Home & Living

What are silverfish? Are they harmful? Why am I getting so many silverfish? How do you get rid of them?

Silverfish, like so many other pests, are tricky to spot at first and then even harder to get rid of. Pests can cause all kinds of damage to you, your family and your home, so proper pest control has to be a priority for every property everywhere. The longer you leave problems to build, the bigger they become, and this is doubly true of pests like silverfish.

Read on to discover all you need to know about silverfish, and why you should be calling in a pest control specialist to deal with your infestation today…

What are silverfish?

Silverfish are small, wingless insects that get their name from their appearance and colouring. They are generally around half an inch long and use their size and speed to slip into cracks and crevices in your home. 

They are largely nocturnal creatures, though you may spot them in the day, usually out of the corner of your eye. They feed on starchy foods and can be found in gardens pretty much worldwide, but should be prevented when they make their way into your home.  

Are silverfish harmful?

The question of how harmful pests are is really all relative. There are certainly ‘worse’ pests than silverfish, ones that carry terrible diseases, bite or sting. Cockroaches can cause all kinds of health problems, rats can both spread disease and bite, and fleas can create terribly itchy bites. Silverfish, by contrast, are not as harmful. 

That doesn’t mean, however, that they cause no harm. Silverfish may not be known for carrying diseases, biting or stinging, yet they are still nuisances that aren’t welcome in your home. They can still contaminate food and even trigger allergies under the right circumstances, which cannot be ignored.

A full on silverfish infestation can also be harmful to your house. The amount of damage they can cause to soft building materials, fabrics, and more can make the pest control cost to get rid of them seem like fantastic value in comparison. 

Silverfish can damage your clothes, upholstery, your carpets and rugs. They can spread throughout the house and fit into even the smallest of cracks. They can eat and contaminate your food, especially dry stores like cereal, and are difficult to control and remove. It would be wrong to say that they in no way cause you or your home any harm.

Why am I getting so many silverfish?

There are a great many reasons why you may have silverfish in your home. They love damp, warm environments which is why you tend to see them far more in places like the bathroom, laundry room, kitchen and basement than anywhere else.

Silverfish are extremely sensitive to temperature, becoming most active at around 20 degrees Celsius up to around 30 degrees. This doesn’t mean, however, that you should simply freeze by turning all the heating off. 

There will still be areas that are warmer than others and silverfish can survive for a long time, so you are better off finding another way to remove them. There are many pest control tips that can help you to not only get rid of the pests that you have, but prevent getting them again and in the first place. 

Some of the key reasons for having a large number of silverfish in your home include:

  • Moisture – an excess of moisture is a dream come true for silverfish, but there are many ways you can make your home less damp. Hang washing outside, use a dehumidifier and hang up wet towels to help reduce your moist areas.
  • A perfect environment outside – even if your home isn’t particularly damp or warm, if you have the ideal conditions in your garden or outside your home, silverfish can eventually make their way inside.
  • Dark places – silverfish are sensitive to light and like to live in dark places like the basement, or underneath things. Picking up laundry, removing clutter and keeping your curtains open can help rid them of these dark havens.
  • Plenty of food – silverfish will eat pretty much anything that will give them carbohydrates and sugars, and this can include things around your home like books and fabrics. Make sure you properly store food, change your sheets and clean and hoover regularly to make everything less tasty in your home.

How do you get rid of silverfish?

Silverfish aren’t the easiest of pests to get rid of, which is saying something as no pest is really easy to remove. Silverfish are picky about the type of bait they eat, can go long periods of time without eating and drinking, and so are difficult to starve or trick into eating poison. 

There are a number of home remedies and ways that you can get rid of some of your silverfish infestation. But the only way to be really sure that you have got them all is to hire experts like SWAT Pest Control Brisbane to carry out the job for you, and prevent silverfish from coming back.

Some ways you can try and get rid of silverfish include:

  • Using rolled up newspaper – you can roll up a damp newspaper and leave it out so that silverfish make their home there overnight. In the morning, burn it or throw it away properly so that they can’t come back.
  • Put out sticky traps – some silverfish can be caught using sticky traps that they then can’t escape.
  • Use silverfish poison – you should never put out anything you don’t know expressly how to use, or if you have children or pets that might ingest it. This is really better left to the professionals.
  • Use cedar oil or bay leaves – silverfish hate these strong smells and it can encourage them to leave or at least not to come in. 

Final thoughts

As you can see, while silverfish may not be the worst pest out there, they are still called pests for a reason. It can be all too easy to get silverfish, and not to realise that you have them until a serious infestation has built up. Do the right thing and protect your home by calling a pest control company in to rid you of silverfish and take preventative measures to keep them out in the future.

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