Beware, Snow Fleas Are Taking Over Yards in Illinois and Wisconsin
Have you ever noticed little black specks all over in the snow in your yard and thought that it was just dirt? Well, it's not dirt. It's actually little bugs called snow fleas!
If you hate bugs and are totally panicking about your home being infested with fleas right now...stop, breathe, and relax. These "fleas" are actually a good thing to have in your yard, and they WON'T bite you or your pets either.
What Are Snow Fleas?
Snow fleas, aka, Hypogastrura nivicola, are actually not fleas at all. They are a species of dark blue springtail which are wingless insects that get their name from the forked appendage on their abdomen that they use to jump. These bugs got their flea name because they look similar to, and jump high, just like fleas do.
You may see a large swarm like this by the trees in your yard...
Of you might just see them sparingly like this...
I would 100 percent freak out if I saw a large swarm of snow fleas in my yard, but no matter how small or how big your yard's snow flea "problem" is, you should feel better knowing that neither is a bad problem to have.
The Farmers Almanac says;
They won’t bite and they are actually great for your lawn and gardens because of the work that they do to help decompose organic material.
Should you happen to spot these tiny hexapods this winter, take it as a good sign that the ecosystem in your yard is healthy and rich in plant matter.
Snow fleas are common in Illinois and Wisconsin, and they are particularly active during the winter months. They are typically found in areas with a lot of snow cover, such as wooded areas and fields, and they feed on decaying plant matter and fungi.
How to Get Rid of Snow Fleas
If you would rather not have a bunch of "fleas" munching on decaying plant matter in your yard, and you want to get rid of them completely, the best thing to do is address water problems in and around your home and make sure you remove and rake up all dead plant matter like leaves from your yard. Here are some more simple things you can try too...