St Louis Pest Control Blog

St. Louis Pest Control – Springtails

Right now, we are getting into the heart of springtail season.  They are commonly referred to as sand fleas, and mistaken for fleas inside of homes and businesses.  They are very small in size and hop around like fleas, which adds to their mistaken identity.  It is the small furcula on their underside that acts as a spring launcher for them.

 

Not a very imposing creature, but what they lack in size, they make up for in numbers.  These pests can often invade by the thousands after a good soaking rain.

These pests because of their small size lose moisture very quickly and as such they only move when they feel comfortable that they can get where they are going without drying out.  They are most often found on ground levels of the home or business, near doors, or bay windows, but have on occasion been found in upstairs kitchens and baths.

Most of the time, they will die once they get inside because of a lack of moisture.  They will however live for a short period of time, during which they can be an annoyance.

The best way to prevent these pests is to control moisture around the outside of the home.  Look for the following areas to correct

  1. Low spots in the yard that hold moisture or pool when it rains.  Try to fill these areas to allow moisture to run off.
  2. Excessive mulch near the home.  The thicker the mulch the more moisture it can hold.  Keep mulch to a minimum (3 inches or less) to keep moisture levels down.
  3. Old mulch.  Take a rake and break up the mulch into small clumps, one it develops a hard shell on top, the moisture is trapped beneath.
  4. Rock over plastic.  Rock is better than mulch, but the plastic underneath holds moisture, and condensates in warm weather.  Use a porous weed mat instead.
  5. Low decks or overhangs / bay windows.  Keep these areas as clear of clutter / leaves / debris as possible.   Make sure that air can flow underneath these areas to help it dry out faster.
  6. Downspouts that drain next to home.  Use a disperser or tubing to drain water out from the home and away from the foundation.
  7. Thick grass / thatch.  Try using a power rake to thin the grass and thatch that builds up from grass clippings.
  8. Excessive watering / leaking pipe.  Check you watering times and make sure that there are no leaks if you have an automatic sprikler.  Check while it is running to see if water pools anywhere it shouldn’t.

Even doing all of this may not stop them completely, and a pesticide application may be in order.  Two things are used to treat for these pests, a granular application for the yard and landscaping, and a residual spray for the home itself.  The granular treatment will get the material seeper down into the soil where these pests live and hide.  It acts like a fertilizer and releases the material into the soil when activated by water.  We carry a product at our stores, TALSTAR Granules that work extremely good at controlling these pests.

The residual spray should be a water based material so that when you apply to porous surfaces like concrete, brick or wood, it will stay on the surface longer than oil based sprays found in many home improvement stores.  The product that we use and carry is Suspend SC, and can be applied both inside and out, and has no visible residue or odor.  Treat a heavy band of material around the base of the foundation, and all the way up the foundation wall to the brick or siding.  Make sure to treat around windows, and doors, as well as under any overhangs / bay windows.

If you would prefer to have someone treat this for you give us a call at 636-394-6400 or go to www.stlbugs.com for more information about our residential service programs.  You can also find directions to our three locations / stores in the St. Louis area.

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