How To Get Rid of Springtails in Bathroom: Causes & Control


Springtails are generally a beneficial pest. However, just because they are beneficial doesn’t mean you want them in your home. That’s unfortunate for many of us, as these tiny hexapods can spring up nearly anywhere. Luckily, they’re also relatively easy to get rid of once you realize you have a problem.

Springtails live in and eat biological matter such as mold. So, the best way to get rid of springtails in your bathroom is to clean everything thoroughly. You can also kill the springtails using vinegar. Here, you want to use an anti-fungicide to prevent the mold or fungus from coming back. Most importantly, once you get rid of the food source, the springtails will go away on their own. 

How to Kill Springtails in Bathroom

Springtails go into bathrooms through drains, pipes, and other moisture-heavy areas. Often springtails are so small they can also move through and under cracks in your walls, under the wall, and in the foundation. That can make identifying the source of the springtails difficult. However, they are relatively easy to get rid of. In fact, you should be able to get rid of most tiny bugs like springtails with simple household ingredients like vinegar.

Natural Remedy

The easiest way to get rid of springtails in your bathroom is to clean. Why? Springtails live in organic matter. Here, they normally eat mold and fungi, which collect around damp spaces. If your bathroom is constantly damp, you will have mold. In fact, mold can grow in just a few hours from spores. That means you might have mold issues if you clean once a week without using an antifungal agent.

  • Buy Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider vinegar is a good mix between acidic natural ingredient to kill springtails and fungicide to prevent fungal regrowth. This means you can almost always reduce or even entirely prevent springtails from coming back with simple, regular applications of apple cider vinegar. In most cases, you can buy the cheapest option available in the store, providing it’s actually apple cider vinegar and not apple flavored or dyed vinegar. Regular vinegar will also kill springtails. However, it lacks the same antifungal properties, which means you’ll see springtails coming back more quickly than you would without it.

  • Clean Your Entire Bathroom

Try using a vacuum to clean your entire bathroom. This should vacuum up some of the mold spores. This will prevent some possible return of springtails. You should also wipe down or clean your entire bathroom with either a vinegar and water solution or a chemical cleaning solution. This ensures mold spores and springtails aren’t simply pushed out of the way when you wipe things down. Here, 3 parts water to 1 part vinegar is usually a good strength to clean things with.

  • Wipe Down Affected Areas with Vinegar 

Apply pure apple cider vinegar to a damp cloth. Use it to wipe down areas that are specifically infested with springtails. The full-strength vinegar will burn the springtails, causing them to die. In addition, the vinegar will act as an antifungal agent. This kills the springtails, hopefully kills any springtail eggs that might be present, and destroys the existing mold. If there are mold spores, the high acid and antifungal residue left by the vinegar will hopefully keep it at bay.

In most cases, springtails cluster into spaces with moisture. This means you should pay special attention to bathtubs, sinks, and showers. You’ll also want to look at pipe fittings and corners, especially if you have issues with condensation or excessive moisture.

  • Scrub Out Drains 

Springtails like high humidity environments with biological matter to eat. So, drains and the entrances to pipes are a good place for them to live. This is why you often see springtails coming out of drains. You can clean out your drains, use vinegar in the drains, and fully scrub as much of the drain as you can reach to slow or delay springtails from coming back.

  • Follow Up 

Springtails are naturally occurring, able to fit into extremely tiny spaces, and rarely easy to control. If springtails appear in your bathroom, it might mean that you have too much moisture in your bathroom. You can choose to regularly wipe everything down with vinegar. You might also want to look at increasing ventilation or reducing condensation in your bathroom to reduce the source of the problem.

Treating Springtail Infestation Chemically

If you don’t want to use vinegar, you can always try using a chemical cleaner to kill springtails. Here, you should look for either bleach, dish soap, borax, or hydrogen peroxide. You can also use most household cleaning solutions intended for cleaning a bathroom. Springtails are not especially hardy. However, you do want to ensure that any cleaning agent you use kills mold or fungal growth because that’s what the springtails are feeding on.

Does Hydrogen Peroxide Kill Springtails? 

Yes. Hydrogen peroxide will kill both springtails and their larvae. However, it might not kill their eggs. At the same time, this shouldn’t matter too much. If you follow up and clean once a day for a few days, your problem should be entirely gone.

Choose a Cleaning Solution 

Many household chemicals can kill springtails. These small hexapods are not particularly resistant to anything. Simply wiping a surface down with hydrogen peroxide, dish soap, borax, or even bleach will kill springtails caught in the path. In fact, some people actually spray areas with any of these chemicals to ensure springtails are dead. You might also want to purchase a spray-on antifungal agent, especially if you have visible mold or fungal buildup in some places. However, even if you don’t, a fungicide can actually stop your problem long-term by preventing food growth.

However, you also want to ensure you can clean the drains. That’s important because springtails often come up through drains. If you have a source of moisture or organic matter in your bathroom, it’s likely attracting springtails.

