Silverfish Infestation: What You Can Do
Silverfish are wingless creepy crawlers that can start an infestation before you even notice. Their color can range from white silver to brown, and they can grow between 12 and 19 mm long. You’ll immediately notice their elongated, teardrop shape with a three-part segmented tail.
Silverfish, like cockroaches, love dark and damp areas, especially in humid locations. You can find them living in a kitchen cabinet or under the sink, in dark areas of the bathroom, in the attic, and in basements. You can also find silverfish in your garage if there are enough places to hide, such as behind boxes.
A female silverfish — depending on its species — can lay up to 20 eggs at one time. Those eggs will hatch anytime between their 19th and 43d day. Silverfish mate and produce eggs all year, and their eggs are often difficult to spot in cracks and crevices.
Signs of Infestation
If you spot a silverfish on your floor or any other obvious surface, chances are you’ve already got a silverfish pest infestation. Like cockroaches, silverfish don’t commonly venture out of their hiding spots unless there are too many of them already and food and water are becoming scarce.
You can also discover a silverfish infestation if you find damaged things, like newspapers and magazines, as a result of their feeding. Note that silverfish will eat almost anything: glue, paper, natural fibers in clothes or drapes, toilet paper, etc.
If you spot tiny pepper-like droppings, you probably have a silverfish infestation.
Stopping an Infestation
Calling pest control is the best way to remove a silverfish infestation. It’s not easy to find where silverfish live or lay their eggs, so you need the expertise of a professional to make sure no eggs are left. If you don’t get rid of all the silverfish and their eggs, you cannot stop an infestation.
Preventing a Recurrence
Even if you’ve never had an infestation, or if a professional is able to remove all the silverfish and their eggs from your home, new silverfish can decide to reside in your home in the future. To prevent this, take some precautions:
- Remove food crumbs. Clean and vacuum regularly. Food crumbs can attract not just silverfish but also ants, cockroaches, rats, and other pests.
- Reduce clutter. The more clutter you have, the more places silverfish can hide under or behind.
- Use airtight plastic containers for cereals, chips, and other types of food. If something can be refrigerated, keep it in the fridge. Clean your refrigerator regularly.
- Dehumidify your home.
- Keep your gutters clean to prevent water pooling.
- Seal any cracks and crevices on your walls, siding, window frames, etc.
- Replace or repair damaged window screens.
- Prevent moisture buildup by opening vents.