Understanding Silverfish and What You Can Do to Prevent Them

Ever wonder why, when you place old books and magazines in, say, the attic, or even on a bookshelf, the pages can sometimes become disintegrate or have a ‘chewed-up’ appearance. That’s because of silverfish, insects that live for eating your paper belongings, sparing nothing, including diaries, and other keepsakes.

Silverfish live in moist, humid climates worldwide. They are typically found in heavily-populated, cosmopolitan regions. These winged insects get their name from having a silver-color and movements that resemble a fish. They virtually are harmless to human health, but will wreak havoc on your belongings (anything containing starch) – books, magazines, pillows, bedding, clothing, carpet, your food, and even your hair!

You can find silverfish anywhere in your home or office, but they particularly love dark, damp places such as attics, bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens, basements, and more. They love to eat paste too, which means even your home’s wallpaper is at risk. You’ll know if you have them based on the odd-shaped holes that are left behind. Plus they are large enough to where you can actually see them.

If you do have silverfish, you’ll likely need to call a pest control professional to help you mitigate the problem. This will also ensure you’re given the correct diagnosis to the problem and the proper solution is used to treat Silverfish. You don’t want to attempt to treat your home for silverfish, only to realize you’re dealing with termites.

Most pest control professionals will use a product containing Boric Acid to kill off silverfish. The bugs ingest the acid, which their stomachs cannot digest, and they die off. Once your pest control professional has sprayed your home, you’ll need to thoroughly vacuum your home. Be prepared to clean up bug corpses. Hey, the dead bugs have to go somewhere, right?

Once you’ve mitigated the problem with the bugs, you’ll want to take preventative measures to ensure you don’t encounter problems with Silverfish or other insect infestations again. Be sure to vacuum often. Don’t keep old newspapers and magazines in piles (we’re in a digital age, folks. It’s okay to part ways with old newspaper articles. If you have to, scan them).

Don’t leave food out. Put it away in the fridge. Silverfish love sugars. They feed off of starches. Consider putting a dehumidifier in your home or use fans to keep things cool and keep the air circulating throughout your home. If your home feels like a sauna every day, you should want to get that fixed anyway.

Most importantly, be sure to schedule routine professional pest control to ensure you are protecting your home from silverfish and other insects. It’s much better to be on the preventative side of the problem than to have to witness these creepy, crawly insects, or clean-up a massive mess of bug skeletons.