Snow Fleas are Real and We Have Them in Indiana
The next time it snows here in Indiana, and you notice some little black specs in the snow, you might have come across a swarm of snow fleas!
Currently, there isn't any snow on the ground (at least in Southern Indiana), but that wasn't the case a few weeks ago. We had our first White Christmas in years. Now, the snow quickly melted away, but winter isn't over yet. According to the Old Farmer's Almanac, more snow could be on the way in January and February of 2023.
Winter will be colder than normal, with below-normal precipitation but above-normal snowfall. The coldest periods will occur in early and mid-December, early and late January, and much of February, with the snowiest periods throughout January and in late February and early March.
That being said, the chances of more snow here in Southern Indiana are very likely in the near future, so now might be a good time to tell you about something that could be found in the snow that you probably never knew existed...snow fleas.
What are Snow Fleas?
These little-known critters come out when most of the other insects like ticks, fleas, and mosquitos aren't typically spotted...the winter. According to the Farmer's Almanac:
Snow fleas are not actually fleas — and officially, they aren’t classified as insects, either, though they do look like bugs. These small wingless creatures are often referred to as “springtails,” but their scientific name is Hypogastrura harveyi or Hypogastrura nivicola, depending on the species. Snow fleas are classified as hexapods, which is a subtype of the arthropod family. Like insects, snow fleas have six legs but researchers say that they are more closely related to crustaceans.
The snow flea that makes its home in snow banks and the sprinkling of snow around the tree trunks in your yard. You might look down at the melting snow and notice little black specks. These specks could be confused with dirt at first glance, but in reality, they are snow fleas. These insects are actually out year-round, but they are most commonly noticed in the wintertime in the snow.
Do Snow Fleas Bite?
No. Unlike the fleas that you might find on your dog, snow fleas are not a threat to you or your pets. Snow fleas are actually great for your lawn and gardens because of the work that they do to help decompose organic material, according to the Farmer's Alamanac.
If you are like me, you had no clue they even existed. Next time it snows, take a look at the ground to see if you can spot them.