When you think of silverfish, a literal silver fish probably comes to mind. In reality, silverfish are insects with a silvery, metallic appearance. They are also shaped like fish and have fish-like movements. In addition to being called silverfish, they are also known as bristle tails. A Five Star Termite & Pest Control would like to offer helpful tips to keep these occasional invaders out of your home.
What Do Silverfish Eat & Other Facts
Silverfish typically make moist, humid areas their homes. These areas include bathrooms, basements and attics. They can easily hide from humans, so you might not even know you have them until they get out of control! Silverfish do not have wings and therefore cannot fly, but they are very fast runners and excellent climbers. They are nocturnal and are usually found hiding in the tight cracks and crevices of your home during the day. For food, silverfish prefer paper items, glue, clothing, and food such as flour and rolled oats. When they have the choice, they will consume protein rather than carbohydrates. This means they can become cannibalistic and will feed on other silverfish that are dead or injured. Most silverfish live up to three years. A female lays one to three eggs per day. Under favorable conditions, it takes a few weeks for them to hatch.
Are Silverfish Harmful?
If you have silverfish in your home, they probably got there by accident. They are hitchhikers and often settle in cardboard boxes, moving with you from house to house. But don’t freak out too much- silverfish are not as destructive as other pests. They don’t spread diseases or bite your family and pets. Their jaws are not strong enough to bite anything other than substances like paper and dry foods. Despite this, silverfish can ruin belongings like books, important papers, photo albums, and more. They can also contaminate your dry food supplies.
How to Prevent Silverfish Infestations
To avoid silverfish in the first place, try and make your home unwelcoming to them. There are many ways you can do this:
• Keep the House Clean – Store dry food in sealed containers so that those pesky silverfish cannot get into it. Vacuum up food crumbs in a timely manner. Silverfish can survive up to a year without food, so you need to make sure you are diligent in keeping it sealed and cleaned up. Throw away stacks of old papers to avoid attracting the bugs. When it comes to the paper that you want to keep (including books and magazines), it is helpful to keep it in sealed containers.
• Limit Humidity – Silverfish need water to survive. Ventilate your attics and basements. You also might want to use dehumidifiers and fans. Some other ways to reduce humidity include fixing leaky pipes and faucets as well as closing your shower curtains completely.
• Eliminate Entry Points – Use plaster or caulking to fill holes and cracks in the walls and floors. Silverfish use these holes to enter your home and lay their eggs, so pay attention to them!
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If you are already seeing these pesky bugs around your home, it is time to take action. While there are ways you can try to take care of the problem on your own, it is best to leave it to professionals. Contact A Five Star Termite & Pest Control today!