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Snow fleas are beginning to appear

Have you seen tiny black bugs in groups in the snow recently?

Sunny, warm, days during winter and melting snow are the perfect conditions to see them.

According to entomologists with Penn State University and Carnegie Museum of Natural History, they’re called snow fleas.

Snow fleas have been found in our area in the past.

They are seen in huge groups on melting snow piles. They are decomposers and are searching for their food, which is plant matter. They are not considered a pest as they do recycle nutrients.

There’s also a bug called the snow scorpionfly, which has also been called a snow flea, and these have been found in Allegheny County, too.

However, these are not found in big groups. Snow scropionflies have been seen in North Park, Irwin Run Conservation Area and Beechwood Farms Nature Reserve in the last few years.

They are likely to occur somewhere with some moss so you may see them in Frick Park or Schenley Park.

Snow fleas do jump but they don’t bite and are not harmful to humans or pets.