Pest Advice Blog

What Are Silverfish?

What are They and What To Do About Them?

A house-dwelling insect, the Lepisma saccharina, more commonly known as the Silverfish or bristletail, derives its name from several characteristics such as its silver/gray exoskeleton and fish-like habit of moving at a rapid pace, interspersed with short intervals of stopping or pausing. The scientific name (Lepisma saccharina) lends itself to the insect’s primary diet of sugar and starch filled items. These guys are addicted to carbs! This species of insect dates back millions of years and tends to have a prehistoric or fossil like appearance with its long antennae and scale like exterior.

Considered more of a nuisance than anything else, the presence of one or two silverfish in your home could mean that there are more of them lurking behind the scenes. The biggest complaint of the Silverfish is their destructive feeding habits, often ruining items in the home such as wallpaper, books and magazines, soaps and shampoos, clothes and much more.


A Behind the Scene look at the Silverfish

A bit of a sneaky insect, Silverfish are mostly nocturnal and do a great job at hiding. With a high reproduction rate, preventative measures should be taken once you’ve spotted a silverfish in order to avoid a full blown infestation. Drawn to dark areas, the silverfish will make its home behind wallpaper, in dark closets and behind bookshelves, inside window and door frames and behind baseboards.

The biggest error that homeowners make is not taking action early on to get rid of these insects as their ‘hide and seek’ habits can allow for an escalation of an existing problem. If you have noticed yellow stains on your fabric, or small holes in boxes or wallpaper, chances are while you were sleeping these insects were already at work!

Characteristics of the Silverfish

As small and harmless looking as they are, the Silverfish can be a tough little insect as it can survive in most environments and can go extensive periods without food. Showing preference to more humid conditions, Silverfish are also somewhat difficult to get rid of as they move around fairly quickly, making their elusive nature quite frustrating to many homeowners. Even though these little guys don’t have wings, you’d be surprised at how quickly they appear and reappear in different areas of your home.

The most common of the three species of Silverfish is:

Lepisma saccharina (regular Silverfish) is the most common variety usually measuring up to a ½ inch in length. Their bodies have a consistent silvery sheen with no markings on them. You’ll find these guys near areas of high moisture, and lower level spaces such as basements.

Other traits of the silverfish include:

  • Flattened, carrot shaped body with 3 noticeable “tails” on the rear
  • Wingless with a hard exoskeleton
  • 2 long, slender antennas on the head
  • Long life cycle with egg to adult development taking anywhere from 3 months to 3 years.
  • Prefers a moist climate with a high humidity
  • Adults lay anywhere from 5-50 eggs, usually near food sources
  • Consumes items high in carbohydrates and protein such as glue in bookbindings, silk fabrics, dry foods such as dried meat and cereal, paper and cardboard.


Where to find Silverfish in your home

Since the Silverfish is somewhat of an elusive creature, more often than not you’ll spy signs of its existence rather than the insect itself. Their feeding habits will leave behind evidence through small holes in your wallpaper or in boxes you may have lying around, or even by yellowish stains on fabric. You may also notice evidence of their feces, usually mistaken for dust, or through the shedding of their cast skins. If you happen to catch glimpse of a silverfish, more than likely you will spot them in areas that are dark or have moisture such as:

  • Under sinks
  • Bathrooms/bathtubs or laundry rooms
  • Attics
  • Basements
  • Storage rooms
  • Behind closets and bookshelves
  • Garages and sheds

Additionally, items such as boxes, cardboard or even furniture can be source for infestation if either eggs or adult silverfish were attached to these, and brought into the home.

Control and Prevention

Here are some tips to help control the silverfish population in your home:

  • Since they prefer an environment with a high humidity and high temperature, lowering the temperature in your home can help to repel them from settling in and reproducing.
  • Use a dehumidifier or fan in areas of the house more prone to moisture, such as basements.
  • When moving furniture or boxes into your home, carefully inspect in and around these items to ensure that there are no signs of silverfish (either eggs or adults). This is particularly helpful when moving boxes from a garage or shed into your home.
  • Don’t give silverfish something to snack on! If possible, eliminate sources of food like old papers and books, as well as unused clothes or fabric that may be left lying around.
  • Make sure to caulk and seal any cracks that may be found around windows or doors on the exterior of your home. This will help to keep them from entering.
  • Repair or replace wallpaper that is torn as this makes for an inviting space for silverfish to inhabit.

