What Are These Bugs That We’re Seeing In Maine?
Seems that the conditions are just right this spring for these very small congregating "free-living organisms". They're showing up in places that folks have never seen them before.
Snow Fleas, Springtail, or Collembola, whatever one decides to call them, they seem to be in abundance all of a sudden here in Maine. Folks much more intelligent than us don't call them insects, they call them "free-living organisms." We call them gross.
Don't worry though, Springtails don't sting or bite.
A big reddish pink or grey brownish black mass of these will usually be found within some sort of wet decaying source, like leaves, dead animal residue, or some sort of other fungi that they can feed on. Collembola can congregate to a mass of 100,000 per square meter, or up to 250,000,000 per square acre.
That's a whole bunch of grossness!
Although, real smart folks at the University of Maine call them "beneficial" because a mass of these little buggers will decompose other disgusting stuff including algae, pollen, and of course that dead animal residue stuff.
How does one get rid of them? Insecticides don't work, they're not effective in this instance. You can pick Springtail up by hand or use a vacuum, and move them elsewhere, although that's pretty disgusting as well.
The University of Minnesota tell us that moisture control is your best bet. Keep things picked up and dry around your property. The good news is that they will eventually move on and go away on their own.
Good bye. grossness.