They are small wingless insects that live together with other living organisms in homes or at warehouses where food are stored. There are three types of silverfish; only one specie (common silverfish) is a synanthropic insect while the other two species can be found in the wild, in fallen foliage, stones logs, etc. It is believed that silverfish is one of the oldest insects still in existence, and its ancestors has been traced to be on earth for more than 300 million years ago during the Paleozoic era.
What is silverfish?
Color: Silver to brown
Bites: Not bite
Nutrition: Sugar and flour.
Movement: Do not fly
Shape: Oval, elongated
Size: 8-19 mm of an inch
Life span:3-4 years
Region: Found throughout U.S. and other countries
This insect is known as common silverfish or silverfish sugar. Silverfish are small in dimension, with a length of 8-19 mm and has an elongated shape. They feed on starch and materials containing sugar, and due to this likes to settle in residential premises. Silver fish gets their energy from glue (book covers, wallpaper etc.) and also clothes, not just clothes made of cotton, linen and silk but also those made of synthetic materials. They are very hard and prolific in nature. They can stay without energy for up to 10 months and the females may lay up to 70 eggs. They prefer mostly moist and dark places, in the wild, they can be found under humus and leaves, in logs of woods, under stones, etc. When they are indoors they also prefer similar conditions, therefore, when the house is dry and well lighten, they won’t come around.
Silverfish don’t carry any infections or disease and does not pose any threat to humans and animals directly. Due to this fact, some people don’t find it worrisome and don’t bother about getting rid of them from their homes.
there is still need to worry about the presence of silverfish in homes because their presence can cause damage to household
Products: as stated earlier, their diet consists of sugar and starch. Because of this, it is highly likely that you meet them in household items that contain starch and sugar.
Items: another thing that silverfish likes is paper. This means that they will glue to any product made of paper, be it tissue, books, newspapers or even tables.
If your home contains several silverfish, you should be concerned about how to get rid of it. If you don’t care and leave them, they will joyfully eat up book covers, newspapers and many other things that are valuable to you.
How silverfish gets to apartment?
You need to start understanding how silverfish found their way into your house. It is possible you let them in one way or the other without knowing. Because they have small size and have great speed, they can easily make their way into any cracks they find in household items like bags, boxes, etc.
Windows and other ventilation openings can cause silverfish to gain access to the house. They also like living in the bathroom because they like dark and damp places. Often at times, you can see them under moldings and window frames.
They can be seen in kitchens because of the high humidity. Bookshelves, wall openings, cracks, and insulating materials are favorite habitat for silverfish. Here is a recap of silverfish habitats:
- Bathroom (or any place you wash clothes)
- Under refrigerator
- Any kind of cracks
How to get rid of silverfish?
As discussed already, these kind of insect love dark areas and are unlikely to be seen during the day time or where there is light. To get rid of silverfish, the first thing to do is to locate places in the house where they abound. You can find out by the traces these insects leave behind. For instance, when you go to the bathroom, you might see some small black spots like pepper; these are silverfish excrement. When you notice yellowish stains and small holes in books and tissue paper, you should know that silverfish are present there.
Once you have found out their hideout, you should then move on to setting traps for them. Some traps you can make for them:
- Make a very simple trap. A glass jar wrapped with tape on the outside and then place a piece of bread or anything else as bait. When night falls, these silverfish will climb into the jar and won’t be able to get outside because the walls of the jar are slippery.
- The next kind of trap you can use to get rid of silverfish is a newspaper. The point here is to roll up the newspaper to so that it is tightly pulled together, tie the edges with rubber band and soak the paper with water and leave overnight. Silverfish will see how perfect the place is and rush into it. When morning reach, all you have to do is to pick up the paper and throw it away. Note that this method might not be enough to hold many silverfish so you need to perform it repeatedly.
- You can use other means to get rid of silverfish. You should use something sticky and for greater efficiency, make use of bread or other starchy products.
If you can’t find any trap that will suit you, you can make use of chemicals to get rid of silverfish. Boric acid is another effective means to get rid of silverfish sufficiently.
You can use citrus scent to get rid of silverfish from your bathroom. To get this prepared, get a little lemon or lavender essential oil, dilute it with water and spray on the locations where the insects are seen. This method is efficient for places you seldom use such as private mailboxes where the smell would relieve you of the insects.
How to permanently get rid of silverfish. If you no longer want to see silverfish in your house, you need to follow some simple rules:
- Control humidity, scape away damp areas and wet things and make sure you provide proper ventilation. Make your room always dry, as this is the perfect solution to eliminate silverfish.
- Depriving them of their powerhouse can be a great way to get rid of them. One of the ways to get this done is to store relevant items and products in sealed cans, and packaged properly. Old clothes should be kept in plastic bags, food in airtight containers and paper and books should always be kept in dry areas.
- All cracks and openings in the walls of kitchen and bathrooms where silverfish use to lay eggs should be closed up.
- Making use of vacuum cleaner is a great way to get rid of these insects. In addition, allowing strong ventilation will chase out silverfish, even the ones hiding in small cracks.
Like most pests, these insects prefer dark and secluded areas with high humidity; therefore, action must be taken immediately to eliminate them.
Keep all paper products in sealed packages, and other products in containers with airtight lids. Fix damp stains and traces of mold from all corners of the room.
At least once in a month, carryout general cleaning, make sure you thoroughly clean up all the hard to reach areas. Check plumping equipment and clean them thoroughly. When there is lack of water in the bathroom, silverfish will run away for long.