Discovered early infestation with Springtails but they persist...


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Old 05-29-17, 10:06 PM
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Discovered early infestation with Springtails but they persist...

So this a bit odd situation - I use a lot of products outside (usually Talstar) due to issues with biting flies and mosquito, but never had any issues inside.

Three days ago when cleaning one corner of the basement - which I admit has been neglected I discovered extremely small insects that initially I thought are fleas, however, I knew this would be very unlikely - no pets, nobody at home has any hygiene issues and finally how would they survive in a sink with towels only???
After some research I am 90% sure they are Springtails.
The infestation was limited to a small area - an un-connected (no water, no drain) utility sink with several wet towels inside.

I went nuts and started to treat the entire sink, then the immediate area.... I discarded the towels and setup my dehumidifier to 30% - to make it super dry.
However, for the past few days I keep discovering them...only now it is maybe 3-6 every 8 hrs or so inside the sink (which now stays dry and empty)....

What worries me a lot now - since I practically sterilized the sink and the area around, that they are coming from the overhead insulation....(the ceiling is open now....getting ready to close it later in the Summer.
I have Roxul - which is dry and never had any contact with water.... but where else would they come from ??

Is it possible for Springtails to infest dry Roxul insulation??
I thought they can't tolerate dry environments.

I plan to spray Tempo SC Ultra onto the Roxul Insulation but wonder if the pros here could shed some light on this situation and my approach.

Much appreciated.

PS: Including the picture of the area - the towels were in the sink on the right...I do find maybe 1 or 2 in the sink on the left but the one on the right seemed like initial breeding ground and now I still find a few of them every 6-8 hrs...
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Old 05-30-17, 05:44 AM
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Might be a good idea to post a couple of pics of the bugs themselves, if possible.
 
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Old 05-30-17, 06:55 AM
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Springtails and other tiny insects such as psocids (booklice) do like chronic dampness. Chronic dampness can occur in small areas even within a larger dry space. Running a dehumidifier came to my mind even before I read that you did take that course of action. Good move. That said, a dehumidifier, assuming that it is sized correctly for the volume of space, could take several weeks until the more hidden, secluded areas are dried out. This assumes that there is no slow leak from somewhere. Iíve seen, including my own house, where very slow but chronic plumbing leaks are absorbed by surrounding wood and insulation and dry wall and do not show themselves as do fast leaks.

Set up a step ladder and check all pipe penetrations through the overhead flooring for condensation or very slow leaking.

Tempo or Talstar will work well on many crawling insects. Both are legal for use inside but you may need to download a label that has interior treating instructions. I personally would go with Talstar first but either one is good. Your call. Also, I would focus on spraying exposed wood as my target rather than the insulation as a target. Insulation does not provide a good enough foundation to hold a residual insecticide and make it available to crawling insects. If you fan spray along the exposed edge of floor joists then you will contact some insulation anyway. Treat up and behind the sinks where they connect to the wall. Also treat wall floor junction and any cracks and crevices in slab and wall. Realize that you will have to be patient while the wood dries out and the insects eventually contact the residual over the next weeks.

Are you able to inspect the basement floor in other areas for these insects? Iím sure they are almost impossible to see unless on a contrasting background such as the sink. It would be helpful to know if they are in fact concentrated in the sink area of basement or more a general infestation.

Keep us posted.
 
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Old 05-31-17, 04:58 PM
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UPDATE: I setup multiple containers on the floor in random places.
I still have infestation along the wall - meaning in both sinks and any container placed along the wall I was able to find the Springtails....containers that were away from the wall... like 3-4 feet in the center - were clear.

Hard to understand.... There are no pipes in many of the locations and no way for water to get there...the ceiling is above the ground level....there are no signs of them anywhere on the wall.... My guess is that they are somewhere along the edge and inside the insulation.

I have been running dehumidifier set to 40%.... I also sprayed Tempo few days ago.... and even sprayed the sinks...The insects seem unaffected - I see them appearing inside the containers or the sinks and they are alive.
SHouldn't Tempo kill them within minutes ?

Also - I have inspected some area around the house and I found some (few here and there) on the siding etc...)

I also turned on the heat....even though it is warm - made the house really hot and dry.

How long to get rid of them and know for sure they are gone ?

I have lived here for 3 yrs and never seen them before....I really keep my house clean and always have been spraying lot of products around the house and even on the siding.... I simply hate all sort of insects and will go to great lengths to eradicate them.

Any other area I should be looking at or change the product for faster kill ?

PS: here in NJ we got rain almost every day for the past 3 weeks so everything seems to be soaked and I haven't been spraying on the outside as I thought it would be a waste but I think I will now spray even if rain is coming within 24 hrs.
 
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Old 05-31-17, 06:23 PM
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Springtails typically infest from the exterior. When you spray the exterior you should treat heavily into any gap between the foundation wall and soil, if one exists. Otherwise, you may need much more volume than you are used to spraying. I would think that 5 to 10 gallons on the soil perimeter as a surface spray beyond the soil gap spraying and part way up the house wall would be in the ball park. Tempo should be killing them, but it will take more than minutes unless they were directly sprayed.
 
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Old 06-01-17, 12:54 PM
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Thank you PA for all the help.

