Have you just exterminated irritating Silverfish? Sure, you do not want to experience dealing with them again. To help you ensure that those annoying insects will stay away from your house, below is a list of some helpful methods. But before you do the activities listed below, it helps to learn some important information about silverfish first.
Silverfish Characteristics, Diet, Reproduction & Lifecycle
Silverfish are grayish-blue creatures with a teardrop-shaped body. They have three long bristles at their back and can grow up to 19mm in length. Although these insects do not pose serious harm, they are usually annoying to have around the house. They’ll eat your books, anything made of starch and sugar, your clothes, and even dead skin cells.
If there are silverfish in your place and you fail to spot them early, you may have to face a silverfish infestation in no time. This insect reproduces quickly, making it difficult to eradicate an infestation. Some species of female silverfish can lay up to 20 nymphs (eggs) a day, usually in crevices and cracks. The eggs are only about 1mm in length, so they are barely visible to our eyes. They are white and soft when first laid but become yellowish and harden after a few hours. The eggs develop faster in a humid environment. A silverfish can live up to three years. Just imagine the number of eggs it can lay throughout their lifetime!
When it comes to attitude, silverfish are known to be shy, reserved, and quite secretive. Because of their size and being secretive, it is difficult to spot silverfish. But just because you cannot see a silverfish around does not mean that they do not exist. They may be lurking in the cracks of your home. If you see one, there may be more. Frequently, homeowners find them when it is too late or when the insect’s population already grew exponentially.
As mentioned above, silverfish are harmless creatures. That is when their number is small. But if they grow big in number, they are capable of causing severe damage to your property and belongings.
9 Ways to Prevent Silverfish
Whether you have already experienced having these creatures around your house or not, it pays off to know what you should do to keep them away. As the adage goes, “Why spend all your time trying to solve a problem that you would like, just avoid having in the first place?”
1. Keep Your Place Clean
Prevention is always better than cure. Silverfish thrive in damp, dark, and moist areas such as under sinks, basements, bathrooms, attics, and closets. They also love the taste of wet wood and paper so you can also find them around cereal boxes, magazines, books, behind wallpaper, and in rotting window sills. In short, they take shelter in a dirty, cluttered, and unkempt house. If you wish silverfish to stay away from your property and your life, keep everything in your place clean. It is basic - a vibrant, spotless, and fresh place does not attract unwanted beasties.
2. Declutter & Vacuum Regularly
Silverfish usually hide in and often feast upon old books, papers, and magazines. So if there is a pile of paper in your desk, there is a high chance that you’ll meet silverfish again. Start getting rid of stuff you do not need or haven’t looked at for a long time. The important papers, on the other hand, should be stored in airtight bins. Aside from decluttering, it is also essential to vacuum your place at least once a week. The vacuum can suck silverfish eggs out of the baseboard and carpet. If needed, dry out the carpets through spreading baking soda on them. Leave the baking soda in the carpet for a few hours before vacuuming. The purpose of this is to dry out the eggs. Vacuuming can also help to remove food sources which may attract silverfish.
3. Light Up Dark Areas Of Your House
Silverfish are nocturnal creatures, so they tend to squeeze their bodies into dark and tiny spaces and gaps in your home. They hate light. Therefore, giving them what they dislike is one of the ways to keep them away. Let lots of light into areas and rooms that are predominantly dingy and dark. If you have an unused room, try installing new lighting or simply draw back curtains if there are some. The goal is to get rid of silverfish dungeons and any substantial shadows.
4. Use A Dehumidifier
An environment with a constantly humid atmosphere is an ideal place for silverfish. Keeping your place dry is important in preventing silverfish from coming back. This can be a big task, especially for those living in areas with the winter season. Good thing dehumidifiers are now available. Dehumidifiers can work wonders when it comes to casting out unwelcome silverfish.
5. Seal & Caulk
All those cleaning and vacuuming efforts will come to naught if you leave a small hole or an opportunity for silverfish to enter your house. To get rid of uninvited roommates forever, seal all entry points such as cracks and holes in your house, specifically in your attic, basement, or any other dark, tight, and cold areas. A simple sealant or waterproof caulking will do the job. Also, ensure that no pipework or plumbing is leaking moisture or is exposed to the outside.
6. Use Sealed Plastic Food Containers
Silverfish are attracted to sugary foods, flour, oats, cereal, carbohydrates, as well as starch-rich ingredients. Therefore, leaving those foodstuffs in their boxes is not an ideal thing to do. Buy sturdy, airtight containers and put your food there. You do not want to experience pouring out a bowl of cereal to discover squirming insects swimming in it.
7. Remove Or Replace Wallpaper
Wallpaper makes a highly sought after snack for silverfish. For them, it offers a delicious mix of papery and adhesive goodness. So check your wallpaper once in a while and if you notice holes in it or yellow staining, better take a closer look. The unwanted housemate may be already feasting on your beautiful wallpaper. In this case, it is better to remove and replace your wallpaper. To save you from the hassle of replacing the wallpaper in the future, consider painting the wall instead.
8. Sprinkle DE (Diatomaceous Earth)
Diatomaceous Earth or "DE" is one of the most popular silverfish repellents and it does work in keeping the pests away from your home. DE is non-toxic and is made from the fossilized remains of diatoms - tiny and aquatic organisms. When it comes in contact with an insect, it kills them by drying them out. DE absorbs the fats and oils from an insect’s exoskeleton cuticle. You can sprinkle this around the areas in your house where you have seen silverfish.
9. Use Silverfish Repellents
There are several other silverfish repellents other than DE available on the market; for example, boric acid. Unlike DE which is non-toxic, boric acid, however, is poisonous and harmful. Be careful when using it because it may pose a threat to your pets. If you don’t like the latter, you can choose a more natural option such as cedar oil. Silverfish, along with other bugs, despise the scent of the cedar wood; therefore using cedar-scent based repellent products can help win the war against annoying bugs. You can also choose to use mothballs. If you have lavender and cinnamon at home, you can also try them.
Call The Experts
There are many ways to exterminate silverfish - some are through using natural products and the other one is by calling the experts. A professional pest exterminator knows the nature of silverfish, how they breed, their diet, lifecycle, and the effective methods to get rid of them. They also have the right tools and solutions.
If you hire a pest control service, expect to pay some bucks. Well, if you find a reliable pest control service provider in North Carolina, the money you will pay is surely worth the service. You do not have to spend time and money choosing and trying different silverfish repellents. The experts know exactly what to use and do to get rid of the nuisance. But make sure you choose pest experts who have already built a good reputation in the industry so you will get the result that you want.
Pest experts alone, however, cannot always keep silverfish at bay forever. Your cooperation and effort are needed. You have to commit to keeping your place clean and do precautionary measures not to attract the insects again. You have to do your part. If you need the help from a reliable pest control company, feel free to contact Lake Norman Pest Control at (704) 663-6440. The company is always ready to make your haven pest-free by using pet and human-friendly products and methods. To ensure that your property gets the right pest extermination solution, the team will make an inspection before performing any treatment. The team ensures that you get the best results.