Silverfish are odd-looking insects that are difficult to get rid of once they infest your home. These insects live a long time, produce a lot of offspring, and can go a long time without food and water. This allows their population to grow, and since they tend to stay hidden, your home could be infested with silverfish before you realize you have a problem. Here's how a silverfish infestation starts, how to tell if you have silverfish in your home, and how to get rid of the pests.
How A Silverfish Problem Starts
Silverfish are plentiful in nature, so they can slip inside your home through gaps under the door or tiny holes around the foundation. Silverfish can also adapt to life indoors in commercial buildings, and they love paper bags and boxes. You can bring the pests home with you from stores when you go shopping.
If your home is hospitable to silverfish, they can multiply quickly, although they may stay behind the walls, under cabinets, or hidden in clutter all the time. If you see one silverfish, there's a good chance there are many more hidden around your home.
How To Tell If You Have Silverfish
You might see a silverfish scuttle across the floor, but since they hide, you're most likely to encounter them when you move stacks of paper around or pick up a pile of clothes, especially if your home is humid. Silverfish like to eat starch, so they nest in paper. When you move papers around or shuffle through things in a drawer, the silverfish may scatter and give you a fright.
You may not see the pests for a long time, but you might see signs of their destruction and not know what's nibbling on your papers or ruining the covers on your books. Silverfish are destructive, and they can damage photographs, paintings, important documents, clothing, and papers.
How To Eliminate Silverfish
Although there are home remedies for repelling silverfish, such as spreading cinnamon, bay leaves, or cedar blocks in your cupboards and closets, those do nothing to get rid of an infestation.
Home methods, such as using traps, may not work on silverfish since the pests stay hidden and have a wide selection of food sources in a typical home. Instead, calling a pest control service is often necessary.
The pest professional can recommend changes that make your home less appealing to silverfish and apply treatments that eliminate them. The pest control service might even search your home for entry points and seal them so the silverfish can't get inside so easily. You might need to have pest control treatments inside and outside your house to get rid of silverfish and discourage them from coming back.
The pest control service might use pyrethrin or diatomaceous earth to get rid of these insects. You might need multiple treatments since pyrethrin kills adults, but not silverfish eggs.
Your pest control professional may advise you to clean up clutter and vacuum often to get rid of silverfish and their eggs. Also, since silverfish are drawn to moist areas, you might need to run a dehumidifier to control humidity in your home.