Chubby Springtails

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Hi What’s That Bug,

There are thousands in my backyard on the concrete and my pest control professional can’t figure it out what this infestation is. Please help me identify this bug. Is it a spider beetle? Do they bite children?


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Hi Marci,

This is a great find, and I was pleasantly surprised to see this little guy. I knew I had seen this species somewhere in the back of my head, but I couldn’t quite make sense of what I was seeing. My first thought was, “Is this an aphid?” but then I eliminated that option, as it didn’t have any cornicles on its abdomen (Those act like exhaust pipes that spit out honeydew!).

It took me a bit, but then I remembered that there is a family of springtails called globular springtails. They are more on the chubby side of the springtails. This one, in particular, is most likely in the genus Pterothrix, but I can’t be 100% sure of the species.

Springtails can sometimes become a pest because they come out in early spring by the hundreds and thousands. They don’t bite and aren’t harmful at all. They are called springtails because they have a unique spring-like under their abdomen that they can flick to propel themselves forward. Sometimes, springtails come out in fresh snow and look like jump bits of dust on the white powder.

There’s a good reason why your technician couldn’t identify it. It doesn’t look like your typical springtail! But no worries, it won’t cause any problems for your children.

Dr. Bolton, PhD


Tags: Springtails

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