search of this answer! Wish I could post a pic but I don’t have a pro camera that zooms in THAT close.

You should look at the photos in our Springtails category. This is a very old posting and there was no photo. See:

I have them too, and they are driving my dogs crazy. I first started noticing them last year, and I had some bug spray with the pump and hose, and I sprayed it slowly walking from side to side in my living room and I never saw them again. This year they are worse!! No matter where I go in my house I end up with these bugs jumping all over me. My dogs are literally bloody from biting and scratching. I took a wet paper towel and wiped my min pins back and I had at least 20 or more of these bugs on me just from that. I guess I need to get more of that bug spray I had and see if it works as good as it did last year. I ran out of the spray and I don’t have a car right now or these babies would be gone by now…hopefully!

I guess this will notify you too.
I took a picture of one beside a penny, because those macro portraits they don’t look much like what my eyes see. They are really tiny, – pepper speck for sure.

I have no dog so i knew these were not fleas but they’re really annoying sometimes i feel something crawling on me and i look down and it is a tiny little bug and i smush it sometimes it lives and hops off itz reaoly annoying

That’s me exactly Jen! I’m losing my frickin mind! I dread going to sleep cause I’m always moving cause I feel like somethings on me but can’t see nothing when I look! But today I did see a little fruit fly looking thing floating in my lemonade then I finally saw one on my arm! When I went to smack it, it moved so quick to another spot, kinda like a quick jump, was tiny, grey, and had little wings! WTF is it & what do I do.

I’m losing my frickin mind all so. In my bed at night, around the house. Most are barely visible, but jump on me and move quickly, imposable to squish. They are dark. The description of springtail doesn’t seem to fit. What do I do?

what the hell are they doing in your bed there are outside insects

They look like hopping specks of pepper! And some of them are clear looking. I gotta do something! I’ve had my one dog for 9 years, never one flea on him and now the poor thing is miserable! I wonder if borax would work? or salt. They work on fleas…

I have these annoying things.. mainly because my carpet got a drink knocked over and went all mildew crazy. It seams they favor damp places but i find them jumping all over my computer monitors at times. They almost look like the jump and fly very short distances then jump again.. so it’s pretty similar to your description. Did you ever get a clear answer?

I have the same bugs out on my porch my exterminator said spring tails but what ever he sprayed didn’t faze them I’ve sprayed with everytg there still out there .now their in my mail box there’s no wood any where near my mail box .ive looked at all the pictures no way is it any thing I’ve seen there’s no way you could take a picture bc so tiny maybe under a microscope.i live in Tennessee.also I don’t dig up soil around my home all my flowers are in pots someone told me they live in soil and eat mulch ,well that don’t fly either I have rock around my foundation.if anyone finds a name for these flea like bug please email me .thanks peg

I could be wrong, but I don’t think that’s what the bugs I’m seeing are. They don’t look anything like the pictures. They seriously look like jumping pepper flakes. And the older ones that are bigger, actually look very close to fleas.

NOOOO. BORAX is LETHAL to dogs. Be careful!

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