Hiring a professional to address a silverfish problem is the most effective method, as Do It Yourself solutions such as traps or insecticides only target individual insects and not the potentially larger issue at hand. Since these insects reproduce quickly, eliminating them at their source is important. Your Truly Nolen pest professional can effectively assess the problem and provide solutions for treating both eggs and adult silverfish to prevent future infestations.

North Miami branch visits MG Martial Arts

This past Tuesday our Branch had the opportunity to visit MG Martial Arts; a local karate school in our area. We prepared goodie bags filled with Truly Nolen pencils, coloring books, etc. 

The Children were very thankful and thrilled. When I asked if any of them had ever seen a mouse car in their neighborhood, more than half of them raised their hands. Like all small children, lots of them found the mouse car to be very comical and mentioned how they would love to see it more! 


Severe Mosquito Virus May Be On the Way to South Carolina

A potential virus may be working its way to the South Carolina low country via the dreaded mosquito! This article, recently written in the Post & Courier, explains:

Let Truly Nolen of Charleston help mitigate the mosquito population in your backyard! We will provide a comprehensive service and work with our customers to reduce potential breeding sites. Please contact our office at 843-873-6249 for a free inspection of your property.

Central Miami branch gave out gift cards

This event was led by Service Coordinator, Jolsen Diaz. Jolsen wanted to treat the good people coming in and out of Pets Supermarket with a $5 gift card from Dunkin Donuts! The Dunkin Donuts store was right next door to the pets supermarket. Jolsen and Annual Inspector, Javier Lazo had a lot of passing out the gift cards and flyswatters! Many people asked “what the catch was” and Jolsen said, “we just want to see you smile!”. The Dunkin Donuts manager was so impressed with the kind gesture that he said next time he will donate the gift cards! 

Green Valley attends Chamber of Commerce Business Expo

On January 24th Green Valley branch had the pleasure of being apart of the Green Valley/Sahuarita Chamber of Commerce Business Expo at the Desert Diamond Casino’s concert center.  With 5,000 people in attendance this event gave us the opportunity to impact our customers and future customers.  It was great to show off our Truly Nolen pride and have fun while demonstrating the impact that we have on families in Southern Arizona.

Yuma Home Show

On January 23rd, 24th and 25th our branch was at a Home Show here in Yuma. We had the mouse Limo outside and the Izetta inside as part of our booth display. We also had displays with live roaches in it (sink display) and tables with different items with damage termites did in some of our customer’s homes. We also had a live scorpion. During this activity we had the opportunity to educate people on bugs and termites, we also let people take pictures of our cars, we talked to the kids, and thanked current customers for their business. It was a three day event and a great opportunity to be active in our community. 

Safety Harbor Goes to 3 Events in 1 Day!

Team 078 was at it again!!! 3 events in 1 day with the limo!!! Thank you
Charlie for changing people’s lives!!!!

Event #1 – Dog Park to give out Frisbees and interact with all dog owners!!!
Event #2 – Going to a local school and doing GTKYs in the same neighborhood with the LIMO!!! Talking about OWNING THE NEIGHBORHOOD!!!
Event #3 – Going to an Assisted Living Facility to change lives.

Central Miami branch feeds homeless

Service Coordinator Michael Cabanas was responsible for this most emotional event. Mike admitted that one of his deepest fears was to be homeless and he said ever since he was little he felt a “calling” to help the homeless in anyway possible. You can often find Michael serving at the local soup kitchens. In fact on Christmas Day while most of us were just waking up, Michael was at the soup kitchen serving while his family slept peacefully in their home. For this event, with the help of District Sales Trainer, Darwin Mauri, we ordered about a dozen pizzas, bought a couple of drinks and took to the streets of downtown Miami, where, Michael says, many people survive. As we drove around, any time we saw someone on the street, we stopped the car and offered a warm slice of pizza and drink. In addition, we gave out Truly Nolen Tshirts and back packs. Everyone was so thankful, and many even offered to show their thanks via video.

Central Miami branch collected toys for Miami Children’s Hospital

This event took place on January 22nd. Our Branch Admin, Deborah Hussain, spearheaded a very successful event in which we collected toys for the children of the Miami Children’s hospital. The whole branch pitched in -coming right off having donated for our Christmas Toy Drive! Our mouse parade left early in the a.m. and arrived at the front doors of the hospital where we were greeted by hospital staff! We collected enough toys to fill 3 wagons! We were told that the toys will be stored for the children’s birthdays and other events. We also provided Truly Nolen coloring books, tattoos, and more courtesy of Justin Bellet and the home office! We were all so proud to be a part of this and to be able to represent Truly Nolen for such a terrific cause!

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