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Pest Control/Serious infestion in backyard


QUESTION: We have a major infestion that makes our backyard unusable.  We live in Tucson, AZ and had a small patch of grass put in.  The bug is super tiny, about the size of a period. It looks to be round and most are dark brown or black, but i have seen a few creamy colored ones. They seem to not bite nor jump nor fly.  But they are numbered in the thousands. They were just in our grass and on the very edge of the concrete.  My husband put out grass insect killer granuals and I went to check a few days later to see if they died and they are now ALL over our conrete patio. Maybe thy are tryin to escape the bug killer. Anyway, i thought maybe clover mites, but i smashed a
Few and they did not leave a red streak.  They look similar to bird mites but did not bite.  What else could they be? I would send a picture but they are so small i do not think it would be helpful.

ANSWER: Shelly,

The only thing that fits this description is springtails (see Springtails commonly mass in large numbers following heavy rains. I know that Tucson is dry but have you had heavy rains lately? Springtails are harmless but post a follow up if you have questions.

Jack DeAngelis

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: They are definitely not springtails.  We had those in South Carolina. These are more round and do not jump
at all.  They are also smaller than springtails.  We do have the monsoons here, but they are over and have been dry for a
Week or more. We thought it may have been so to the watering of the grass so we turned
Off our sprinklers.

Your best option is to collect a few (use a damp cotton swab or Q-tip) in a small vial of alcohol. The sample can be taken to your county extension office in Tucson for id. You can find the local office in the phone book or

Jack DeAngelis  

Pest Control

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Jack DeAngelis


I can answer questions about the control of pest insects, spiders, mites and related arthropods. These household pests include termites, carpenter ants, powderpost beetles, nuisance ants, bed bugs, cockroaches, fleas, wasps, and many others. I can also answer questions about using pesticides and other pest control tools such as baits and traps.


I am a retired university extension entomologist. I've taught and conducted research in urban and agricultural entomology. I've published over 70 extension publications, 20 research publications and several books about insects.

Ph.D. in Entomology

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