Springtails are tiny jumping bugs that are drawn to the damp and moist environment of bathrooms. These wingless jumping bugs are capable of crawling on your legs as well as getting into your bathtub.
They usually flock in large groups, and while there’s no perceived danger, springtail infestation in the bathroom can be a real nuisance, and it’s best to get rid of them as soon as you can.
Read on to find out how to get rid of springtails in your bathroom and what you can do to keep them from returning in the future.
What Should You Know About Springtails?
Springtails are six-legged insects known to be decomposers, aiding in the natural process of decompositions.
They got their name for their most identifiable physical feature: their furcula or the springy tail they have. It’s a fork-like appendage that pops out like a spring and sends the springtail up to 10 cm high and away once they get threatened.
Springtails are tiny pests, making them difficult to spot, even in daylight. An adult springtail can only grow between 1/16 to 1/8 inches, depending on the species.
Springtails look like tiny black jumping bugs in the bathroom to the naked eye but may appear brightly colored if you look at them through a magnifying glass. Their color ranges from black and grey to yellow, orange, red, purple, and even multicolored.
These pests aren’t known to be dangerous or cause health risks to people. They are considered a nuisance more than anything else, especially if they congregate in your bathroom in large numbers. Springtails are often most active between afternoons to early evenings.
Springtails congregate in groups, primarily because they reproduce quickly. The life cycle of springtails from an egg to the adult stage only runs between four to six weeks.
Why Are There Springtails in My Bathroom?
There’s only one reason why springtails get into your bathroom: moisture. Springtail infestation in bathrooms often happens during the hot season, and when the climate becomes dry. As soon as the outdoor temperature soars, they try to look for a moist environment to survive.
Springtails are more likely to infest your bathroom if you have these problems.
- Excess moisture in the air
Springtails are moisture-loving pests, and the bathroom is a favorable spot for them where there’s an endless supply of moisture. They breathe and absorb water through their tiny bodies to prevent them from drying out.
- Leaking pipes and faucets
Any leakage in your bathroom means moist and damp spots, and springtails love them. They will infest your bathroom, especially if there are cracks and holes where water from leaking pipes and faucets accumulates.
- Damp bathroom towels, rugs, and mats
Damp rugs and bathroom mats give a moist spot for springtails to live and breed. For instance, if your linen shower curtain doesn’t dry fast, it can attract springtails in your shower. The same goes for washed pants, clothing, and towels left hanging in your bathroom.
The moist and humid bathroom also poses a risk for mold, mildew, bacteria, and fungi to grow. These are what springtails feed on, in addition to decaying plant materials and leaf litter. So, if your bathroom walls start to develop mold, they will soon attract springtails looking for food.
If you have live plants, especially when the soil is always moist, it can be another reason that attracts springtails to end up in the bathroom.
How Do Springtails Get Into the Bathroom?
Springtails can enter your bathroom through open doors, windows, and screens. Cracks in the foundation, bathroom floor, and walls can also lead them inside. Springtails can also come up the drain through broken and damaged pipes.
Bringing potted plants already infested with springtails indoors can also be another reason there are springtails in the bathroom.
Springtails will hang out in the most humid parts of your bathroom. For instance, bathroom drains always have moisture coming out, which means you can often spot springtail bugs coming up the drain.
You might spot springtails coming out of the toilet bowl after flushing. The presence of springtails in toilet bowl tanks is also not surprising because of the water supply.
Other places where you can find springtails in the bathroom include the bathtub, bathroom sink, and in the soil of over-watered bathroom plants.
Springtails will also live around moldy bathroom cabinets, porous walls, baseboards, moldings, wallpaper, and ceiling.
How to Get Rid of Springtails in the Bathroom
The smartest way to get rid of springtails in the bathroom is to take out what attracts them inside in the first place.
You can do two things to make your toilet less attractive to springtails and stop and infestation.
- Clean Up.
You can get rid of springtails from the bathroom by proper cleaning, using springtail-deterrent sprays.
Step 1. Combine an equal amount of tap water and vinegar in a spray bottle. Use it to spray directly on springtails or on infested areas to get rid of springtails in drains and sinks. The vinegar’s high acidity content is what kills springtail bugs by burning their soft bodies.
Step 2. After letting the vinegar solution sit for some time, wash it down with water and detergent. The soapy water will drown and burn springtails further. Repeat the process several times, especially when trying to get rid of large numbers of springtails.
Step 3. Sometimes, springtails can be persistent and resilient. Vinegar and soapy solutions might not eliminate them all, but adding bleach makes a faster-acting and more potent remedy against these jumping bugs.
- Set Up a Trap.
If you don’t want to kill pests but want to chase them away from your bathroom, here’s how to trap springtails to take and throw them outside.
Step 1. Take a small container or plastic box and place a soaked piece of fabric or towel inside. Make sure the material is lying at the bottom of the container.
Step 2. Pour half a glass of beer inside. You can also use brewer’s yeast powder if you don’t have any beer. Adding a small piece of bread inside will also help attract more springtails looking for food.
Step 3. Place the container where you always see springtails hanging around in the bathroom. Wait for them to get inside the box, then close the lid and get rid of them outside.
How to Prevent Springtails From Coming Back to Your Bathroom
Controlling your bathroom environment and taking out the moisture and humidity that attracted springtails inside in the first place is a long-term solution to keep them from returning.
Eliminating moist spots where they can conceal and hang out will also keep springtails away.
- Turn on the bathroom fan or set up a dehumidifier to dry out the damp areas in your bathroom.
- Check for plumbing leaks and dripping pipes and repair as necessary. Also, check and repair damages and cracks where springtails can enter from outside.
- Remove any moldy wood from the bathroom. Check the cabinets, bathroom walls, ceiling, molding, and other wooden furniture.
- Take out springtail-infested potted plants. If you want to bring live plants in the bathroom, make sure not to overwater them. Letting the soil of your potted plant dry out before watering helps prevent damp soil that attracts springtails.