Silverfish lurk in the damp, dark corners of your home, such as storage areas, crawlspaces, and basements. These nocturnal pests can destroy books, papers, and other textiles as they seek out food sources.
1. Get Rid of Moisture
Moisture is the main attractant for silverfish, which is why they are usually found in damp basements and crawlspaces, or hiding out in garages or beneath appliances. Properly encapsulating and sealing basements and crawlspaces can help. Garages may need better ventilation to help combat the damp. Appliances need to be repaired to prevent leaks and condensation, and periodic cleaning beneath them is a must. In damp areas, a whole-house dehumidifier can help.
2. Caulk the Baseboards
Silverfish often hide in the cracks between the baseboard and the wall. The areas are dark, protected, and there may be dampness if humidity is an issue. They can then travel throughout your home along these cracks, unseen and unmolested. Caulking the cracks along the edges of the baseboard will greatly diminish their nesting and travel options.
3. Secure Food Sources
Silverfish feed primarily on paper, cardboard, books, and textiles, but crumbs and other food residues can also attract them. If you must store paper and textiles, place them in plastic tubs with tight-fitting lids so that the silverfish can't get in. Alternatively, seal these items in sealed garbage bags inside of a box. Keep floors and counters clean, as well, to prevent pests. If there are minimal food sources, silverfish will be less likely to invade your home. Plus, you can be assured that your belongings are safe.
4. Install Trap Monitors
Monitoring for silverfish allows you to become aware of a problem while it is still early enough to effectively control the pests. Silverfish breed quickly, so monitoring is key to prompt response. Silverfish traps are placed in areas where the pests tend to appear, usually beneath shelves in a basement, near baseboards in the kitchen pantry, or along the wall in the garage. Check traps weekly, and plan to take more drastic measures if a silverfish is found.
5. Pesticide Treatments
If you already have silverfish in your home, then it's time to call in professional pest control services. You will need to have both the inside and the outside perimeter of your home treated with pesticides. After the first treatment is effective, you can switch to monthly outside perimeter treatments only to ensure the insects don't return.
Contact a pest control service in your area if you need to manage a silverfish infestation.