Silverfish are the epitome of creepy-crawlies. Not only do they live in dark, dank places, but their fish-like appearance and movements are enough to unnerve anyone. While silverfish are not dangerous of themselves, they attract other dangerous bugs, and they can do loads of damage to your home and property. Now is the time to learn how to identify silverfish and find ways to keep them out of your home.
What are silverfish?
Silverfish are wingless, silver-colored insects that are typically about an inch long. The get their name from the metallic coloring of their scales, the shape of their bodies, and their characteristic wiggling movements that resemble a fish. Silverfish are good runners, but poor climbers, so you most often see them running across flat surfaces or trapped in a bathtub or sink. Dark areas where moisture is present are the favorite hiding places of silverfish, so they can often be found in basements, under sinks, and in kitchens and bathrooms.
What problems do silverfish cause?
Although silverfish can contaminate food, they do not carry any known diseases that can be passed to humans. The main problem comes from the damage that they do to property. Silverfish are highly attracted to various carbohydrates like sugars and starches. They can eat through carpets, book bindings, wallpapers and even clothing. In homes with silverfish infestations, family photos, important documents, and magazines can become food. Not only do they put holes in the things they eat, but they also secrete a yellow substance that can leave stains on your items and walls. Silverfish are also the favorite prey of other bugs like earwigs, centipedes, and brown-recluse spiders, that you definitely do not want in your home. If you get rid of the silverfish, you are less likely to attract other nasty insects.
How do you prevent silverfish?
If you start seeing live silverfish in your home or you find holes or yellow stains on your wallpaper or books, you may have a silverfish infestation. Silverfish populations can grow very quickly because the places they live and multiply in are not checked very frequently. Keeping them out of your home is the first step. Seal any cracks that you may find using caulk and weatherstripping. Keep cardboard boxes, other paper products, and food crumbs off the floor so that they are not attracted to your home. It is also important to check under your sinks and in your basements frequently. If you find any leaky pipes, fix them as soon as possible. You can also take other steps to remove excess moisture in your home like using a dehumidifier and a bathroom fan. These simple steps can help keep silverfish out of your home, but if you already have a silverfish problem, insecticides like permethrin and deltamethrin will kill them on contact.
If you want help with identification and control of silverfish, give Six Brothers Pest Control a call. Our trained technicians can help you determine the best course of action and ensure that you get rid of the silverfish in your home, guaranteed!
Photo credit: Christian Fischer