Unknown bug everywhere
I hope you can help me figure out what is the name of this bug. I’m worried because they’ve suddenly appeared in different parts of my house. I started out seeing them on the first floor, by the stairs coming up from the finished basement. Now I’m also seeing them upstairs on the second floor, on the ceiling of the loft and on pieces of paper on my computer desk. They’ve also been seen on the floor along the wall in the kitchen. They’re not very big, ranging from extremely tiny to small. I had to use the macro lens on my camera to get a decent picture. One picture is of one that I found on a sheet of paper on my desk that I killed. The other two were of another one walking along the loft ceiling. The two bugs look a little different but the antenna look the same. The dead one has the long things coming out of the tail end, which reminded me of a silverfish, but the live one did not. They also kind of smear like a silverfish if you kill them. Please help! I’m worried that they might be damaging the house or something. They’ve just started appearing in the last month or so.
Dave B, in Virginia
This is one of the over 2000 species of Springtail in the order Collembola. Most species, though a nuisance when they get plentiful, are benign, feeding on mold, decaying vegetation and algae. Algae feeders are often found in pools. Though they aren’t harmful, they might be symptomatic of a mold problem.