Occasional invaders are not the common pests such as cockroaches, spiders, and ants that creep into our homes and businesses, but the earwigs, centipedes, and silverfish that are notorious enough you can recognize them when you see their intrusions. In comparison to the common pests these occasional invaders do not cause as much damage or pose as much as a health risk. But their presence is still a nuisance and they can cause enough problems, especially if the infestations are large enough, that their feeding and nesting habits can be frustrating. We at Stewart Termite & Pest Control would like relate the basics of silverfish and the issues they cause to your Pittsburgh home.
Silverfish in Bathroom, Kitchens & More
Silverfish are drawn to damp fabrics and paper. People often see these teardrop-shaped bodied insects that feature three long bristles on their rear crawling in stored boxes in garages and sheds as a result. The average length of silverfish ranges between ½ and ¾ inches. They don’t stand out, as their coloring spectrum is generally from white to brown-gray and bluish-silver. Because they are found in the moist areas inside homes, they are likely hanging around the kitchens, bathrooms and laundry rooms. However, they do not need moisture to survive and can live in most climates.
What Attracts & Causes Silverfish?
Unopened packaged goods, carbohydrates, sugars and starches, as well as linen, silk, glue in books, shampoos, and dead insects are just a few examples of what silverfish eat. They have been known to destroy wallpaper, books, clothes, vintage clothing, and other such items to satisfy their appetites. Silverfish occasionally invade homes by wandering inside through cracks in the foundation, gaps around the door frames, and torn screens. Silverfish are attracted to dirty dishes left in the sink, so people with this chronic habit often have the worse problem with them. They can also be brought inside by unsuspecting homeowners as they stow away in plastic containers and cardboard boxes from stores they were recently infesting.
Signs of Silverfish
Silverfish are not a major health concern as they do not transmit or spread disease. However, they can potentially trigger allergies to some. Unfortunately, silverfish do draw in other predatory pests, particularly carpet beetles. Seeing the damage on the wallpaper books, paper, clothing, as well as tiny pepper-like feces around the damp corners is a strong indicator of their presence as for the most part, silverfish are secretive insects and nocturnal. Although, they can be seen crawling along tubs and sinks. These insects reproduce fairly quickly and if you do not take care of the invasion, the infestation can get out of control quickly.
How to Prevent Silverfish
Silverfish are more likely to be in places where the humidity is high because of their preference to moisture and the nymphs will develop quicker in such places; however, they are very adaptable and can live in any environment. Be sure keep up with housekeeping duties, store food in sealable containers, keep the trash can lids secure, install baseboards with caulking in basements, and open up all the vents in crawl spaces to hinder the efforts of the silverfish’s progress.