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Silverfish Infestations: What A Homeowner Should Know

Silverfish Infestations

Have you noticed a small wingless, silver-colored bug in your home with a flat, oval-shaped body, long antennae and six legs? If so, you may have the beginning of a silverfish infestation.

Silverfish are medically harmless to humans and mostly a nuisance for homeowners. These creatures can stain clothing, contaminate food and damage paper goods. Silverfish are more common in humid environments, so you are more likely to find them in bathrooms, attics and crawl spaces. Silverfish are very quick, so if discovered, these creatures often dart away, making them difficult to catch or identify.

Silverfish problems can be difficult for homeowners to control on their own. Usually, the quickest and easiest way to get rid of a silverfish problem is by calling in a pest control professional. We’ll now go into more detail about these pests so you have the information you need to make an informed decision about how to address your particular issue.

Destruction Caused By Silverfish

Silverfish eat just about anything. Since their bodies are so flat, they can squeeze inside containers of food or bindings of books and start chomping. They will eat carbs, sugars, starches, and cellulose. This means they are a danger to unsealed food in your kitchen and household belongings and décor such as books, photos, carpet, curtains, clothing, sheets, wallpaper, and even important documents. They also like to feast on human dandruff, which means you could find one crawling in your hair when you wake up. They will eat mold, and are particularly attracted to moist areas. If you see silverfish around your home, the problem could be bigger than simply the infestation itself.

What A Silverfish Infestation Means About Moisture

Silverfish prefer moist places for breeding and laying their eggs. If you are finding an abundance of them in your home, look for several other problems that go hand in hand.

  • Leaking Pipes – If water is leaking from the pipes in your walls and collecting moisture somewhere, it could be drawing the silverfish to that spot. Inspect your pipes for any potential sources of stray water.
  • Water Damage – If there is a leak happening somewhere in your home, it could be causing water damage to walls, ceilings, floors, or cabinets. Wood, carpet, or drywall saturated with moisture would make a perfect nest for these pests.
  • High Humidity  — Even if you don’t see any leakage or water damage, the humidity levels in your home might be a bit too high. The ideal level of humidity for indoor spaces is between 30% and 45%. If it exceeds 50%, there will be too much moisture in your air, which can attract silverfish and also damage your property over time. Consider investing in a dehumidifier to fix this problem.

How To Get Rid Of Silverfish

To deter silverfish from continuing to eat, breed, and live in your home, it helps to remove the things that attract them. Here are some tips to help keep silverfish out of your house.

Reduce Moisture

First and foremost, get to the root of the moisture problem. Check for leaking pipes or appliances, water damage, or mold growth in every nook and cranny of your house. Purchase a dehumidifier to remove the excess moisture in your air.

Seal Food Sources

Silverfish can slide easily into a cereal or pasta box and eat the food in your pantry before you have a chance. Seal up dry goods in airtight containers so that they can’t get inside. You may also want to store other loose foods in your fridge temporarily.

Clean Up

Get rid of old paperwork and put books, magazines, and journals away. Silverfish are always looking for places to hide, so don’t make it easy for them by leaving clutter around your house.

Use Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous Earth (DE) is a great natural source of pest control. It consists of fossilized material and looks like a white, crumbly powder. It destroys the outer coating on insects so that they dry up and die. Sprinkling some around your baseboards can help get rid of a silverfish infestation faster.

Use Silverfish Traps

If these prevention strategies aren’t getting rid of silverfish quickly enough, try setting some traps or baits out to poison them. Be very careful that pets or children do not come into contact with these traps. You can find them online, or at your local hardware store.

ABC Can Treat Your Home For Silverfish

Due to how difficult it can be to eliminate silverfish from your home, properly dealing with their populations often requires contacting a reliable pest control professional. At ABC Home & Commercial Services, we can apply effective treatments to your property, so you don’t have to worry about finding another one of these pests in your pantry. We will also provide you with tips on how to reduce moisture around your home as well as other advice that is tailored to your property so you don’t have to worry about future silverfish infestations.

Russell Jenkins

Russell Jenkins is the Chief Communications Officer for ABC Home and Commercial Services in North Texas. Russell has been working as part of the ABC Family since he was 12 years old under the direction of his father, Owner Dennis Jenkins, and has since held several leadership roles at ABC. Russell holds a degree in Agricultural Leadership from Texas A&M University, and is a Food Safety Specialist. In his free time he enjoys spending time with his family and two children, playing tennis, and gaming.

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