Snow fleas are insects that jump on the snow surface. These insects are commonly found in areas with cold winter weather. The scientific name for snow fleas is Hypogastrura nivicola, and it is a species of springtail found in North America. The species’ common name is derived from the fact that it jumps on snow.
These winter-loving pests are small and live in leaf litter and soil. They feed on decomposing organic matter, which is why they are able to survive during the winter months. This is possible due to a special protein in the fleas’ bodies that contains the amino acid glycine, which inhibits the formation of ice crystals, much like antifreeze does.
While snow fleas are annoying, they’re also beneficial for the environment. They feed on dead organic matter and decompose it, releasing nutrients back into the soil. Their diets range from moss and fungi to bacteria and algae. You can find snow fleas in a range of habitats, including damp moss and tree trunks.
Snow fleas are very small, but they can survive extremely cold temperatures. Their body fluids don’t freeze, so they are able to jump several inches with their spring-like tail. They can congregate in groups of thousands and feed on organic material. These insects can also survive in damp soil and rotten wood logs.