How to get rid of indoor plant tails

Hey, who’s jumping on me there? Has this happened to you when watering houseplants? Then they are probably infested with pinworms.

Springtails (Collembola) are tiny animals usually found in the topsoil. Some species also live above ground. Springtails do not have wings, but above-ground species have a fork at the bottom of their abdomen, which they use to reflexively jump when threatened. On the other hand, springs found on the ground secrete a secretion to protect themselves from predators.

Small primary insects feed on rotting plant matter, which they turn into valuable humus. They are therefore valuable soil dwellers for garden soil and compost. But small hops can become a big problem.

Can spring tails become a nuisance?

Yes. Sometimes small animals multiply explosively in a pot. A mass phenomenon often quickly becomes a nuisance in winter or spring under optimal living conditions. This happens, for example, if you keep the potting soil too wet or use too much organic fertilizer.

Also interesting: What to do with pests on potted plants in winter

Insects also easily enter the soil if your flower pots are left outside for long periods of time. And the humus potting soil from the garden center is also a real treat. In the case of mass reproduction, hungry insects also attack intact, small roots and damage them while feeding.

Springtails: A close-up view of a springtail
The species Folsomia candida lives in the soil and sometimes also in flower potsPhoto: Wikimedia Commons/Andy Murray

Also worth reading: Effectively fights plant pests thrips

How to get rid of spring tails?

There is no need to take any further action against springs in the garden. It would be a pity for the useful ones. These gentle measures help protect against houseplant infestation:

How to process and use quinces


Submerge the affected plant or root ball in a bucket filled with water. After about 30 minutes, the insects will float to the surface. Then you can drain the water and transplant the plant.

dry treatment

Springtails are especially comfortable in humid environments. Therefore, when watering, always make sure not to cause waterlogging. Water again only when the soil in the flower pot has dried a little. One is enough for that Finger probe.


The use of predatory mites such as Hypoaspis miles is also helpful in controlling too many tails. Small omnivores also attack fungus gnats or thrips. You can buy predatory ticks in specialty stores or online. How to use nematodes correctly is explained in this book by myHOMEBOOK Article.


Springtails love dead plant material. Therefore, regularly remove fallen leaves, flowers or other plant parts from the flower pot.

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