What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Purple masses
December 20, 2009
I have around my house 8-10 masses about 6 inches across of moving purple tiny bugs…they flip around 2or3 inches like fleas flip, though not far from the mass.
Tommy Walker
North Georgia

Springtails

Springtails

Dear Tommy,
You have had a real population explosion of Springtails, small primitive insects that are able to hop a great distance.  Though they are generally considered benign, they can become a nuisance when they enter homes.  The University of Minnesota has a nice website devoted to Springtails with much helpful information.  The website indicates:  “Springtails are thought to be the second most abundant group of soil-dwelling organisms in the world, only after the soil-dwelling mites. In general, springtails can have population densities ranging from 300 million to 1.4 billion per acre depending on factors such as humidity and organic matter content
.”

Update
December 22, 2009
We believe these may be in the genus Hypogastrura, based on images posted to BugGuide.

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

2 Responses to Springtail Population Explosion

  1. We have these in profusion atop puddles of snow melt. The color differs from your picture, ours being a deep purple. Under a 50 power microscope they appear to be a string of beads … I suppose our subspecies to be like the Canadian globular springtails. I would like to know more of these critters.

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