Can Springtails Climb Glass and Escape My Terrarium? {Why They Don’t Want To}

Do you have an open or closed terrarium? Are you thinking about the chances of springtails being able to escape by climbing over glass walls?

Can Springtails Climb Glass and Escape My Terrarium?

Are they better at crawling or jumping? Why would a springtail decide NOT to climb glass walls? In this article, we’ll find out if springtails will actually attempt to escape by climbing glass.

Can Springtails Climb Glass and Escape My Terrarium?

Yes. Springtails can climb just about any surface. The question is, do they want to? Springtails like to stay close to the food source which is located at the top layer of the soil or substrate. If your terrarium is not completely sealed, they can climb up the glass and escape without a problem.

You will most likely never notice that you missing some springtails. Keep the area around your terrariums clear of any traces of food to prevent springtails from planning an escape.

Will Springtails Climb Glass?

Yes. Absolutely. Springtails can climb glass and just about any other surface you can imagine. They will climb anywhere they wish, but they will prefer areas that have higher humidity.

This is why springtails would prefer to stay close to the most humid locations that are near the substrate or the top soil of soil.

Mite paper is used to keep around tank which prevents many little critters from escaping. You should also not entice springtails with any type of food source or leftover crumbs on the other side of the glass which may encourage them to climb over.

Springtails can climb all the way up to your the side of your house if it is warm and humid enough.

Can You Keep Springtails in an Open Terrarium?

Yes, but it is more common to see springtails in closed terrariums. If you really wish to keep them in part of a bio-active ecosystem that is open, springtails can survive if there is enough moisture.

Keep in mind that springtails can also climb out of open terrariums very easily. You may never notice them escaping.

The claws of springtails are actually hydrophilic. This means they can also stick to the surface of the water long enough to gain some traction to move around.

Even if there is water surrounding an open terrarium, Springtails can find their way out before you figure out they are missing.

Can Springtails Climb Walls?

Correct. Springtails can climb up the side of any wall that is made of:

  • Brick
  • Concrete
  • Wood
  • Glass

Imagine hot and humid neighborhoods that are crawling with springtails and the homeowners don’t even notice them. Springtails could crawl up the sides of houses.

They will enter through unnoticed gaps that are contained between windows or through brick and exposed concrete.

Have you ever seen hundreds of springtails indoors crawling on your floor,? Most likely this will not occur, since springtails prefer to remain close to hot, humid fertile soil that delivers them nutrients.

It would take desperate measures for springtails to want to climb walls when available food sources are already nearby.

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How High Can Springtails Jump?

Springtails cannot only walk and crawl up walls, they can also jump very high for their relative measurements. The actual amount is 20 times their own body size. So if a large springtail is about 5 mm in size, it can jump up to 75 mm.

Imagine someone 6 ft tall being able to jump 100 ft! This person would become the greatest Olympic long jumper ever.

It would be really interesting to see an event where fleas and springtails jumped for gold. The flea would win as it is noticed as the longest jumper on earth for its relative size.

Springtails being able to jump when necessary is also something that fascinates us about these little creatures who would much rather crawl if they need to.

Do Springtails Walk Fast?

Springtails are quite speedy for their little diminutive measurements. They can crawl 3-4 inches in a single motion even if they’re measured out at 2-5 mm in length.

Imagine being able to move 100 times your own body weight in a single motion. This is the way springtails walk and it’s unimaginable that a human could ever perform such a feat.

The spring in their name relates to the springing that they can do from their abdomen called a furcula. With this springing abdomen, they’re able to move incredibly fast in a motion that we could consider walking or crawling,  but it’s something even more special than that. It’s “springing”!


You will not have any concerns if you are managing a terrarium that is completely sealed. This is the most common way to keep springtails. Leaving a terrarium open exposed to dry air conditions could leave your springtails dead before you know it.

Springtails may end up trying to climb out of dry conditions to look for someplace that is considerably more moist. Our objectives of terrarium management for springtails is to keep the soil humid and moist where food is available for them.

Why would springtails want to leave a place that is abundant with nutrition to risk climbing glass walls? The fact is, springtails will climb glass walls when they have to or if they want to.


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Jason Barrett

Hello, I'm Jason. I have 11 years of experience in dealing with pests. I try to provide you the best information that'll help you to make the pest control process easy & affordable