collembola infestation on humans

Asked June 25, 2015, 7:06 AM EDT

is this possible if so how does one get rid of it

California

1 Response

No, avoid those websites with the scare tactics and outlandish stories.

Collembola or 'springtails' are very common and abundant creatures, many of which live in the soil where they feed on decaying plant matter, fungi and bacteria. Many are considered 'signs of healthy, well-enriched soil.'

Others feed on pollen, algae, and even the feces of other arthropods. A few are predators on other collembolans or other tiny arthropods. If you've heard of 'snow fleas' these are the collembolans that may show up occasionally on the surface of snow, hopping around and likely feeding on whatever microorganisms or fallen organic matter that might have been deposited there after the snow fell. Some of these masses of 'snow fleas' are colorful---pink, blue, gray or green.

At times, springtails can be common on the surfaces of water puddles or around their edges. If the sun is bright and temperatures are high, their presence is brief.

Some species may be found under loose bark of trees, in rotten logs, leaf litter, compost piles, mushrooms and similar situations.

The vast majority are just 1-2mm long. With their soft bodies, most require relatively high humidity to survive. In the arid Southwest, we see springtails indoors in homes around bath tubs, sinks and drains when we have our summer rains. There's nothing for them to eat indoors and the humidity decreases to lethal levels when the rains taper off. They are not considered household or structural pests.

While there's some variability in the mouthparts, they are always concealed inside the head. None are known to attack humans or other animals---externally or internally.

For that, you have to look for other orders of arthropods---and those afflictions would be quite easy for medical doctors or ER personnel to find, identify, confirm and treat. No insecticides would be involved---either for the premises or the patients. I hope this helps.