Springtails are tiny, harmless insects that can be a nuisance in the home.
They often enter homes through cracks and crevices near windows or doors and can be found in moist areas like the kitchen or bathroom.
While they do not bite or sting, they can be a nuisance because they can quickly infest your home.
If you have noticed tiny white insects jumping around your houseplants, chances are you have a springtail infestation.
Here is an easy guide on how to get rid of springtails in houseplants and keep your home free of these plant pests.
Are Springtails Bad for Houseplants?
Springtails are small, wingless insects that are often found near sources of excess moisture.
While they do not cause much harm to plants, springtails may damage plant roots if they are present in large numbers.
While they are not known to transmit diseases, they can become a nuisance for indoor gardeners if their numbers get out of control.
The main problem with springtails is their ability to reproduce quickly and infest your home in large numbers.
This can be a problem if you have houseplants kept in humid conditions, as springtails are attracted to moisture.
While they are not harmful to humans or animals, some people don’t want them in their homes.
They are unsightly and can be challenging to get rid of once they’ve taken up residence in your potting mix.
How To Tell if Your Houseplants Have Springtails
The first step in getting rid of springtail bugs is to confirm that your houseplants have an infestation.
Springtails are very small, ranging in size from 1-2mm.
Its color can be anything from white to brownish-grey, and they have a cylindrical shape.
One of the most distinguishing features of springtails is their forked “tail,” which allows them to jump long distances.
If you suspect that your houseplants have springtails, there are simple ways to confirm this.
The first is to look at the potting mix or soil around your plant.
Springtails will often congregate in these areas since they are attracted to moisture.
If you see any small white insects jumping around, you likely have a springtail infestation.
Another way to confirm that your houseplants have springtails is to place a piece of tape or cardboard over the potting mix.
Check the tape or cardboard after a few hours.
If you see any tiny white bugs on the tape or cardboard, this is a good indicator that you have springtails in your potting mix.
Another way to tell if your houseplants have springtails is by their damage.
While they don’t eat plants, springtails can cause damage by chewing on plant roots.
This can stunt the growth of your plants or cause them to wilt.
If you suspect that your potted plants have root damage, check the roots for small white insects.
If you see any, this is a good indicator of springtails in your potting soil.
Why Do Your Houseplants Have Springtails?
There are a few reasons why your houseplants may have springtails.
The most likely reason is that they came into your home through cracks or crevices near doors or windows.
Springtails are often found in damp, moist areas and are attracted to humid conditions.
If you have houseplants kept in humid conditions, they may be more likely to get springtails.
Another reason why your houseplants may have springtails is if you’ve recently brought new plants into your home.
Springtails can sometimes hitch a ride on new plants and be introduced to your home that way.
It’s important to inspect any new plants before bringing them inside to ensure they don’t have any pests.
The last reason your houseplants may have springtails is that they are already in your potting mix.
If you’ve recently purchased potting mix or soil, it’s possible that it already had springtails.
This is more common than you might think and is why it’s so important to inspect new plants before bringing them into your home.
How To Get Rid Of Springtails In Houseplants
Once you’ve confirmed that your houseplants have springtails, you’ll need to get rid of them.
There are a few different methods to get rid of springtails.
Regardless of the method used, it is essential to quarantine the affected indoor plant to prevent the springtails from spreading to other plants.
Below are some of the most effective methods for getting rid of springtails in houseplants:
Remove Any Standing Water From Your Home
Springtails are attracted to moisture and will often congregate in areas where there is standing water.
If you have any plant trays, saucers, or other water containers, empty them and remove the water.
Also, check around your home for any leaks or spots where water might be pooling and fix them.
Removing any standing water will make your home less attractive to springtails and other houseplant pests.
Keep Your Plants Dry
As we mentioned earlier, springtails are attracted to moist conditions.
If you keep your plants too wet, they may be more likely to get springtails.
Be sure only to water your plants when the potting mix is dry to the touch.
Also, consider using a moisture meter to help you monitor the moisture level of your potting mix.
If you live in a humid climate, you may need to water your plants less often to prevent them from getting too wet.
Increase Air Circulation
Another way to prevent your plants from getting too wet is to increase air circulation.
If your plants are kept in an enclosed space, the air may not circulate well, which can lead to humid conditions.
Consider moving your plants to a more open area, opening windows, or using a fan to help circulate the air around them.
By increasing air circulation, you will help keep the potting mix dry, making it less attractive to springtails.
Remove Any Food Sources
Springtails are attracted to decaying organic matter.
If you have any dead leaves or other debris on your plants, remove them.
This will help keep the potting mix clean and dry and make it less attractive to springtails.
