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(Bourletiella hortensis)

Also known as Collembola


Springtails are tiny, threadlike insects which grow up to 3/16 inch in length. They are wingless and are typically gray or bluish in color. Springtails thrive on decaying organic matter, especially in warm, moist soil or in watering saucers. As their name suggests, they leap by using their tail to propel themselves up to 15 times their body length. While they can be a nuisance, Springtails generally do very little harm to African Violets.

Distinguishing Symptoms

If your Violet has this symptom, it probably has Springtails.


If possible, ignore them. Some recommend drenching the soil with a 10 percent bleach solution, but this is not advisable, since this can be caustic to the delicate roots of African Violets. You may achieve some control by changing the water in your watering saucer and by cleaning out the leaf and flower debris from the soil.

If absolutely necessary, you can treat Springtails in the soil with Malathion or Diazinon (as directed on the label).


Remove any leaf and flower debris which have dropped into the soil. This is where Springtails typically feed. If you use a watering saucer, change the water frequently.

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