You are here:

Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Help Identifying A Bug


We have several of these small bugs and they are new this year. We first noticed them outside on our deck but they are now making their way inside possibly through the window sills and usually ending up in the sink where there might be a dish with water. Could you please let me know what these are and what we can do to get rid of them?
We live in Massachusetts and have woods/conservation land at the end of our yard but have never seen these.

Dear Alice - Your image is not detailed enough for me to be absolutely certain, but this looks very much like a springtail, a primitive arthropod in the order Collembola. Ones like this are harmless nuisance pests that fed primarily on bits of decomposing organic matter. They require a moist/humid environment in order to persist, so moisture management is the best control. See for more detailed information.
Hope this helps,

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Ed Saugstad


Will accept most questions in general entomology, including those related to medical entomology, taxonomy, ecology, arthropod surveillance, and pest management. If you are requesting a 'mystery bug' identification, PLEASE either attach an image to your question, or post an image on a web page (such as Flickr) so that I can look at it, as verbal descriptions frequently are insufficient for a definitive identification.


21 years in the U.S. Army as a medical entomologist; duties varied from surveillance of pest populations (including mosquitoes, cockroaches, ticks, and stored products pests) to conducting research on mosquito-virus ecological relationships and mosquito faunal studies. Ten years as a civilian analyst for the Department of Defense, primarily on distribution of vector-borne diseases worldwide. Limited experience on surveillance of agricultural insects in North Dakota and Indiana.

Entomological Society of America, West Virginia Entomological Society, Society for Vector Ecology, National Speleological Society, West Virginia Association for Cave Studies.

American Journal of Public Health, Contributions of the American Entomological Institute, Japanese Journal of Sanitary Zoology, Journal of Economic Entomology, Mosquito News, and Mosquito Systematics.

B.S. in entomology from North Dakota State University in 1963, M.S. in entomology from Purdue University in 1967.

©2016 All rights reserved.