You should also avoid using too much fertilizer as this can sometimes lead to decaying organic material.
If you do use fertilizer, be sure to follow the instructions on the package and only use the recommended amount.
By removing any food sources, you will help keep the potting mix clean, making it less attractive to springtails.
Apply Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous earth is a natural product that can be used to kill springtails.
It works by absorbing the oils and fats from the exoskeleton of the springtail, which causes them to dehydrate and die.
To use diatomaceous earth, sprinkle it around the base of the plant.
You can also add it to the potting mix if you have already infested plants.
Be sure to reapply it after each watering.
Diatomaceous earth is a safe and effective way to get rid of springtails in houseplants.
Use Insecticidal Soap
Insecticidal soap is another effective way to get rid of springtails in houseplants.
It works by causing the springtails to suffocate and die.
To use insecticidal soap, mix it with water according to the instructions on the package.
Spray it onto the affected plant, covering all of the surfaces. Be sure to reapply it after each watering.
Springtails in houseplants may be easily killed with insecticidal soap.
Use a Mix of Neem Oil and Water
Neem oil is a natural insecticide that can be used to kill springtails.
It works by causing the springtails to suffocate and die.
Mix neem oil and water and spray it around your plants.
The oil will kill any springtails that come into contact with it.
Just make sure to reapply it after each watering.
Use Diatomaceous Earth and Neem Oil
You can mix diatomaceous earth and neem oil for an extra-strength solution.
This mixture will kill any springtails that come into contact with it.
To use this mixture, mix equal parts diatomaceous earth and neem oil, and sprinkle it around the base of your plants.
This mixture can be added to the potting mix if you have already infested plants.
Reapply as necessary after each watering.
This mixture of diatomaceous earth and neem oil is an effective way to get rid of springtails in houseplants.
Use Cedar Essential Oil
Cedar essential oil is another natural substance that can kill springtails.
Add a few drops of cedar oil to a spray bottle filled with water and spritz it around your plants.
Cedar oil will kill any springtails that come into contact with it.
You can also add a few drops of cedar oil to a cotton ball and place it near areas where you’ve seen springtails.
The oil will kill the springtails and prevent them from coming back.
Another way to get rid of springtails is to introduce predators into your home.
Nematodes are tiny parasitic worms that can be used to kill springtails.
To use nematodes, mix them with water and then pour them over the soil of infested plants.
The worms will then enter the houseplant soil and begin to kill the springtails.
You can also use predatory mites to kill springtails.
Predatory mites are tiny mites that feed on other smaller insects, including springtails.
To use predatory mites, release them into the soil of infested plants.
The mites will then begin to search for and eat the springtails.
Change the Potting Mix
If you have potted plants infested with springtails, you may need to change the potting mix.
Remove the plant from its pot and discard the old potting mix.
Then, add a new potting mix to the pot and replant the plant.
Be sure to remove any dead leaves or stems from the plant before replanting it.
You may also need to repot the plant if the infestation is severe.
If you do this, be sure to sterilize the pot and tools you use to prevent the spread of the infestation.
Preventing Springtails In Houseplants
Indoor plants are a great way to add some greenery to your home.
But they can also be a source of springtails.
It’s essential to prevent springtails in your houseplants to keep them healthy and free of pests.
Here are 7 tips for preventing springtails in houseplants:
- Check plants before bringing them inside. Springtails often hitch a ride on plants that are brought inside from outside. Inspect your plants thoroughly before bringing them into your home to ensure they’re not infested.
- Keep plants clean. Springtails are attracted to dirty surfaces. Keep your plants clean by wiping them down with a damp cloth.
- Avoid overwatering. Overwatering is one of the most common ways that springtails get into houseplants. Water your plants only when needed and allow the soil to dry out between waterings.
- Use well-draining soil. Springtails are attracted to damp, poorly draining soils. Use a well-draining potting mix for your plants and make sure there are drainage holes in the bottom of the pots.
- Don’t let plants sit in water. After watering, remove any excess water from the saucer or tray beneath the pot. This will help to keep the plant soil from becoming too wet.
- Don’t let plants sit in damp areas. Springtails are also attracted to humid areas. Keep your plants away from humidifiers, windows, and other moist areas in your home.
- Keep your home ventilated. Good air circulation will help to keep springtails away from your plants. Open windows and use fans to circulate the air in your home.
Indoor potted plants are a great way to spruce up your home. However, they can be susceptible to pests, such as springtails.
Although springtails don’t usually cause harm to plants, they can be a nuisance.
The good news is that there are several things you can do to prevent and get rid of springtails in your houseplants.
By following the tips above, you can keep your plants healthy and free of springtails.