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How to Get Rid of Collembola (Also Known As Snow Fleas, Springtails and Ectoparasites)
If you’ve never heard of Collembola, you’re not alone. Until recent years, it was thought that these creatures on earth were essentially harmless. Even doctors vehemently denied that springtail could infect human hair and skin. People who suffered from chronic itching, biting and crawling sensations were often thought of as delusional, but that mindset is slowly changing. Growing evidence suggests that these tiny micro-pests can be surprisingly invasive.
Thanks to the persistence of people like Dr. Frans Janssens and his colleague, Dr. Kenneth A. Christiansen, the scientific community is beginning to realize that springtails can pose a very real threat to human comfort when present in large numbers. The two researchers collected many reports from homeowners, doctors and pest control operators in several countries, including many regions of the United States. Within the gray areas between anecdotal evidence, scientific observation, and concrete medical documentation, a startling picture emerged. Collembola are everywhere, and it is not impossible for them to associate with humans and animals.
As inhabitants of fertile soil, springtails are likely to be found almost anywhere. The more you water the lawn and apply fertilizer, the happier they will be. They are considered the most abundant arthropods on earth. Since prehistoric times, they have survived cold winters and very hot summers, but their numbers decrease exponentially in dry conditions.
Pet owners are particularly vulnerable to collembola infestation. Dogs and cats that step on wet soil or wet grass can pick up spring tails and carry them home; however, springtails are unlikely to stay attached to pets like fleas unless a pet’s immune system is compromised (for example, if it has a fungal skin infection.) Springtails are easily transferred between humans and animals. Close contact is not necessary. These acrobatic creatures can jump three to four feet. You can’t always spot them catapulting through the air. They can be smaller than the head of a pin.
If the thought of some springtails in the house makes you paranoid, relax. Their ability to divide and conquer will largely depend on environmental factors. Do you like to grow potted plants indoors? Does your basement tend to flood after a good rain? Do you smell mold behind the bathroom wall? Still waiting for a plumber to fix that leaky pipe under the kitchen sink? Who was president the last time you cleaned the air ducts? A damp, moldy environment is like Disneyland in the tail end of spring.
Getting rid of an advanced collembolan infestation can be difficult because springtails are not classified as insects. They are defined as hexapods, primitive ancestors of modern insects. According to organic scientist David Glassel, chemical pesticides have no effect on the hexapod. Only natural insecticides will do this, and the best remedy is cedar oil.
Step-by-step guide to eliminating Collembola infestation:
1.) Treat yourself and your pets with a topical cedar oil insecticide approved for use on humans and animals. Avoid cosmetic or aromatherapy grade cedar oil. It does not clear and usually comes from certain forms of cypress trees. Cedarwood oil that is formulated for home protection will kill ALL KINDS of vermin on contact, including lice, lice and all forms of mites. If you’re tempted to use an over-the-counter lice control kit, don’t worry. It won’t work, it’s not enough to cover large areas, and it’s just not good for you. Such products contain Lindane, a chemical banned for use on animals by the Environmental Protection Agency.
2.) Spray couches, beds, and rugs with a fine mist of cedarwood oil. A proper homemade formula will be very easy and clean. In other words, it will not stain the fabric.
3.) Use a cedar oil mist machine to penetrate invisible cracks and crevices in the home. Normally, fog machines are considered optional, but advanced springtail infestations require aggressive measures. If you believe your infestation is severe, or if you’ve actually seen large groups of tails moving across floors and walls, don’t panic.
4.) Use the fog machine to treat the air ducts or hire a professional air duct cleaning company. Many people are shocked to discover that they have mold in their air ducts. It is not uncommon for mold to develop in your heating and cooling system from condensation from your air conditioner. Springtails feed on mold and thrive in moist conditions. Mold can also make asthma and allergies worse. Air duct treatment addresses all of these difficulties.
5.) Buy the highest quality furnace filters available at your local store. Filters designed to remove allergens and dust particles are the best. Change filters often.
6.) Hunt for places where moisture accumulates. Attach leaky roofs and pipes. Seal cracks around basement windows. Pay special attention to the bathroom walls and cabinets under the sink.
7.) Remove houseplants, especially ornamental trees sitting in large potted containers filled with soil. Remember that springtails can be transported directly to your home via bags of potting soil.
8.) Take aggressive measures to control animal populations on your property. Double trash bags and don’t leave open trash cans sitting around. Pet foods that are stored outside should be kept in airtight containers. Use traps or repellents to control rodent, raccoon and squirrel populations. Resist the urge to pet stray dogs and cats. Report any feral cat sightings to your local animal control center.
9.) Beware of too rich potting soil and woody landscaping materials. Based on calls made to our pest control operation from around the country, springtail populations are often brought into homes when truckloads of new mulch or soil are dumped on properties that previously had minimal landscaping. (Mulch traps moisture and encourages mold growth.) Seal any cracks around basement windows before spreading natural landscaping materials around the perimeter of the house. If you are concerned about collembolla populations outside, there are super strong cedar oil concentrates designed to repel mosquitoes and kill insect populations in grass and soil. Pet breeders, horse handlers and ranchers use cedar oil concentrate to control all types of parasites in barns, pastures and pastures. A generous treatment in early spring or summer will do much to destroy the eggs and control large insect populations before they break out. Vet bills are expensive. Destroy the parasites before they destroy you!
10.) Last but not least, avoid chemical pesticides. In February 2011, USA Today published an article titled “Pesticide Exposure in the Utero Linked to Learning Disabilities.” The study focused on perimetrin, a chemical commonly used to control household pests. As troubling as this sounds, the topic is nothing new. Many scientific studies have linked chemical pesticides to neurological disorders, breast cancer and birth defects in children living near farms where the chemicals are sprayed. In a national investigation by ABC World News, flea and tick drops were found to cause 44,000 severe reactions in one year, including multiple deaths.
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#Rid #Collembola #Snow #Fleas #Springtails #Ectoparasites