We know that springtails eat just about anything (including molds!), but what eats springtails? Let’s find out which of your pets can consume springtails.
With more than 8,000 species of springtails around the world, these pests are extremely common.
If you have a springtail infestation in your garden or on your potted plants, you might want to bring in natural predators that can get rid of the pests. This is true more for your yard or garden plants since keeping predators in your home isn’t very convenient.
You might also be wondering whether springtails can serve as feeders for your pets. Well, no matter why you are curious about what eats springtails, let’s go and find out the facts!
Do Ladybugs Eat Springtails?
Yes, ladybugs love to eat springtails too. Ladybugs are one of the best generalist predators to keep in your garden.
Farmers and gardeners often buy ladybugs to protect their plants and crops from springtails, aphids, thrips, and other pests.
Ladybugs are harmless to humans and look quite beautiful due to their right colors.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Springtails?
No, bearded dragons prefer isopods, not springtails. If you have a pet bearded dragon at home, you might be thinking about feeding it springtails, but they probably won’t eat them.
But it’s a good idea to add springtails to their terrarium nonetheless. The springtails will clean up the terrarium by feeding on dead plant matter and thus provide a healthy environment for your pet.
Do Spiders Eat Springtails?
Spiders are rather well-known as insectivores, and small pests like springtails are a part of their diet. Spiders are excellent for natural pest control.
This is why it’s a good idea to let these eight-legged friends be if they are in your garden, as long as it doesn’t end up in a spider infestation.
However, keep in mind that it’s usually the non-web weaving spiders that prey on springtails.
Do Dart Frog Eat Springtails?
Yes, if you have pet dart frogs at home, you may feed them springtails. Like most frogs, dart frogs are insectivores and eat a variety of pests.
If you are keeping your dart frogs in a vivarium, the springtails can also serve as natural cleaners by helping decompose organic matter.
Do Larval Fish Eat Springtails?
Springtails are great for feeding your pet fish, adult, and larval alike. Besides springtails, larval fish also feed on microalgae, protozoa, copepods, etc.
It’s convenient to feed fish with springtails as these insects can keep floating on the surface of the water for hours. The fish can spot them easily and eat them.
Can Dance Flies Eat Springtails?
Dance flies do eat these pests, but only male dance flies are active predators of springtails. However, although female dance flies can’t hunt springtails, they eat them too.
The males often prey on springtails or other insects and gift them to the female dance flies as a part of their mating rituals.
What Birds Can Eat Springtails?
Small birds like the Lapland Longspurs and snow buntings often tend to feed on springtails. This is especially true in snowy regions, where the insects are prominently visible against the snow.
Do Lizards Eat Springtails?
Adult lizards may or may not eat springtails, as springtail species can often thrive in the same tank as your lizards. However, these tiny insects are an excellent choice for feeding young lizards.
What Else Eats Springtails?
Springtails have plenty of generalist and specialist predators in nature. In addition to the ones we spoke about, other springtail predators include shellfish, mites, gastropods, etc.
Insects such as beetles, wasps, ants, and bees prey on springtails and other pests too. Many of these natural predators are likely to be present in your garden already.
This is why you should try to stick to pest control measures that will specifically kill the pest you want to get rid of and not the helpful predators. You may even consider introducing new predators into your garden to keep the pest population under control.
Frequently asked questions
What animal eats springtails?
A vast spectrum of animals, ranging from small predatory insects to amphibians, feed on springtails. Frogs, lizards, wasps, beetles, fish, and small birds are some of the common predators.
What will kill springtails?
If you are trying to get rid of springtails by deploying natural predators, consider getting some ladybugs, predatory mites, frogs, or beetles. They will help eliminate the springtails by feeding on them.
Do predatory mites eat springtails?
Yes, predatory mites kill and feed on a vast range of pests, including springtails. This is why it’s good to have them in your garden. They can also eat harmful pests like thrips and fungus gnat larvae, which can cause immense damage to crops.
Do Hypoaspis miles eat springtails?
Springtails are a part of the diet of hypoaspis miles, a predatory mite species. These mites are especially good at keeping the soil surface free of springtails, as they tend to hunt on the soil.
Having springtails in your garden, terrarium, or vivarium isn’t a bad thing – these harmless insects help maintain the flow of nutrients by decomposing dead insects and other organic matter.
Such decomposers are a vital part of soil food webs and help maintain ecological balance. However, excess springtail reproduction can lead to an infestation, which might be problematic.
Springtails living on agricultural soils can damage roots by chewing them. Thank you for reading!
Over the years, our readers have sent us several emails on this topic. Please go through them below.
Letter 1 – Springtails
Bug ID help
Can you help me Id this insect?
size: 2-3mm Characteristics: it jumps when touch. Found in sink and water areas. I live in Solano county, california
Michael J. Nguyen
We often get descriptions of Springtails, but we never get images of the tiny guys. Thank you for your awesome shot. Springtails can get very numerous in wet areas. Your image looks like probably Isotoma viridis which is very widespread. The elongated body is distinctive.
Letter 2 – Springtails in the UK
Tiny aquatic insects
March 15, 2010
About a three weeks ago I noticed, what can only be described as, a “raft” in tiny insects floating in a bucket of rainwater at my front door. They are about 3-4mm in length and, when disturbed, dart around in the water before coming back togather again.
