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Pest Information

Jumping Bristletails

  • Latin Name: Machilus sp.
  • Common Name: Jumping Bristletails
  • Other Names: N/A

Pest Details


Many native species in North America.


The bristletails undergo virtually no change in appearance from early nymph to mature adult, and thus are “without” metamorphosis. They may live several years, continuing to molt periodically. They are scavengers that feed on decaying plant materials, and often may be found under old logs or the loose bark of old dead trees or logs.


Adult insects are about ¾ inch long and a dark brown color, sometimes with darker patterns on the body. They are wingless. At the tail end are 3 very long, thin appendages pointing to the rear. The body is cylindrical in shape and has a noticeable “humped” profile to the thorax, and a close look reveals the body is covered with very small scales. When disturbed these insects quickly jump, and may jump a considerable distance to escape.

Characteristicts Important to Control:

Generally not a pest in structures, but may occur inside if they have been imported with firewood. A vacuum is sufficient to remove the occasional bristletail and no pesticide applications are needed.

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