How to Deal With a Silverfish Infestation

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Dealing with silverfish infestation.

Silverfish control is the only way to battle an ongoing silverfish infestation in 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, then your home is prone to an infestation. Here’s everything you need to know about the silverfish bug.

Silverfish (Lepisma saccharina) appearance

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

Silverfish bugs have a bit of an unusual look, resembling a fish. They have two long antennae on their head, followed with a body that has no obvious segmentation. While they have short and thick legs, silverfish bugs are capable of moving 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.

Reproduction

Silverfish reproduction habits differ from species to species, however, they all have one thing in common. All silverfish bugs go through love dances before mating.

As for laying eggs, silverfish bugs 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 most often located in cracks, 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 purposefully look for them.


Habitat of the silverfish bug


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 silverfish bugs.

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

Silverfish diet

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.


Silverfish infestation


Having a silverfish infestation can be a pain in the lower posterior. Silverfish are very good at hiding and are oftentimes 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 Pest Control is here to arm you with the knowledge you need deal with these pesky little invaders.

Signs

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 on the 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.
  • Silverfish droppings.
    This is kind of gross, but it’s another great way to detect a silverfish infestation. Every living creature exudes some kind of 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 – these little hellspawn might be involved. 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.
  • Shed skin.
    Like many other insects, the silverfish bug shed their skin as they go through their lifecycle. Considering their size, the shed skin would literally be a small clue and difficult to detect, but if you’re looking for a confirmation – this is it. The most likely places to find it would be in the kitchen, bathroom, or basement.

Are silverfish harmful to humans?

Even though silverfish bugs 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 a proper silverfish control to get rid of.

The last thing an allergic person wants to do is pour a bowl of cereal only to find silverfish feces inside. Or even worse – not find them and consume them along with the delicious breakfast only to get a severe allergic reaction afterwards. Silverfish may not be a direct danger, but that doesn’t make them harmless, either.

What damage can silverfish cause?

In addition to allergies, silverfish can also cause different types of material damage. Due to their appetites 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 often advised if you have any doubt.

How to prevent a silverfish infestation?

Don’t worry – all is not lost! There are several things you can do in order to prevent a silverfish infestation.

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

How to get rid of silverfish


Let’s say you’ve tried everything and you still get silverfish. What now?

DIY silverfish control methods

Diatomaceous earth is one of the most popular DIY pest control materials and a natural silverfish control remedy. 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 silverfish control remedies, but beware – they can be dangerous to pets and children, so make sure they can’t reach them if you go for this scenario!

Professional silverfish 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 Pest Control has got you covered!

Still not sure how to deal with silverfish bugs?

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For questions about the services we offer visit our main site or our pest library.

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