Longhope, Island of Hoy, Orkney, Scotland, UK
These are Springtails, primitive insects that are believed to be the most common arthropod on the planet. Springtails are highly diverse in their habitats depending upon the species. Some species are found on the surface of the snow and are known as Snow Fleas, and others are found on the surface of the ocean. Springtails similar to the ones you found are sometimes found in great numbers on the surface of swimming pools. Others are found in damp soil and in moldy conditions indoors.
Letter 3 – Springtail Link
Found Springtails in tub ! I keep finding these bugs in the bathtub and bathroom sinks of our new house in Dallas Texas. I cant seem to get rid of them. I searched the net to determine what but is it. From your website, I am fairly certain it is a Springtail. Thank you for having this cool website…. only one problem, your HTML code is full of bugs. A lot of info on Springtails to add to your site. Here is a link I found all about Springtails , the small bugs that I found in my bathtub. http://www.bugspray.com/article/springtail.html
Michael in DALLAS TEXAS
Thanks Michael. Our readers will appreciate this.
Letter 4 – Springtails
Subject: Tiny greyish swarming bugs in bathtub
August 10, 2015 7:00 pm
I came home to a small swarm of tiny grey bugs huddled around a small puddle in the bathtub. They don’t jump and they have antennae. Any ideas?
You have Springtails, and though they might be a nuisance when they are plentiful, they are benign creatures that like damp habitats where they feed on mold and mildew spores.
Letter 5 – Springtails in South Africa
Microscopic bugs in the swimming pool
November 28, 2009
Thousands of tiny insects in the swimming pool. Not on the grass, trees or flowers. Appear after big rains and hot days. Floating on water and very active once scooped out. They jump approx 10cm and they are 1 or 2 mm
Johannesburg, South Africa
We recently completed a section of our book where we talk about Springtails being the most common insects on the planet, with a worldwide distribution and adapting to varying habitats. There are several groups of Springtails that will become quite numerous and are fond of living on the surface of the water of swimming pools. You have Springtails.
Letter 6 – Springtails
Fantastic Website!!! I’m so glad I found you! for the past 3 yrs I’ve been trying to figure out what bug is in my shower every summer and immediately learned they were springtails from your website. You guys are great! So glad you’re out there for people like me. I also very much enjoyed the beautiful photos people have submitted and have a new appreciation for bugs considering i’m scared to death of them. thanks again and keep up the GREAT work!
Letter 7 – Springtail
tiny bug all over bathroom
I’ve had this little bug pop up in my bathroom this spring/summer in middle TN. They are very tiny, no more than a 16th of an inch, possibly a little smaller. They tend to crawl around, but have the ability to jump an inch or two quickly across the ground if they think they are threatened (sort of like a flea, but sticking to whatever surface they were on to begin with). In fact I thought they might be fleas at first as they seem to be about the same size, but upon closer inspection, do not move like fleas. I’m pretty sure they are elsewhere in the house, but they show up in the bathroom easiest due to the white floors and walls. I usually see 5 – 10 a night if I look for them, and I’ve found them on the walls as well as the floors and in the tub. Any clue what they are and how to remove them? The photo is a crop taken with a macro lens, to try and get enough detail for identification. Any help will be most appreciated, thanks!
This is a Springtail, a primitive insect that is generally associated with damp places. The species that often infests homes is Willowsia buski. It is found in bathrooms, basements and under kitchen sinks. BugGuide has additional photos, and we would bet that your Springtail stands a very good chance of being Willowsia buski. Nice detailed photo by the way.
Letter 8 – Globular Springtail
Would like to identify
Location: Upton, MA, USA
December 22, 2011 10:40 am
I have found thousands of these tiny insects outside in my ducks’ water dish. Brought a sample in and took a pic with my digital microscope. Thanks in advance!
Signature: Regards…Beth Towne
This is a Globular Springtail, possibly Dicyrtomina minuta which is pictured on BugGuide and listed as: “Very common in the UK. Probably an introduced species” in North America. Springtails are beneficial primitive insects that help break down organic material into humus, however, they can become a nuisance if they become too plentiful. They need damp conditions to survive.
Letter 9 – Globular Springtails
Subject: ID help please!
Geographic location of the bug: North Eastern CT, USA
Time: 08:28 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: Hello!
Sorry that they are dead, I just found these guys in a cup of water in my backyard. Can you help me figure out what they are?
How you want your letter signed: Curious in CT
Dear Curious in CT,
When we were renaming the digital image you sent, we realized that several years ago we posted another identification for Globular Springtails from Connecticut. Though they can become very numerous when conditions are favorable, Globular Springtails are benign creatures and they are no cause for concern.
Thank you SO much for your response (and all the great work you do!).
I am so happy to hear they are harmless. I found more in my bird bath and near my chicken coop so that’s a big relief.
Thanks again, have a great weekend!
Letter 10 – Globular Springtails
Subject: Tiny little bugs
Geographic location of the bug: South jersey
Time: 09:59 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: Hi, I noticed these tiny little black dots that move in my hot tub. Next day I see a ton of them by the door entrance to my house on the outside towards the deck.
One picture is of a bunch of them, the next one is cropped with just one.
How you want your letter signed: Mark
These appear to be Globular Springtails, benign creatures that often become a nuisance when they appear in large numbers. Interestingly, we just finished posting another inquiry regarding Globular Springtails, that also originated in New Jersey.