Silverfish are insects that are not often thought of when it comes to infestations, possibly because of the insect’s propensity to hide from light. Silverfish are nocturnal, so this further hides the pests from home inhabitants. Silverfish prefer dark and humid areas such as attics and garages.
Diagnosing Silverfish Infestation
Silverfish infestations are typically not noticeable until the infestation is severe. Yellow staining on books, paper goods, and glue is often seen before silverfish are actually seen. The insects are silver-grey, long, and tapered. When the insect walks, it moves from side to side, much like a fish swimming.
Hazards of Silverfish Infestation
Silverfish molt for life, leaving unsanitary shed exoskeletons in the area of inhabitance. Silverfish may get into boxes of rolled outs or flour that are not sealed well. Although silverfish are not toxic or harmful to humans, eating silverfish or their leavings is an unattractive prospect. The insects can also cause damage to clothing, books, papers, and wallpaper. This can be frustrating when valuable books or other irreplaceable items are damaged.
Eliminate Entry Points
Small cracks and crevices in walls and pipes will allow silverfish to enter homes. Sealing these cracks may help to prevent infestation, but it may be very difficult to find all possible entry points. Professional exterminators may help to treat areas that cannot be filled with insecticides.
Keep Homes Clean
Removing debris piles containing old papers may help to keep silverfish at bay. Cleaning out closets and other areas that may harbor silverfish can also help to eliminate silverfish. Cleaning up spilled food and drink will help to prevent silverfish infestations, as well as other insect infestations. Food items should be kept in sealed containers, rather than cardboard boxes, as both the box and the food may attract and harbor silverfish.
Preventing and Eliminating Silverfish Infestations
Since silverfish only inhabit humid areas, controlling humidity in the home will help to both prevent and eliminate silverfish infestations. Humidity should be kept below the 75 to 90 percent range in order to make homes less attractive to silverfish. Fixing leaking or sweating pipes and eliminating areas of standing water can also help to decrease humidity and prevent silverfish infestations.
Identifying and eliminating silverfish infestations should be done by professionals. Professionals will be able to best ensure that all areas that may harbor silverfish are treated with a pesticide. After treatment, professionals will be able to provide personalized advice about how to clean the home to get rid of silverfish remains and eliminate future infestations.