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FEBRUARY 23 2022 /
Are you seeing silverfish appearing inside the rooms of your home? Are you wondering how these creepy little pests are getting in? You're not alone.
Silverfish make most people scratch their head when they start popping up in unexpected places. But, as you see them more and more, you may begin to notice a pattern.
They seem to pop up in places that have a lot of humidity or moisture, places such as the bathroom, laundry room, or basement. This is because these pests are drawn to moisture.
A silverfish, also known as a fishmoth, urban silverfish, or carpet shark is a very small insect with a flattened, slender body.
It measures around ½ to 1 inch in length and it is light grey and blue but, since it has a shimmery quality, it often appears silver (thus the name).
The other part of its name, no doubt, came about because of its way of slithering across surfaces in a fish-like motion. Although these creepy creatures are disturbing to encounter, it is important to note that they are not just disturbing, they are also damaging to belongings.
The same way you will find silverfish in moist/humid places inside your home, you will also find them in moist/humid places around the outside of your home.
So, anyplace that traps moisture on the ground is a great place for silverfish to hang out.
Here are some of the things that will draw silverfish onto your property and possibly right up next to your home:
★ Leaf piles that are moist on the bottom.
If you have leaves that have been sitting awhile, silverfish (and other moisture pests) will love you for it. And the closer these piles are to your home, the more likely these pests may find their way inside.
★ Heavily weeded areas that contain moisture.
Thick weeds create shade, and shade does not allow the sun to get in and dry out soil after it rains. This is another place silverfish will hide.
★ Wood lying on the ground.
Items such as firewood, construction materials, or other wooden objects that are directly on the ground are great places for silverfish and other pests to hang out. Not only moisture-loving pests but also rodent pests such as mice and rats.
★ Any object that prevents the ground from drying.
Large rocks, tarps, toys; these are just a few things that could keep the ground moist and be a harborage for silverfish.
★ Mulch. Mulch is a favorite place for moisture pests.
★ Leaky spigots or clogged or broken gutters.
If you have water running down the outside of your home, or water collecting in the soil, this will create conditions that silverfish love. Beyond this, it can also cause the wood on your home to soften, which will make it easier for pests to chew their way in.
If you have silverfish in your home, it is likely that they came from the soil around your home. When the ground gets dry, these insects look for a wetter place to be. Sometimes, they get into the basements of man-made structures.
The jaws of a silverfish, which are called mandibles, are actually not strong enough to bite through the skin of a human. Their mouthparts are designed to scrape on the food they eat. And, even if silverfish could bite you, they don't have any venom and are not known to incubate diseases in their bellies.
Silverfish dine on a wide selection of foods. They can eat the foods we eat, such as pasta, flour, and cereal.
But they also eat things we wouldn't consider food, such as magazines, books, wallpaper, photos, the bills in your filing cabinet, clothing, and more.
This is the real danger silverfish pose when they enter a home. They can eat carpets, bedding, curtains, tapestries, and other items that contain cellulose. If you have a lot of silverfish, they can do a lot of damage.
This may seem like a strange question if you don't know what a silverfish is.
If you're thinking of a shiny silver fish swimming to and fro in your aquarium, then it can be a little strange for someone to ask the question, "Do you have silverfish in your attic?" because no one has ever climbed up into their attic and found silverfish flopping around on the floor.
Silverfish are not generally an attic pest. They don't come in through your exterior walls, and they have a really hard time breathing in your attic--or anywhere that is outside of the water.
But the insect known as the silverfish does come in through your exterior walls and has no problem breathing in your attic.
Do you have silverfish in your attic? If you have these insects in your attic, there are a few things you should be aware of.
★ If you have books in your attic, these insects can do quite a bit of damage to them. Silverfish eat the cellulose in paper products and the glue found in the bindings of books.
★ If you have stored photos, silverfish can chew their way in and ruin those photos. These insects eat cardboard and love eating photos as well.
★ Do you have clothing in your attic? Silverfish will chew holes in your clothing. Once again, they are going after the cellulose; but they also love the starches and the glues.
★ If you have draperies, sheets, or fabrics, they can all be damaged by silverfish.
★ Silverfish will eat baseball caps and other hats.
★ If you have a finished attic with wallpaper, silverfish are drawn to eat holes in that too.
★ Stamps, cards, and other collectibles made of paper are in danger from the damaging effects of these invaders.
★ If you store financial records in your attic, you may want to make sure they are in a safe or a hard plastic tote.
Once silverfish are on your property, and up close to your home, they can find ways into your home.
If you have any gaps, cracks, or holes in your exterior walls, possibly due to moisture damage, silverfish will find their way inside. But there are some practical steps you can take in order to discourage and prevent silverfish from coming in close and entering your home.
★ Remove leaf piles and weedy areas that contain moisture.
★ Move firewood, construction materials, and any other wood, well away from your home and up off the ground.
★ Trim back vegetation from your foundation. This will dry up moist areas as well as remove "bridges" that pests use to get to your home.
★ Replace mulch with a dryer material such as crushed rock.
★ Inspect the outside of your home and seal up any gaps, cracks or holes you find, using a caulking gun.
★ Dry up any areas inside your home using fans and/or dehumidifiers.
This is the big question, isn't it? We wish we could give you a simple answer.
Silverfish can climb up through your wall voids and hide in other places that are hard to get to. Getting them out of a home requires an education in the habits and habitats of these insects.
If you need assistance removing silverfish and sealing your exterior walls, the team here at American Pest has the education and resources to get the job done right the first time and when you protect your home with our year-round pest control plan, you will know they will not return.