Silverfish are common pests that may cause problems for homeowners. Even though they do not pose a medical danger to residents, their presence can be a nuisance. The risk of contaminated food and damaged goods is enough to make most homeowners dread discovering a silverfish in their homes.
Identifying the pest
Many residents find it tricky to uncover a silverfish problem, as the pests are nocturnal and can move extraordinarily quickly. If you're on the hunt for the insects, some good places to start your search are in the kitchen, bathroom, basement or laundry room. These bugs can make their homes in most environments, but they prefer areas that are warm and humid.
The pests have silvery brown bodies, and can grow to be nearly an inch long. They have two long antennae, and three projections from the back of their bodies. These characteristics make them easy to identify when they are spotted.
Because the females lay so many eggs, silverfish populations tend to grow rapidly. Young silverfish develop even more quickly when living in a humid environment.
Even though silverfish don't usually cause extensive structural damage, their presence can be a pain to deal with. Those who have found silverfish in their kitchens should note that these pests can easily contaminate food. All food should be stored in airtight containers and put away quickly to prevent silverfish access.
Silverfish don't just eat human food – they'll chew on many things they shouldn't. Books and wallpaper are a snack these pests can't resist, and a severe infestation may damage carefully papered walls or a large book collection. Even your closets may be at risk, because silverfish will eat silk and linen.
It can be hard to prevent silverfish from getting inside, and homeowners often don't notice the problem until it has become overwhelming. Make sure entry points are sealed up, to keep pests from entering. Controlling the humidity in laundry rooms, bathrooms, basements and kitchens can help keep silverfish away as well, as they are often attracted to damp environments.
It's not always easy to identify a severe silverfish infestation until its too late. If you've discovered multiple insects in your home, it may be time to contact a pest control professional who can assess the situation and recommend the best form of treatment.