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Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Springtails along baseboards

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Question
Hi,
   Every year I notice springtails bugs in my house, probably because I don't like bugs in my house (who does) and notice them easily. Anyway, I was vacuuming around my baseboards today and noticed several throughout my lower floor around the baseboards (maybe 20 total throughout out the downstairs). I know they're usually due to environmental factors and we had some very very heavy rains a few days ago, so if they're just coming in and not sticking around fine but my fear is they're living in the baseboards, is that possible? Assuming we have no leaks, which I think I would notice could they survive in there? We had quite a few people at my house last night too so I thought maybe they hitched a ride in. Any advice you can offer would be very helpful."

Answer
Kristin,

I am making your question public because it is outstanding!  You demonstrate that you have done some homework even before approaching AllExperts.  Bravo :-)

You are correct, springtails are moisture-dependent and unlikely to stick around once conditions dry out beyond their ability to physically cope.  Unless you have mold growing in the baseboards, or tiny fragments of organic matter are collecting there, there is nothing for them to feed on, either.

So, bottom line is there is no cause for alarm.  I don't know where you live, but most places dry out substantially in the fall and winter, rendering insect live "invisible" until spring.

Take care and thank you for the great question!

Sincerely,

Eric

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Eric R. Eaton

Expertise

I answer insect and spider identification questions ONLY. Attach images if possible. No "what bit me?", "what do I feed this bug in captivity?", or science fair project questions please. NO TECHNICAL QUESTIONS ABOUT INSECT PHYSIOLOGY.

Experience

Principal author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America. Professional entomologist employed previously at University of Massachusetts, Chase Studio, Inc., and Cincinnati Zoo; contract work for West Virginia Department of Natural Resources, Smithsonian Institution, and Portland (Oregon) State University.

Publications
Author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Missouri Conservationist magazine, Ranger Rick, Birds & Blooms, Timeline (journal of the Ohio Historical Society). I have contributed to several books as well.

Education/Credentials
Oregon State University, undergraduate major in entomology, did not receive degree.

Awards and Honors
One of the top 50 experts in all categories for AllExperts.com, 2009.

Past/Present Clients
Principal author of the Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Smithsonian Institution (contract), Cincinnati Zoo (employer), Portland State University (contract), Chase Studio, Inc (employer), Arkansas Museum of Discovery (guest speaker). Currently seeking speaking engagements, leadership roles at nature festivals, workshops, and ecotours.

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