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Insect control is the only way to battle an ongoing silverfish infestation on your property. While if you’ve noticed the bug in your home means that you’re probably too late to prevent a silverfish population from settling in your home.

Humid areas attract them, and if you haven’t taken the proper measures to keep silverfish outside, your home is prone to an infestation. Here’s everything you need to know about the silverfish bug.

Silverfish Information:

What are silverfish?

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General information:

  • Size: 13 mm to 15 mm in length
  • Colour: Grey with a metallic shine
  • Shape: Silverfish’ abdomen tapers at the end
  • Tail: Made of three long bristles on the rear

Scientific information:

  • Order: Zygentoma
  • Family: Lepismatidae
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Scientific name: Lepisma saccharina

Silverfish have two long antennae on their head, followed by a body with no obvious segmentation. While they have short and thick legs, silverfish bugs can move quite fast. The origins of their name are said to come from their rapid side-to-side movements, resembling a fish.

Lepisma saccharina bugs are similar in size to the earwig bug, however, they differ in colour.

Where do silverfish live?

Silverfish bugs prefer dark and humid areas like basements, kitchens, bathrooms and even attics. They are also pretty tough and can live in any climate, although they won’t thrive.

What attracts silverfish to your home?

Silverfish are especially attracted to damp clothing and paper. Warm and moist spaces are their favourite. That’s why leaving dirty dishes is a bad idea as they attract these and other pests.

The most common attractors are food, clutter, and moisture.

What do silverfish eat?

Silverfish bugs feed on sugars and starches (carbohydrates) mainly. Their diet includes protein-rich foods like grains, fibres, vegetables and even some fabrics.

One of the most common ways you’ll bring in silverfish bugs in your home is with infested pet food.

Do they reproduce fast?

Silverfish either lay a few eggs every few days or lay eggs in clusters of two to 20 per cluster. The eggs are elliptical and measure around one millimetre in length.

Eggs are often located in cracks and crevices and can even be found tucked between clothes and food. You’ll rarely spot them in the open, which means that you’ll have to look for them purposefully.

What are the signs of a silverfish infestation?

Having a silverfish infestation can be a pain. Silverfish are very good at hiding and are frequently difficult to detect, especially when you don’t know what to look for. But you can’t solve a problem you cannot see, so Fantastic Services is here to arm you with the knowledge you need to deal with these and other pesky little invaders.

There are a few major signs of a silverfish infestation, namely:

  • Seeing a live specimen. Yes, yes – we know. This one is pretty obvious, yet it’s often one of the most underestimated signs. Most people think that seeing a single bug proves nothing. What they don’t realize is, in most cases, that single bug is a sure way sign there are many more you don’t see.
  • Droppings. This is gross, but it’s another great way to detect a silverfish infestation. Every living creature exudes some waste, including silverfish. Their poop is small, spherical in shape and black in colour. It can often be found where they eat – in stacks of paper, books, or sadly – your package of pasta or bread.
  • Paper damage. Since silverfish are suckers for paper, a definite tell-tale sign of their presence in your home is finding damage on paper or cardboard items. Whether we’re talking storage boxes, wallpaper, or books – this little hellspawn might be involved in their deterioration. Pay close attention to food containers filled with starchy carbs. If something is eating away at your cereal box, you probably have a silverfish infestation.
  • Sheded skin. Like many other insects, the silverfish sheds its skin throughout its lifecycle. When you consider how small the insect is, its shed skin would literally be a small clue and difficult to detect, but this is it if you’re looking for confirmation. The most likely places to find it would be in the kitchen, bathroom, or basement.

What damage can silverfish cause?

In addition to allergies, silverfish can also cause different types of material damage. Due to their appetite for paper and cardboard, they can do anything from eating away at your precious wallpapers to ruining your old family album and your childhood photos.

What about finding out your favourite clothes have been redesigned to have holes in them?

That can happen, too. Especially if the infestation is particularly bad. These small arthropods can cause a lot of damage if they end up in the right place at the right time, which is why silverfish control is the best choice if you have any doubt.

Are silverfish harmful to humans?

Even though silverfish do not carry any known diseases and do not pose a direct threat to humans, they can still be dangerous. When these little insects die or shed their skin, their remains might cause allergies to some people. It’s not as bad as dust mites, but it can still be quite a nuisance that needs proper insect control to get rid of them.

Do silverfish bite?

No, silverfish do not bite. They also tend to hide immediately if they’re disturbed, making them a pretty harmless bug.

Read also: Carpet Beetles: Types of Damage, Prevention and Control
Check out also: Effective Ways to Get Rid of Moths

How to get rid of silverfish?

Let’s say you’ve tried everything and you still get silverfish. What now? Here are a few options.

Diatomaceous earth is one of the most popular natural insecticides used to get rid of silverfish. It can be pretty effective if used properly. Apply it in the areas where you’ve seen silverfish or think they might hide. Best do it in the evening since they are most active at night.

Silverfish traps. These can also be efficient at killing insects, but beware – they can be dangerous to pets and children, so make sure they can’t reach them if you go for this option!

Preventative measures

There are several things you can do in order to prevent a silverfish infestation in your house.

  1. Put all food, especially carbs and starches, in sealed containers.

    This will cut out a part of their food supply and discourage them to seek refuge in your home.

  2. Regularly vacuum in every room.

    No matter how tidy you are, there are always crumbs falling on the ground. Try to remove them on a regular basis in order to prevent all types of pests, not just silverfish bugs.

  3. Run dehumidifiers in humid areas.

    Running dehumidifiers in humid areas will make your home undesirable. However, this is one of the more expensive solutions on this list, but also one of the most effective.

  4. Provide proper ventilation.

    Make sure your HVAC system is properly cleaned and humidity has a good way out of your home. Seal all cracks. Physically make it difficult for silverfish to get into your home.

Professional pest control

If all else fails and you confirm an infestation, then still don’t despair. You can order traditional pest control, which includes an inspection and the use of insecticides to rid you of this menace. Fantastic Services has got you covered!

Dealing with a silverfish infestation is overwhelming?

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  • Last update: March 25, 2022

Posted in All Articles, Pest Issues