How to get rid of silverfish in your home

How to get rid of silverfish in your home

Don’t go crazy trying to get rid of silverfish! Bugs in your apartment are never a fun find, but with preventative steps and proactive treatment of root causes, you can banish them from your living space. Read below for how to identify and remove these unwanted pests.

What are silverfish?

Silverfish are nocturnal insects that eat fabrics, grain based foods, the binding of books, and other materials. Their bodies are tapered from head to tail, and as their name suggests, they are a grayish color. Silverfish young look identical to the adults, except for their smaller size. A full grown silverfish will be under an inch long.

Lepisma Saccharina
Example of a silverfish. Image: Wikipedia

Damage caused by silverfish is purely done to property. While they do not spread disease, they can be annoying as they damage or eat your food, books, and clothing. Their preferred climate is dark and moist, so storage spaces for these items are ideal feeding and breeding grounds.

Getting rid of silverfish can be challenging, as they reproduce quickly. It can also take a long time to identify an infestation. Most often, sighting one in a sink or bathtub will tip you off to their presence.

Identifying silverfish in your apartment

These critters can enter from outdoors on their own, through cracks in the walls or roof. They can also hitch a ride on items transported from infested areas. Once they’ve walked, or hitched a ride, into your home, they may begin eating any materials or stored food rich in starch, sugar, or protein.

Once you suspect silverfish, try to narrow down where they could be living or eating. These areas might include closets, attics, or basements. Try laying sticky traps to catch a few and clue you in to where they are congregating.

Tips to get rid of silverfish

The University of Minnesota actually suggests you learn to live with small populations of silverfish, but if their presence becomes unbearable, or destructive to your property, there are some things you can do! While sticky traps can catch a limited number of these critters, the key to getting rid of silverfish lies in prevention.

Cut off silverfish infestations by increasing ventilation, decreasing humidity, and removing their possible food source. This means put those fans and dehumidifiers to work in close, damp areas. Be sure to store food sources in sealed containers, with plenty of air moving between them to avoid the settling of moisture.

If a large infestation has occurred, there are also a variety of insecticide options. Apply these in cracks at the base of walls or floors where silverfish have been spotted. In order to nip the silverfish problem, you must target both adults and eggs. That means determining areas where the silverfish may have laid eggs, such as between baseboards, and concentrating your extermination efforts there.

If the problem persists, you may want to consult a professional exterminator. It can be tricky to get rid of silverfish, but with the right combination of prevention and actively addressing problem areas, you can end the damage they cause.

We will leave you with a video of these creepy crawlies, click at your own risk!


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