Clean Your Entire Bathroom 

Clean your entire bathroom including the drains. Make sure you chemically clean the drains. Here, borax or dish soap are both good choices. Spray a fungicide after cleaning if you have one.

Apply Chemicals to the Specific Area 

Use a fungicide, diluted dish soap, borax solution (made following the instructions on the package), or diluted bleach (1 part bleach to three parts water is more than strong enough) to wipe down specific affected areas. Here, the drains, the areas immediately around the drains, the bathtub or shower, and any other moist or damp areas should be treated. And, of course, if you have any specific areas with springtails, you can treat those areas.

Follow Up 

Springtails can come into your home through nearly any available opening. They’re also attracted by food and water. If you have a damp bathroom, springtails will keep coming back. Your best option is to reduce the dampness of your bathroom. However, you can follow up by cleaning regularly and using a fungicide to prevent them.

What Do Springtails Look Like?

Springtails are tiny bugs in the bathroom, they often jump. However, they aren’t actually “bugs”. Instead, they are hexapods. They also range in size from barely visible to the naked eye to about 1mm in length. You will frequently see them in colors including white, brown, and black. In most of the U.S., you can expect to see brown or black springtails in your bathroom.

Like insects, springtails have tiny multi-part bodies. They might remind you of a very tiny ant.

What Attracts These Tiny Jumping Bugs to the Bathroom?

Springtails are attracted to sources of food and water. It’s difficult to remove the second source. For example, most people will have a damp bathroom for at least several hours per day after a shower. However, you can usually assess why springtails are moving into your home based on where they are congregating.

Food

Springtails need food to live. Unfortunately, they often eat tiny, microscopic mold and fungal growths, often before those growths are large enough for you to see them. If your bathroom isn’t entirely clean, you likely have these kinds of growths. Luckily, it’s relatively easy to discourage fungal growth by using antifungal sprays, by increasing air flow, or by using a dehumidifier.

Water

Springtails need humid and moist environments to survive. That’s why you often see them congregating in the bathtub or in the sink. Here, you can get springtails to go away by ensuring your bathroom dries out more quickly. Use a dehumidifier, increase ventilation, or make sure that any leaks or drips are fixed.

How Do Springtails Get in the House?

Springtails are extremely tiny animals that need high levels of moisture to survive. This means they normally get into your house through damp or protected spaces. If you know where they are coming in, you can take steps to block off or seal those areas.

Cracks in Foundation

Springtails can work their way up through cracks in the foundation. This means they will come in through minute fissures which you might not even be aware of. Having your home sealed can help to prevent springtails. However, it’s not a guarantee.

Drains

Springtails frequently move through drains and can come up from one to another. That’s especially important if you have drains in a garden or garage which might connect to the house sewage. Springtails go into openings for moisture, follow the pipes, and come out inside your home. Unfortunately, there’s very little you can do about this except to keep your drains clean.

Under Doors and Windows

Springtails can fit into nearly any space bigger than a pin. If there are cracks or slight openings in your windows or doors, springtails can come in. They’re also small enough to simply be blown in when you open the doors and windows.

On Plants or in Soil

One of the most common ways springtails get into your house is through organic matter. Most frequently, that’s potting soil or on a potted plant. Springtail eggs take about 10 days to hatch – which can mean that you might not even notice a problem for weeks.

How to Get Rid of Springtails in the Bedroom

In most cases, you can relatively easily get rid of springtails in any space by cleaning. When you clean, use a natural or store-bought antifungal agent or fungicide to follow up. This should remove any source of food the springtails are feeding on. However, this is more difficult if you have potted plants. Springtails are usually beneficial to the soil and will keep mold out of it. If you really want the springtails gone, you’ll probably have to change the soil.

Frequently Asked Questions

Trying to get rid of springtails can be extremely difficult. However, with some patience and following up, you usually can. These frequently asked questions should help.

How long does it take to get rid of springtails?

Springtails have a lifecycle of about 14 days to maturity. If you consider that eggs take 10 days (on average) to hatch, you can normally expect to be fully rid of springtails within a month. Here, you should clean your springtail-infested areas and then follow up every 2-5 days to ensure no eggs have hatched. Then, there will be no adults to lay new eggs.

Does Windex kill springtails?

Windex is a poor way to kill a springtail. You’re much better off using soapy water, bleach, or even hydrogen peroxide. Windex normally requires spraying enough of the solution to actually drown the springtail. That will take a lot of Windex. Even wiping the area down with apple cider vinegar is a more efficient solution.

Do springtails bite?

No. Springtails feed off of organic matter like mold and mildew. They do not bite humans. They’re also far too small to pierce through layers of human skin. Therefore, springtails are completely safe for humans. The only dangers they pose are that they might start eating plants if populations get too high.

To End

If you’re facing a springtail infestation, don’t panic. It’s usually very easy to wipe up and get rid of visible springtails. You can then follow up to reduce moisture levels in your bathroom to prevent them from coming back. In addition, if you have plants, you can always change the soil to get rid of the springtails.

Good luck!

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