What I would like to understand is how do they get in...??
I mean, it appears that they are residing somewhere in the ceiling area between the joist / inside the exposed insulation....since the only time I see them is when I setup tall containers in random places....they literally fall into them....
I don't see them on the walls or any other open surfaces....

Even if I assume the frequent rains brought them here - how did they penetrate insulation that appears bone-dry?
I thought they can't survive w/o moisture.

I want to make sure I kill them all and never see them again....
 
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Old 06-01-17, 04:31 PM
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Ambient moisture exists everywhere, even when dehumidifier or AC or dry heat is present. The percent of humidity is the amount of moisture that is in the air, however small that may be. They arenít going to die or leave quickly simply because the moisture level is down below what they like. Are you sure that no moisture exists above the insulation? Have you physically checked? Is there a vapor barrier above the insulation an if so, is it installed correctly?

I suspect there may be a lot of springtails on the exterior and entering the house is a normal reaction for an overpopulation. Insect populations run in cycles.

Assuming there is no moisture problem then this may be an anomaly that wonít happen again. They run cyclical around here. Havenít seen them for a few years but I remember a bad year.

Are you finding dead ones in the cups overnight?
 
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Old 06-01-17, 06:57 PM
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so today being one of the rare days in the past month that is sunny and clear I inspected the outside of the house and I saw some large groups of those bugs on the siding and around the windows....
Somehow surprise that they would be just hanging out in the Sun like that...anyhow.... prep'ed a mixture of Tempo SC Ultra and ExciteR and went nuts....
I also wonder.... just 3 weeks ago I finished major paving project around my house....all the disturbed ground / soil etc.... maybe that's how the population exploded and why I find them now all around the house...
So the outside should be now uninhabitable by any insect...LOL
Back to the basement - seeing some dead ones dropping from the ceiling into the containers and still seeing some alive ones...
What I noticed now that is different from 4-5 days ago (pre-treatment) is that I see mostly "baby" Springtails being dead and a few mature insects still alive.... meaning: I see way more very small dots... those are the dead insects mostly around the corners of the containers and then 2-5 more mature bigger jumping Springtails moving about the bottom of the containers.

PAbugman - for the indoor - I plan to remove the insulation and spray directly onto the subfloor and then put the insulation back.... By the way...there is no vapor barrier as I was told that for Roxul - you really don't need one.... especially when using it as a insulation between basement ceiling and living spaces

Thanks again for all your guidance.
 
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Old 06-02-17, 03:21 PM
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Sounds like a plan! Youíve done a lot so Iím curious to see the future results and infestation levels. Sometimes progress is slow but it does sound like progress here. Keep us posted!
 
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Old 06-04-17, 06:43 AM
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Need some more help....

So I treated the outside of the house on 6/1 (as per above post) and it looked like I killed everything that lived on the siding etc... but yesterday I noticed the insects on some spots...small groups here and there..... probably 80% less of what I had initially but seemed pretty alive and well.
Should I re-apply the spraying right away or should I expect the toxic effects to take some time and the next spraying should be in 4-5 days?
What should be the frequency of application...at least initially?

Also - what should I be looking for in terms of the source....I mean...if I spray and think I eliminated everything but few days later I see them again...they must be coming from somewhere - I want to determine what that SOMEWHERE is....

thanks!

Thanks!
 
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Old 06-04-17, 12:51 PM
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The residual should be several weeks, more or less, though bright sunshine will break down what is exposed. That’s why I like it to get down into the gaps, cracks and crevices. Another treatment option would be insecticide granules. I like Bi-fenthrin granules which is same active ingredient as Talstar. Spread them about two feet more or less in an exterior perimeter from the house. Get some into the same gaps as described above. Rain and ambient moisture will dissolve them in time. Much longer residual with granules. I have no idea where they are coming from; won’t necessarily be a single source as they are not social/colony insects. Remember, insect overpopulations often times run in cycles and this could be one of those years.
 
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Old 06-04-17, 01:52 PM
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Following along but looking at your picture I see the Roxul but can't tell if you have air sealed the rim area. Air sealing is beneficial for energy conservation and in your case might help to keep the bugs out. I like caulking as it lasts much longer than can foam and by picture framing each cavity and the top and bottom of the joist you will greatly reduce the potential for those areas to be entrance points. I did Google springtails and they are rather small.

What type of siding do you have? Vinyl provides a lot of space behind it.

Bud
 
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Old 06-05-17, 08:50 AM
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Seems the strategy works.... I barely see any of them, however, stupid rain..... will rain every day here ..... Should I re-apply in between to maintain the momentum so to speak ?
 
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Old 06-05-17, 03:52 PM
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The house soffits and rain gutters should protect the immediate perimeter of house so I wouldnt worry about it, unless thatís not the case. Also, once dried the insecticides will bond to the surface they were applied to, though some bond well and others not so well. Hard call to make. Hard sunshine is actually more degrading to modern day insecticides.

Consider using granules as I posted in my previous post. Rain is good for them as they actually dissolve that way. The ambient moisture in the air, especially on humid rainy days will slowly dissolve the granules.

Sounds like youíre making progress, good job!
 
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Old 06-06-17, 07:21 AM
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Finally got to getting some pics....those are from few days ago.
The close up is of the largest individuals I could find....most of them way too small to capture even with good camera and lens... Other pictures show them more as they are....small dots.
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