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Springtails (Collembola) populate in soil and compost. There are two common species, one that lives underground, and one that lives on the soil or compost surface. The species that dwell under the surface tend to be white, while the surface populations can be green to dark brown.
Springtails feed largely on organic matter, so when situated in compost heaps, or leaf litter, they actually help with the breakdown of organic waste.
In large numbers, however, they can feed on plant roots. In severe cases this can cause young seedlings and plants not to develop, or to die.
Our soil borne predatory mites, Hypoaspis and Macrocheles (Mighty Mite) predators, can be applied to treat Springtails. Apply either of the predators to the soil or surface of the compost. They will then feed on the eggs or young stages of the Springtail life cycle. The predators will also feed on other pests they locate in the compost such as Fungus Fly larvae and Thrip pupae. This makes the predators a good investment for protecting young plants, especially at the propagation stage.
For more information on Springtails read our new blog post by clicking here.