Snow Fleas??? Yep, They’re A Thing In North Dakota!
I've lived virtually every single moment of my entire life in our great state of North Dakota. I can truthfully say, I've never heard of a "Snow flea!" When I first saw people talking about them on social media, I had to do some digging. Do we even have them in North Dakota? Snow is not a problem, but I figured our very harsh winters would keep them away.
Well, as it turns out, Snow Fleas do indeed in habitat the Roughrider State. And, after a little research, they're not a flea at all. In fact, they're actually a pretty important creature that does a lot of good things. More on that in a moment.
Getting back to me never seeing them before in North Dakota. Chances are I have, I just didn't notice them. At first glance, they just look like some dirt specs in the snow. However, if you spend a little time looking, you'll see those specs are moving. In fact, they can even jump a couple feet. Yikes!
Snow fleas like to come out on warm sunny days during the winter. When temps are around 35 degrees or better. As the snow melts, organic matter is exposed. That's called dinner for them, as Snow fleas feed on dead leaves, mold, pollen, algae, grass clippings and dead materials. They're good for your lawn and good for the environment. Occasional sightings should not be cause for any alarm, as they're considered completely harmless.
As it turns out, Snow fleas are not fleas at all. They are arthropods, and they do not consume blood from animals or humans. According to the SDSU Extension, Snow fleas are not even technically an insects, they're a type of springtail. (Closely related though)
So how do Snow fleas survive our harsh North Dakota winters? Their blood is basically like anti-freeze. Now that we have some snow, I'll have to look around the lawn for these little buggers. Now I'm curious.
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