I'd be willing to bet that you had no clue that we have snow fleas in Indiana. So, what are they and are they dangerous? Let's take a look.

We haven't seen hardly any snow so far this winter (at least in southern Indiana). However, as you know, winter is far from over and there's a good chance that Indiana will see a bit more snow within the first few months of 2024. Personally, I'd be fine without any snow, but that's just me. In any event, parts of the Hoosier state will see more snowfall than others this winter. 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.

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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 <em>Hypogastrura harveyi</em> or <em>Hypogastrura nivicola</em>, 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 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?

That's a legitimate question, right? 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 Almanac.

If you are like me, you had no clue they even existed. Honestly, I found out about snow fleas last year, and I looked like crazy for them when it snowed at my house, but couldn't find any. Next time it snows, take a look at the ground to see if you can spot them. I know that I'll be doing that once again this year if/when it snows in my neck of the woods.

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