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These insects are sometimes found in houses although they occur most commonly outdoors. They are very small, usually less than ½ inch long. The body may be white or gray. In most species a forked appendage is attached to the lower back of the abdomen which can be moved away from the body suddenly, causing the insect to jump. This jumping action and its unique mechanism result in the common name springtails.
Springtails feed on algae, fungi, and decaying vegetable matter, although a few species may feed on living plants and dead animal matter. Indoors, springtails are sometimes found in damp places such as bathrooms, around drains, in most basements, on damp walls, the soil of potted plants, in stored plant bulbs, and especially around window moldings.