What the Heck are Snow Fleas and When Will They Invade WA State?
Snow Fleas in Washington State: Get Ready for Them This Winter!
Our skin is crawling and itching just thinking about any type of bugs (especially fleas). Imagine how creeped out we felt when we found out there’s such a thing as Snow Fleas! We first heard about them from Lizzie, a colleague in Maine, who warned that snow fleas would be invading them this winter. At first, we laughed at Maine. Then we thought, “Wait a minute, what the heck are snow fleas?! And are snow fleas found Washington state, too?” The answer to both of those questions is YES. Yikes.
After hearing that snow fleas exist, we have even more unanswered questions:
DO SNOW FLEAS BITE AND WHEN ARE THEY INVADING WASHINGTON?
Let’s take each question one at a time and we will try to be as brief as possible because our skin is still crawling as we type this and we cannot stand it much longer! LOL.
WHAT THE HECK ARE SNOW FLEAS?
Snow Fleas are the swarms of tiny jumpy black bugs you may have seen in the snow, especially when the snow is melting and mushy.
“[Snow Fleas] are decomposers that feed on molds, decaying vegetation, algae, bacteria, fungi, and microscopic animals.” - Melissa Fischer, Eastern Washington Forest Health Entomologist, Washington State Department of Natural Resources
WHEN EXACTLY WILL SNOW FLEAS BE INVADING WASHINGTON STATE?
There has to be melting snow on the ground near the base of trees or muddy places after the snow has melted before we will be “invaded” by snow fleas. They love cold weather and they love decomposing stuff. We will likely see them late winter and early spring in Washington state.
DO SNOW FLEAS BITE? ARE THEY DANGEROUS?
Fortunately for us humans, snow fleas do not bite and are not dangerous. Snow fleas, in fact, play a great role in the ecology of nature. YAY. They can stay.
BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!
Snow fleas can also be found inside of homes! So says THIS GUY who is a pest control person we found whilst being nosy on "the YouTubes".
The thought of snow fleas inside our houses makes our skin itch even further! So if you’ll please excuse us, we're going to go scratch our scritches!