Springtails can live in moist and damp bed sheets because they cannot survive without moisture. Since they need humidity to stay hydrated, those tiny jumpy bugs will hop into your bed when the environment is hot with low humidity levels. Damp bedding can easily accumulate excessive moisture which is enough for springtails to survive.
To get rid of springtails and their eggs in bedsheets, wash them with warm soapy water. Let them dry then iron to remove moisture. Aerate the bedroom to reduce humidity levels that attract springtails and avoid heavy bedding that accumulates sweat at night.
Even though it has been observed that they can be attracted to light, springtails are more active at night because they hate disturbance and can be grouped under nocturnal insects. Springtails may also crawl on you at night as you sleep and they are often confused for fleas based on their physical characteristics.
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Causes of spring tails in bed sheets
Springtails (collembola) lose moisture from their body surfaces very fast thus they cannot survive in an open environment for long. When they get into your bedroom on a hot day, they hide in bedsheets and heavy bedding to avoid dry winds that can drain water from their bodies. Here are some causes of springtails in bedsheets:
1. Damp bedding
The major attraction of springtails to your bed is humid sheets, blankets, and duvets. After washing your bedding, they may fail to dry properly. Mist settles on bulky bed covers in a cold bedroom and makes the materials wet. Heavy bedding also encourages moisture accumulation in bedsheets and the bedroom in general.
Dampness in your bedding can also be increased if you never spread your bed in the morning. Keeping piles of dirty clothes on the bed can also increase the chances of springtails hiding under them. However, this does not mean that those bugs will avoid your damp bedding if you spread them.
There are people who also sweat excessively while sleeping thus making the bedding wet. Springtails are sensitive to moisture and they will hide under the bed covers or tuck themselves in your bed sheets if they are soaked in sweat. As long as the environment is dry, they get desperate when looking for a damp habitat in the house.
Excessive sweat accumulates on bed sheets and the bed covers become humid and warm. They are also dark on the inside and this provides a home for springtails to breed. If the bed is dirty, springtails will feed on any organic decaying stains on the bedsheets and that is how they thrive in a bed.
3. Bedroom plants
Potted plants in a bedroom can host springtails in large numbers and those can spread to your bed covers. House plants provide a good habitat for those jumpy bugs in your bedroom because the leaves provide them with organic food.
A high population means they need to move and find new habitats since they multiply very fast. While hopping around in search of a new habitat, your wet bedsheets, duvets, and covers can host them.
Springtails in houseplants can also move and live under the bed if it is dark, dirty, and moist. Since the potted bedroom plants will be providing food, they can continue breeding and multiplying. A large number of them can damage your plants and should be controlled before it is too late.
4. Bedroom washrooms
Constantly wet washrooms with stagnant water in the bedrooms can attract springtails very fast. Bathroom springtails multiply in large numbers because of a good habitat provided by the bathroom drains. The numbers then grow and their presence is soon felt in the whole bedroom.
The ones that fail to fail to trace the washrooms will settle in your bedding and closets. Throwing watery towels on the bed after taking a shower and leaving them there can make the bed sheets wet. With time, the bedding build moisture from the wet towels which causes springtails in them.
5. Humid room
Humidity levels in a room can be raised by many factors including the heat you produce while asleep. Wet bed sheets that are not dried after washing and poor ventilation also contribute to this. When the rest of the house is less humid, springtails find their way into the bedroom and your bed will not be spared in the process.
Damp carpets and mats in the bedroom can cause constant humid air that settles on the bed’s surface even if the bedding is dry. When this remains the same for hours, the moisture on the bedcover surface sinks into the bed sheets and the mattress. The retained moisture makes the entire bed damp and this invited springtails to it.
6. Mold in bed sheets
Constantly moist bedding causes mold in bedsheets especially if they are never changed regularly. Mold is a major food for Springtails and this can attract them to your bed. Controlling them can be very difficult if they have a moist habitat and a source of food.
Fungus or mold in bedsheets thrives in humidity and springtails feed on them. After washing bed sheets and they are not left to dry well, they can accumulate mold in them. The fabric will also retain moisture and this will invite springtails to your bedroom in large numbers.
How to get rid of spring tails in bed sheets
If you want to get rid of those tiny jumping bugs in your bedding, eliminate moisture which they need to survive. Before you spread the bedsheets, ensure they are well dried and ironed in order to remove any moisture in them. If those conditions are met and there is no cover on the bed that is a dump, it is difficult for springtails to stay in your bedding.
1. Wash the bedding
Remove and wash infested bed sheets with warm soapy water to kill springtails and their eggs. After that, add 100ml of white vinegar to the final rinse to deter them. Most washing machines are designed to do a one-turn rinse. You can repeat the rinsing process to ensure that there are no eggs or jumpy bugs left in the bedclothes.
Heavy duvets and blankets should also be washed if they are infested. It is always a tough job to wash the heavy ones but there is no option if they are contaminated. There is no point in cleaning the bed sheets alone and covering them in materials that have not been disinfected.
2. Air conditioner
Tune your air conditioner to reduce humidity levels in the bedroom. Keep it between 30-35% when getting rid of springtails in the bedroom. That is the recommend low humidity that you can sleep in at night. During the day, open the door and windows to allow air circulation in the bedroom.
Proper air circulation in the bedroom will help in keeping dry. Aerating the bedroom helps in reducing moisture accumulation in the room which settles on the bed. The bedsheets also remain dry and fresh and this alone is enough to keep springtails away from your bed and bedroom.
3. Clean under the bed
Accumulated dirt, dust, and dead insects under the bed can provide a good habitat for springtails. If they multiply down there, they will jump and hung on your bedsheets. In their natural habitats, springtails live in the soil. When it is dusty and humid under the bed, those bugs can thrive and breed in your bedroom.
When cleaning an infested house, ensure you mop under the bed with soapy water. The same should be done to the rest of the floor. Then leave the windows open for the floor to dry up. After that, sprinkle a mixture of white vinegar and warm water in equal parts on it to deter springtails.
Springtails can live in damp fabric and materials as long as they are wet, folded and there is moisture accumulated in them. Those conditions can also encourage the growth of mold or fungus which springtails can feed on in the bedroom.
Damp bed sheets that are folded and kept in the closet can easily attract springtails in the bedroom to thrive in them. If those are spread on the bed after some time, the jumpy bugs will be transferred to it. To get rid of them, clean bedsheets, covers, and clothes kept in the closet should be properly dried and ironed to remove moisture that attracts springtails.
5. Bedroom mats and carpets
Damp mats and wet carpets in the bedroom can encourage springtails to breed in there. Mold can develop in moist carpets and this provides springtails with food and an environment to breed. After multiplying, they will spread to the bed and other areas in the room.
Always aerate your fluffy bedroom carpet at least once every two weeks to remove moisture in it. If they are infested, vacuum and wash them. The same should be done to mats that you step on in the bedroom after taking a shower. Keep them clean and dry and sprinkle springtail repellents like cider oil and white vinegar on them.