Introduction to Silverfish
You know silverfish from their long tail-like appendages. They also have super long antennae. As you can imagine, their name comes from the color of their scaly body. Comparatively, their walk appears as a fish gliding through water.
This ancient insect has reportedly been on Earth for some 400 million years! As long as you don’t step on them, these critters live about 6 years. Much like a snake, they keep molting and growing, shedding their exoskeletons all along the way. Although they never stop growing, the average size is around 3/4″ of an inch.
Silverfish have withstood the test of time. This hardy creature can go nearly a year without feeding! With that being said, silverfish eat almost anything. If they are found around carpets, they may be feeding on fallen food crumbs. Accumulations behind moldings provide all sorts of gunk that they consume. Other food sources include:
- Paper (particularly glazed) and ink off of paper
- Glue, and book bindings
- Hair, skin, and dead insects/ wildlife carcasses
- Clothing and carpet
- Wheat flour, especially cereal
How To Control Silverfish In Homes
Getting rid of silverfish requires you locate the source. As you see, these pests can get into nearly anything. You’ll likely need to dig in and get your knees dirty. Keep in mind that they shun the light. Attics, basements and storage areas, are great spots to look for them. Although you may only see the ones that fall into your sink, the actual source is likely much farther away.
Do some detective work. Figure out how they were introduced in the first place. Smaller infestations could have been introduced by bringing something indoors. Perhaps they came from a new refrigerator, or some old boxes from Grandma’s house. Look around outside if it is a big infestation. In fact, homes with wood shake roofs tend to experience significant problems with these pests. It may be that they are sneaking in from a wood pile, or some other sort of debris. If one of these outdoor harborage sites are located, it should be treated/ removed. By doing so, you usually end the battle. Exclusion is very beneficial too. Sealing gaps under siding, and screening vents will help keep them out. Not many people focus on the exterior of the home when dealing with silverfish. Always check outside; including garages and storage sheds.
Glue Board Monitoring
Locate hidden sources with glue boards. Place multiple small insect monitoring stations in and around the home. Check them weekly for 4 weeks. In conclusion, the trap with the most silverfish is closest to the source. With a little patience, your control efforts will now be far more targeted. Thus you are more likely to experience results.
Baiting For Silverfish
Silverfish Paks are popular products to use against this pest. These paper boxes are lined with a borate. The idea is that the silverfish will eat their way into the boxes, thus consuming the toxin. Once inside, they will brush against it and get it on their bodies. Focus on locating the source and removing it. Use sprays, dusts, and baits as a secondary method of control.