Do you see many creepy little rice shaped critters on the soil of your plants? Are Springtails Good for Plants?
Will you need to act right away to get rid of them or are they harmless? How can springtails help your plant?
In this article, we’ll talk about whether or not springtails are good for plants.
Are Springtails Good for Plants?
Springtails are beneficial critters that are not harmful to your plants. They can actually help by adding to the nutrient cycle with their excretions after they feed on decayed plant material.
The soil and structure of your potted plants can be benefited greatly from the presence of springtails. While they may wish to feast on some decayed roots, any wilting that you may notice on the leaves of the plants are temporary.
If you wish to get rid of springtails, you can dry out the soil for a few days because these hexapods need moisture to survive.
Are Springtails Harmful To Houseplants?
Springtails are not harmful to your houseplants. They do not damage your plants or anything else in your house. The only reason why they are included as pests are because they are a nuisance when they multiply in large numbers.
Overwatered plants around your house cause springtails to abundantly and rapidly multiply. If your plants are older and established, it is very unlikely for springtails to infest them.
We have a large plant that remains dry for most of the year because it has been established for a very long time. This plant does not nearly receive as much attention from gnats, ants, mites or springtails.
The drier your soil, the more likely that you will not get any springtails involved with your house plants.
Are Springtails Helpful For Potted Plants?
Springtails are harmless and sometimes even helpful for potted plants. They can feed off the properties of compost that is available in the plant’s decayed matter or fungi in the soil.
An infestation is only a visible problem because you will see many of them crawling around your soil and may think it’s gross.
Fortunately, springtails will not wish to leave this area that is moist and humid. Any other location will quickly cause them to die. As they continue to dine on decayed plant matter, they excrete nutrients that’s your soil absorbs and appreciates.
If you can handle the sight of hundreds of springtails on your soil, then allow them to remain active during this period of your houseplant’s life cycle.
Will Springtails Eat my Plants?
Springtails are not known to eat your plants. They are more concerned about finding decayed plant matter, fungi or even bacteria to dine on.
Sometimes springtails are seen eating the roots of plants. They are noticing areas of the roots that are decayed and choose to nibble on those areas only.
Sometimes the young plants get damaged due to springtails. Springtails do not harm established plants. They can benefit plants by spreading beneficial fungi all over the roots and eating harmful bacteria or mold that should not be there in the first place.
Should I Get Rid of Springtails?
It is entirely up to you if you do not like the visible presence of springtails on your houseplants. They will not harm them however, and it is not important to get rid of them. And most importantly, they do not bite like fleas or mites.
Springtails are harmless, but they can look gross in large numbers. There is no need to use pesticides on them because it doesn’t really work anyways. The easiest way to get rid of springtails is to dry out your soil.
If you do so, in a matter of days, springtail populations will decrease and die off. The choice is yours. Springtails will not survive on your houseplant for more than a growing season. Allow them to live and die as part of the life cycle of your houseplants.
Do Springtails Cause Damage to Houseplants?
Springtails will not cause damage to your houseplants. They can be a nuisance when they look like they are overtaking the plant itself, but this is not true. What are you noticing is actually springtails loving the moisture and humidity within the soil.
They are finding decayed plant matter and also fungi and bacteria to feast on. They’re contributing to the healthy fungi and removing the unhealthy ones. Their excretions also helps to fortify the nutrient cycle within the houseplant’s soil.
They will gather in huge numbers and it causes frustration for house plant owners who believe that their plant is being taken over. This is not the case however, because springtails will not harm your plants.
There is a chance that young plants are seedlings could get nibbled on. Most of the time this is not true. Springtails look more for decayed roots on plants and not established roots that are growing well.
Can Springtails Live in Dry Soil?
No. Springtails cannot live in dry soil. Springtails need the soil to be humid and moist in order for them to thrive. Interrupting their habitat and reproduction cycle by drying out the soil is the easiest way to reduce the number of springtails.
Pesticides do not work well with these nuisance pests. The only reason why they are a nuisance because of their large numbers. They are harmless and will not enter other parts of your home for no reason.
Without a moist plant to host them, springtails will die off in huge numbers. An infestation of springtails is usually only temporary. You will find them mostly underneath the pots or in the medium of your plants where the soil is most damp.
Over-watering allows them to thrive. If you see too many springtails in the medium of your plants or falling onto the potting tray, you may be watering your plants too much.
How Springtails Attack Your Plant
While it looks like springtails are attacking your plant, they’re actually feeding on the decayed roots or other plant matter that is dead or dying. Nevertheless, most people wish to get rid of such a nuisance pest crawling on the soil or inside the medium of the plant.
Springtails are more concerned about fungi, algae, mole, bacteria and decayed roots. They are not trying to kill your plants. Springtails cannot damage your plant.
Any damage that you notice is only temporary. Once you get rid of the infestation of springtails, you may notice that your plant has recovered.
The only side effect you may notice is temporary wilting of some leaves. This may happen when you are trying to dry out the houseplant in order for the springtails to die off. Springtails cannot live in dry soil conditions.
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