What are these insects and should I be concerned? They're about 1/8" in length and don't look like termites or pine beetles. I don't see any insect-related damage to the wood but they seem to have a strong affinity for the wood (they're no where else to be seen).

The boards are kiln dried SPF and hem-fir which have been sitting outside for about 6 weeks now under a tarp and the bugs only appeared within the last week.

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  • Insects tend to accumulate on lumber left sitting outside because of the odor and shelter it provides. What species depends on location. In my area it tends to be moths and what I call daddy-long-legs. I wouldn't worry about it unless you find them in the building in substantial numbers.
    – isherwood
    Jan 29, 2018 at 16:05

2 Answers 2


They are springtails.

There's a picture of one looking happy at It Takes Two to Tango… or Does It? The Curious Courtship of Collembola (Springtails).

Insect Identification Key Order Collembola: the springtails and snowfleas has another picture, labelling the little creature as a globular springtail.

The Kids' Inquiry of Diverse Species has this to say about the diet of springtails:

Although many species are herbivorous, others are carnivorous feeding on other springtails, nematodes and other small arthropods. Those springtails living in leaf litter and soil usually feed on fungi, plant material, feces and algae.

So there is no need to be concerned.

  • Yeah that definitely looks like them (couldn't get a better picture ok my phone). I'm was worried about the "feeding on plant material" part, would they nibble on lumber?
    – Serguei
    Jan 31, 2018 at 16:53
  • 1
    If that sort of springtail eats raw wood, I think you could spare the micrograms they would eat. They could just as easily be consuming fungus on the wood surface and so doing you a favour. Inspection under a microscope might show you what they are eating: do they leave behind little bite marks or do they leave patches without fungus? Jan 31, 2018 at 18:09

To me it looks like a tick, but my phone doesn't have the best display. We find ticks on the dogs and horses regularly when riding in grassy areas.

  • 1
    I don't think that's the case here. I'm very familiar with wood and deer ticks.
    – isherwood
    Jan 29, 2018 at 16:04

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