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Silverfish: What You Need to Know

Need to get rid of silverfish? Read on to learn the answers to all of your important questions. Need help? Call our professionals today to get started.

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What Are Silverfish?

Silverfish are small, teardrop-shaped insects that are white to brownish-grey or bluish-silver in color. They get their name from their silvery, almost metallic appearance and the way their movement and shape resemble that of a fish. They are also known as “bristletails” due to their three long, bristle-like appendages at the end of their bodies.

Where Do Silverfish Live?

Silverfish are found across the United States as they can live in most climates, but prefer dark, damp areas. This makes your basement, attic, crawlspace, kitchen cabinets or bathroom an appealing dwelling for silverfish. They live in cracks and voids in these spaces and can be hard to detect unless they come out to feed.

What Do Silverfish Eat?

Silverfish feed on organic matter that contains polysaccharides (sugars and starches) found in things like adhesives and other organic materials. In your home, they will feed on things like book bindings, clothing, glue, paper, photos, plaster, carpet, coffee, hair and sugar. They have been known to feed on tapestries, cotton, linen and silk. This means that a large portion of your possessions are fair game to the silverfish.

Can a Silverfish Infestation Damage My Home?

Silverfish won’t do the kind of destruction that something like a termite can do to your home, but they can certainly do some damage to your possessions. Silverfish and are capable of causing harm to papers, clothing, upholstery, books and wallpaper. Additionally, while they are not known to transmit disease, silverfish may trigger allergies in some individuals.

How Can I Spot A Silverfish Infestation?

Look for feeding marks such as holes, notches or surface etchings. Sometimes you might spot yellow stains, scales or feces (which will look like tiny black pellets) on infested materials.

How Can I Get Rid of Silverfish in My Home?

Silverfish are notoriously difficult to control in the home and if you have spotted a silverfish infestation you should contact a pest professional right away. While it is always best to leave things to a trained professional, there are a few things you can do to help prevent and control a silverfish infestation in your home. Make sure your home is properly ventilated and that humidity isn’t an issue. Get a dehumidifier, repair leaky pipes and drains, and dispose of any moldy or wet wood. Silverfish are attracted to books and magazines, so make sure that any old books or stacks of magazines you may have are kept in dry, well-lit areas and away from silverfish habitats like your basement, attic or garage. Also be sure to keep food items like flour and sugar in tightly sealed containers

If you think you may have a silverfish infestation, your best move is to call a licensed and knowledgeable pest control professional to inspect your home. A trained professional, like the ones at Pest Control Experts will help devise an appropriate treatment plan that is right for your home and your personal pest situation.


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The creator of this review received compensation by RMICPA, LLC on behalf of Terminix®. This review is the opinion of its creator and its claims are not endorsed or evaluated by RMICPA, LLC.

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