A Guide to Silverfish: Why and How to Get Rid of Silverfish
If you’re worried over a silverfish infestation, take a deep breath. Silverfish are harmless to humans, so you don’t have to worry about any bites or transmitted diseases from these pests. However, you still should get rid of silverfish that are infesting your home or place of work. Silverfish are known to eat away at valuable items such as clothes, photographs, and books. They also aren’t sanitary if they get into your food items.
The following guide will help aid you in getting rid of silverfish for good. After that, we will address some of the common questions people have when they’re experiencing a silverfish infestation.
How to get rid of silverfish:
Option 1: Call A Silverfish Exterminator
If your silverfish problem is bad, you might require professional silverfish removal services. Lucky for you, Exterminator Near Me connects you to the best exterminating company in your area. Enter your zip code on the side of this page of on Exterminator Near Me’s home page and you will be directed to a reputable company who can solve your silverfish issues.
Option 2: Natural Products
There are also several techniques for getting rid of silverfish on your own. While DIY methods are usually less effective than chemical or professional methods of extermination, they can be a good first line of defense. This is especially true if you suspect you have only a small infestation.
Try Cedar Oil
Try spraying some cedar oil around the crevices of your home. Like many pests, silverfish hate the smell of cedar oil and will stay away. This method works best for when the infestation isn’t too significant. It is better for prevention when you notice a few, rather than eliminating a large infestation.
Try Caulking Entryways
You can also try caulking your entryways or lining them with steel wool. Some people claim that lining sills, doorways, and other gaps with diatomaceous earth can be effective. This non-toxic material irritates silverfish and other pests as they attempt to walk across it. It is a good method for preventing the entry of more silverfish.
Keeping silverfish out of your home can sometimes be as simple as inspecting items you bring into the home, and keeping the house neat and tidy. Because silverfish prefer high humidity, running a dehumidifier can also help cut down on their populations.
Option 3: Using Chemicals
If natural methods don’t work and you need to move on to chemical elimination methods, try purchasing silverfish poison packs that can help attract and then kill the bugs. These shouldn’t be used around children or pets, who can accidentally ingest the packs and poison themselves. Consider placing them in an isolated location, such as a basement corner or in the attic.
If you choose to try pesticides or any other chemical method of elimination, you should consider contacting a professional. While many of these pesticides, such as pyrethrins, boric acid, and pyrethroids can be purchased locally, they are toxic to humans and animals as well as to insects. Professionals will know which chemicals work best to treat your infestation and how to safely apply them.
Option 4: Homemade Silverfish Traps
There are some homemade trapping methods you can attempt as well. Silverfish can’t move on smooth, uphill surfaces. You can easily trap them by covering the outside of a glass jar with masking tape. Fill the inside of the jar with some starchy material. The insects will be attracted to the starchy material and will become trapped inside the jar. This is only an effective method if you have a small infestation, but it can help reduce the number of bugs in your home.
Option 5: Cutting of the Food Source
You should keep all food, such as dry goods, in airtight containers, and vacuum all surfaces regularly. Crumbs and other food remnants are a food source for silverfish, so restricting their access will help reduce their populations over time. Make sure ridge vents are properly installed in your roof to let humidity escape and clean your gutters on an annual basis.
All these techniques are tried in true to treating a silverfish problem. We suggest giving them a shot, but contacting a professional if the silverfish stay persistent.
The following is more information you might want to know about silverfish.
What are silverfish?
Silverfish are small, wingless insects that wiggle about the floor with fluid movements, similar to fish. These pests can live in almost any climate but prefer to live in dark, moist areas, like basements, kitchens, or bathrooms. They are often found in storage boxes or areas that don’t receive much traffic.
Silverfish prefer to eat the starchy carbohydrates found in cellulose materials and other common household items, such as shampoos, glues, linen, silk, and dead bugs. They are often found inside undisturbed storage areas, such as cardboard boxes full of photographs, bags of shredded paper, and in other damp, dark areas.
These pests are usually transported indoors by unwitting homeowners, as they hide inside cardboard boxes and plastic containers. They can also enter into homes through cracks in the foundation, gaps, or torn screens.
What do silverfish look like?
Silverfish come in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes, but are generally a silver or gray color. They can also be white, brown, or bluish. They have tails with three long bristles and are usually no longer than nineteen millimeters in length.
Their bodies are small and shaped like carrots, with multiple antennae sticking out. They tend to come out at night and are often mistaken for centipedes or millipedes. Unlike these pests, however, they do not sting and rarely cause any health problems or risks besides property damage and allergic reactions.
What causes silverfish?
Silverfish are attracted to starchy materials. If you tend to leave newspapers, mail, or cardboard boxes lying around, you might see a sudden influx of silverfish. They are also attracted, just like other pests, to crumbs and other types of debris. Excess moisture can also invite silverfish, so if you have particularly damp and non-traffic areas (especially those in which you are not operating a dehumidifier) be aware that it may become a haven for silverfish.
Signs of silverfish infestation usually include actual sightings of live or dead creatures around the home, as well as pepper like feces. Because silverfish are nocturnal, however, it may take a while for you to catch on to their presence, allowing them to mate and grow exponentially. Silverfish lay up to twenty eggs a day, allowing them to reproduce rapidly. They can also live for up to a year without food, making them even more difficult to get rid of.
Are silverfish harmful?
Silverfish won’t bite, scratch you, or spread disease. However, they can damage your property. Because they like to eat starchy materials such as glue, paper, dry goods, cardboard, and even dead skin cells, they can easily damage books, photographs, clothing, and even invade food storage areas.
While not necessarily dangerous, silverfish can trigger allergies in some people. Silverfish shed their skins in a process called molting, meaning they leave behind scales. Some people are allergic to the dust created by these dropped scales. They can also attract carpet beetles and damage precious valuables.
Hiring a Professional for Silverfish Removal
If your home already has a silverfish problem, consider hiring professional help. While traps, insecticides, and DIY natural methods can help kill individual insects and lower populations, the only way to truly get rid of an infestation is to destroy all insects and all eggs. Hire a professional exterminator who knows the proper strategies and techniques to do this.
When you hire a pest control professional, they will assess the situation within your home and determine the best method for how to get rid of silverfish. Professional exterminators can also help identify how the silverfish infestation invaded your home and will provide information on how to prevent them in the future.