Homes provide the perfect living environment for silverfish, with a few dark and damp places for them to hide. Upon finding a source of food in your home, these insects will breed rapidly and generate concealed infestations. If you suspect you have a silverfish infestation in your home, contact a pest control professional.
Silverfish are wingless insects with teardrop-shaped bodies. As their name implies, they have silver bodies, although they are white as juveniles. Most grow no longer than 3/4 inch. These critters find their way into your home frequently through vehicles such as cardboard boxes or books from outside your home. Silverfish are not medically harmful, although they can contaminate food items and destroy goods in your home if left uncontrolled.
Some silverfish prefer cool, damp places to live, while others don't mind warmer, humid environments. Places in your home provides silverfish with a perfect environment for feeding and breeding, especially in kitchens, bathrooms, closets and in rarely disturbed spaces like attics and basements. Left undisturbed, silverfish will eat and breed uncontrollably at night, as they are nocturnal creatures.
Your home is like a grocery store to silverfish. Books full of paper and glue, cardboard boxes, insulation, fabric, wallpaper and cereal are just some of these critters' favorite foods. These items all contain the basic nutrients that silverfish need to survive: proteins, sugars and starches. Most of these food items are easily accessible to silverfish in your home and, in addition to supplying them with nutrients, provide them fitting hiding places.
Depending on the species, female silverfish lay between two and 200 eggs each day, according to Orkin. Their eggs are deposited into warm, damp crevices. After hatching, it takes juvenile silverfish around four months to reach adulthood. Eliminate dark crevices by filling them with caulk. Vacuuming book bindings before storing them. Eliminating other hiding places by using airtight containers instead of cardboard boxes. Such measures will help you limit silverfish breeding.
If you suspect you have an infestation of silverfish, ask a pest control professional to inspect your home for silverfish then present you with nonchemical or chemical options to remove the pests. Common forms of removal include sticky traps, ventilation devices, removal of food sources and application of chemical powders or insecticides in cracks and crevices.
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Amanda Williams has been writing since 2009 on various writing websites and blogging since 2003. She enjoys writing about health, medicine, education and home and garden topics. Williams earned a Bachelor of Science in biology at East Stroudsburg University in May 2013. Williams is also a certified emergency medical technician.