Bugs Floating enmasse on Pond

Asked October 28, 2019, 1:34 PM EDT

I have tens of thousands of these bugs floating on my pond, in my yard. It looks like an oily slick from afar. What are they and should I do something to remove them?

Missaukee County Michigan

1 Response

The bugs are in a primitive insect order called Collembola, and the common name for these are springtails. Many species can jump with a spring-like appendage attached to their abdomen.

Some species are commonly found near or on the surface of water. They feed on microscopic algae and other organic materials that are usually present in water or in wetlands. While it is unusual to see them in such a quantity, it is nothing to be concerned about. They might vanish as quickly as they appeared. While the numbers are so high there is a chance of them ending up indoors, coming in on shoes or the feet of pets. They have a very high moisture requirement, so they typically die off quickly indoors. They will not bite humans or pets.