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Pest Control/Teeny, tiny black bugs


QUESTION: Throughout the year, we have teeny, tiny black bugs in certain areas outside our house. They appear most days, but are heaviest when humid or after rain. They jump to move, and they are sometimes so thick they cover our porch, the exterior walls of our limestone house and the grass or beds near the house. They are so thick they sometimes make our walls, sidewalk, beds/grass solid black. We live in Central Texas, which is currently in a drought, so standing water is not an issue.  I find these bugs mostly on the East side of the house, sometimes on the North.  They come & go throughout the day, but are not as evident at night. They do not bite that we have noticed. We have tried bug spray which killed the bugs at that moment, then more came.  We have lined the porch and exterior walls with boric acid, which killed and kept them away for a short time.  These bugs also smell very strong when killed en mass. They are so tiny it is hard to describe them, but they are oblong in shape and have soft bodies. Thank you for any help you are able to give us.

ANSWER: Hey Kellie!

These have to be spring-tails! They are dark in color and as tiny as fleas. They are very tiny and jump like you said! They are drawn to moisture and shelter! If there is less moisture in the environment then give these little guys more reason to seek your home out for help.  

Spring-tails also possess the ability to reduce their body size by as much as 30% through subsequent molting if temperatures rise high enough. The shrinkage is genetically controlled. Since warmer conditions increase metabolic rates and energy requirements in organisms, the reduction in body sizes is advantageous to their survival! Crazy right?

So lets get down to business, depending on what options you are wanting to seek all natural or stronger professional grade control it is really up to you. They are most common in the garden areas and outside the home. So that is the best way to treat them. I would just recommend a broad spectrum pyrethroid based or similar strength active ingredient on the perimeter of the home. If you are wanting to go the all natural route there are products that have diatomaceous earth and boric acid. Both are extremely effective natural treatments for spring-tails.

If they are getting in the home a treatment can be done on the indoor perimeter. Both indoor and outdoor treatments should have you covered for 2-3 months if not longer. Its always smart to redo treatments during that time period to keep the barrier of protection strong!

Regardless of your treatment route I would visit or call they will hook you up with products off my recommendations. They also ship all over the states fast and for free.

I hope this was helpful!
If you have anymore questions please ask.
Thank you for your time and question.
My thanks

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

QUESTION: Having looked at many pictures of various pests online, I have not seen any that resemble my pests.  They are even smaller than the pests in the image you attached.  My husband says the best description is finely ground black pepper.  I had previously read that spring-tails were nocturnal.  We reapply our boric acid at least once a week. I respectfully ask if this still sounds like spring-tails?  Thank you again for your time and help.

I am almost certain that these have to be spring-tails. The spring-tail insect can be almost unidentifiable because of its small size! The rain and moisture are keys to the emergence. Even without a picture I am almost certain of this.

Occasionally, springtails will migrate indoors during periods of heavy rains, or during prolonged hot, dry spells. If you have houseplants, they may have been living in the potting soil and simply escaped their pots. Homeowners may also find springtails around the outside of their homes, in driveways, or near the swimming pool. People often describe them as looking like a "pile of soot" on the sidewalk.

So what are springtails, exactly? Springtails are decomposers that typically feed on decaying organic matter, including plants, fungi, bacteria, and algae. They're quite tiny, measuring a mere 1/16th of an inch long as adults, and lack wings. Springtails are named for an unusual structure called a furcula, which folds beneath the abdomen like a tail. When a springtail senses danger, it whips the furcula against the ground, effectively propelling itself into the air and away from the threat.  

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Christopher A. Rice


I can identify and provide clear information on all insects. I can also provide Medical, Veterinarian Entomology insight. Also experience in arthropod management (biological and chemical) and history. Control tips on any of the following: Ants, Aphids, Bagworms, Bats, Bees, Beetles, Birds, Black widow spiders, Brown recluse spiders, Carpenter Bees, Carpet Beetles, Centipedes, Chipmunks, Cicada Killers, Cloth Moths, Cluster Flies, Cutworms, Deer, Drain Flies, Earwigs, Fleas, Flies, Fruit Flies, Gnats, Grasshoppers, Ground Hogs, Grubs, Japanese Beetles, Lice, Mice, Midges, Millipedes, Moles, Mosquitoes, Noseeums, Opossums, Pantry Beetles, Pantry Moths, Pantry Pests, Pill Bugs, Rabbits, Raccoons, Rats, Roaches, Scorpions, Silverfish, Skunks, Snails, Slugs, Sod webworms, Spiders, Sprintails, Squrriels, Termites, Thrips, Ticks, Voles, Weeds, Weevils, White Flies, White grubs.


I have about 10 years of experience in insect identification, pest control, and product recommendation.

Organizations (pest control) ID specialist at

All about articles @ for the following: Bed bugs, Ants, Cockroaches, Termites (pending), Rats, and Mice

Bachelors Degree in Biology, Minor in Chemistry Valdotsta State University Pest Management and history Insect identification Medical & Veterinarian Entomolgy

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