Collembola Springtails can build up to enormous numbers in soil, particularly if the soil is moist and has a high content of organic matter. They feed mainly on various kinds of decaying plant matter such as peat moss, compost, and leaf mold. Springtails seldom damage mature houseplants, but they do chew on seedlings and occasionally feed on other plant parts in close contact with the ground. Usually springtails are more of a curiosity, and a nuisance when numerous, than a cause for alarm. Springtails should not be confused with symphylans, centipedes, or millipedes, which also may occur in soil. These other creatures have many legs and cannot jump. Springtails have only three pairs of legs.
Springtails cannot live in dry soil. Water plants less often and drain the saucer below the plant to kill springtails.