What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Millions of snow bugs!
Location: Eastern Ontario,
January 4, 2016 7:17 am
Saw thousands, maybe millions of little black specks in the snow around trees generally, and they are actually tiny bugs. They seem to be falling from the sky, but more likely the trees. What the heck are they?
Signature: Jon Paul

Snow Fleas

Snow Fleas

Dear Jon Paul,
We are very thrilled to be able to post your documentation of cold tolerant Springtails commonly called Snow Fleas.  Springtails are benign creatures that can become a nuisance if they are too plentiful, but they pose no threat to people, pets, dwellings or plants.  There are very few creatures that are active during winter weather with below freezing temperatures, but Snow Fleas are not deterred by either snow or cold.

Snow Fleas

Snow Fleas

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: Ontario, Canada

2 Responses to Snow Fleas from Canada

  1. F. Felix says:

    It’s probably adaptive for arthropods to be active in winter: migratory birds are gone, a lot of rodents are hibernating, other insects are dormant. Less chance of being eaten! You also see winter stoneflies on the snow, but not much else (at least here in the central Sierra Nevada).

    I wonder why more insects don’t do this?

    • Rob says:

      Maybe because there is precious little food for them? I wonder what they subsist on? My observation of these springtails (millions in Whistler) was that they crawl around on apparently pristine snow. Remarkable!

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