If you're seeing tiny, springing insects in your yard, it is likely that you're seeing springtails. It is rare to find fleas springing around in the yard. A flea will wait in a cocooned state for a host to pass by, and then break free from its cocoon to jump on the host. It is selective in when it will do this because it wants to survive. It would need to see warm, exposed skin on your body. It isn't going to try to leap on your clothing. So it would be strange to see several fleas springing around in your yard. You would have to stumble upon a location where several fleas left their cocoons for a host and the host got away. Springtails, on the other hand, are commonly seen outside. They congregate together in damp areas and begin springing into the air when they are disturbed. They don't have to worry about successfully leaving a cocoon to jump on a host. They feed on organic matter. Understanding the behavior patterns of fleas and springtails helps to make identification easy but there are circumstances that can throw you a curveball. You may have to capture one of those insects and examine it to see if it is a flea or a springtail.
How do you capture a springing insect?
If there are enough of them, you can just lay a piece of tape down on them and snatch a few up. You may also leave a sticky trap in the area and catch some. If neither of these work, you might have to attract them to a trap to catch them. Insects are drawn to warmth. If you set up a light with a shallow bowl of soapy water underneath, you're likely to catch some of those pests. They'll jump toward the light bulb and fall into the soapy water.
Once you have a specimen, you'll need to inspect it. One of the easiest ways to differentiate a flea from a springtail is to look for antennae. Springtails have obvious antennae. The antennae on fleas are difficult to see. You may also examine the coloration. Fleas are reddish-brown. Springtails are multi-colored.
These two characteristics should help you figure out what insect you're dealing with in your yard, but if you need a second opinion, we're happy to help. We can come and take a look or you can send a specimen to us and we'll have an in-house entomologist take a look at it. Our service team members are very familiar with the pests that plague our customers in Hendersonville and throughout Middle Tennessee.
When Springtails or Fleas Get In
Both of these insects get into our homes mostly during the warm months of the year, May and June being their most active months. Springtails get in through gaps and cracks in exterior walls when they are lured near homes by damp conditions and are commonly found around window sills and potted plants. Seal your exterior walls and dry your foundation perimeter to reduce these insects. Fleas get into homes by hitchhiking on animals. While rodents can bring fleas into any home, homeowners with pets are more susceptible to flea infestations because pets don't just bring fleas in, they bring them up close and personal. Flea control products for your pets are the frontline defense against flea infestations.
If you ever have trouble with fleas or springtails, remember that All-American Pest Control is available to assist you with industry-leading pest control. Reach out to us for immediate assistance.