Currently viewing the category: "Springtails!"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What’s this bug?
Location: Queens, NY
March 15, 2015 2:27 pm
Hello,
I live in an apartment in Queens, NY and we have these little bugs swarming on our kitchen counter, close to the wall. They’re close to the sink. We also see them on the edge of the sink in our bathroom.
They’re pretty calm, but dart around when you bother them (like when I took their picture).
Do you know what these are? Thank you!
Signature: E

Springtail

Springtail

Dear E,
This is a Springtail, arguably the most common hexapod on the planet.  Springtails are beneficial creatures that help break down organic matter, and though they are fine in nature and in the garden, they can become a nuisance indoors.  Springtails thrive under damp conditions, and since you are finding them near the sink, we can’t help but wonder if you have a leaky pipe that is causing problems inside the walls.  If mold is growing, it can be acting as a food source for the Springtails.  You might want to get the plumbing checked.

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Termite alates?
Location: Southern Vermont
March 11, 2015 6:20 am
Dear Mr. Bugman,
I just returned from traveling the past week to find a swarm of these small, wingless insects on my firewood stack. It’s been relatively warm (in the 30s to 40s) and wet here the past week. I’ve been trying to identify them. They look like de-winged subterranean termite swarmers, but they’re tiny! (1st pic.) The section of my finger showing is one inch long at most (2nd pic), so I’d say these little fellas are a couple mm long at most. They’re also just hanging out all over certain sections of the walls of my shed (3rd pic). Curious to hear your thoughts.
Thank you very much!
Signature: D

Springtails

Springtails

Dear D,
This would have been an easy identification for us even without your excellent close up image, and we are thrilled to be able to post a nice quality image of a single SpringtailSpringtails are arguably the world’s most common hexapods, and they are benign creatures, though they can become a nuisance when conditions are favorable and their populations swell.

springtail

springtail

Mr. Marlos,
Thank you very much for your help, and I’m very glad to hear you enjoyed my photo! (I took it through a hand lens, which evidently works.) I didn’t notice this before I e-mailed you, but after being outside more I can see that they are *everywhere*. I can understand why they’re known as snow fleas.
Best,
David

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Subject: 1,000 species challenge
Location: Brighouse, West Yorkshire, England
January 12, 2015 6:57 am
Hello bug man. I have set myself a challenge to get a good photograph of 1,000 species of animal life before I die. Occasionally, as would be expected, I come across a few I cannot identify. I have just identified an elongate bodied springtail from photos on your website, but there are still 2 photographs from the same date I have not yet identified. I was wondering if you could help me identify them. The first (evil brown looking thing) was discovered under a rock with 2 woodlice, the elongate bodied springtail and a garden slug. The second (little yellow bug) was discovered under a damp piece of wood less than 50 meters away. There were several individuals, all very very small. I understand that I may not get a response, but I thank you all the same. God bless,
– Jay
Signature: I’ve no idea what this field means

Elongate Bodied Springtail

Elongate Bodied Springtail

Dear Jay,
First we hope you are planning a long life that would extend beyond the 1000 species goal as that is not a terribly large number of species.  We believe both of your images are of Springtails, even the “evil brown looking thing” which somewhat resembles the large Springtail in the image on the Royal Horticultural Society site.  The yellow critter looks like a Globular Springtail which is pictured on the Matt Cole Photography site.

Globular Springtail

Globular Springtail

Dear Daniel,
Thank you for your help. Having looked at images of your suggestions, I believe you are most likely right :) Thank you very much. Yes, I know there are far more than 1,000 species out there, and I’d shoot them all if I could :P With your identifications, I have now reached 201 species. Thank you so much for taking the time to identify the bugs.
God bless,
– Jay Zeke Malakai

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Subject: swarming black tiny bugs
Location: Southcoast MA
January 4, 2015 1:12 pm
wonder if these are springtails or something else?
Signature: Liz

Probably Snow Fleas

Probably Snow Fleas

Dear Liz,
There is not enough detail in your image, even when enlarged, to reveal the identity of individual insects, but we believe these are most likely Springtails.  Springtails that become active on sunny days in the winter, even with snow on the ground, are called Snow Fleas.
  Since we will be out of the office for a spell, we are postdating your submission to go live in our absence later in the month.

Probably Springtails, AKA Snow Fleas

Probably Springtails, AKA Snow Fleas

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: White bug in room?
Location: Wooden bedside table in room
January 2, 2015 7:05 am
Hello, I recently have been seeing these small, long white bugs all over my bed side table, I have a fish tank on it that they hide under, there are big and small ones all over it only at night, can you tell me what they are?
Signature: From Erin

Springtail

Springtail

Dear Erin,
The location field on our submission form should be used to specify the country, state or city where the sighting occurred as that is often a tremendous assistance in identifications.  This appears to be a Springtail, a primitive hexapod in the class Collembola, and they are frequently found in damp dark locations where they feed on fungus, mold and similar growths.  Water splashed from your aquarium is probably contributing to a habitable environment for the Springtails.  Though they can be a nuisance when they are plentiful, Springtails are considered to be benign or beneficial depending upon where they are found.

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Subject: Not bedbugs!
Location: West Lafayette, Indiana
June 12, 2014 9:06 pm
Hi,
I found at least 10-15 of these little guys crawling around on my sheets tonight within the span of an hour. They’re very very tiny, maybe a 10th of the size of the tip of a match. They’re orange/light brown and don’t seem to fly. While they don’t actually jump, they move quickly for their tiny size and what seems like a little jump. I can only find about one every few minutes that’s actually alive, but there are maybe 10 dead ones throughout my sheets too. Any ideas? My window is open 24/7. Could they be coming from outside? I haven’t had any bites or itchy bumps either. They seem to be harmless but are definitely creepy. Please let me know if you can figure these guys out!
Signature: Sarah K

Springtail

Springtail

Hi Sarah,
While we cannot make out any detail in your image, based on the description you have provided, we are quite certain this is a harmless and benign Springtail.  They like moist conditions.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination