Silverfish are small bugs that can get into your home, damage things, and make allergies worse. Before calling a professional pest control service, a person can try a number of natural and chemical ways to get rid of them. Silverfish are a type of insect that doesn’t have wings and can be found all over the world, including in the United States.
They like to live in gardens where there is a lot of water, like in gutters or under piles of leaves or wood.
Silverfish can get into a home through cracks, holes, and other openings in the outside of the building. They can damage both the building and the people who live there. It talks about what silverfish are and how to get rid of them
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Why are silverfish a problem?
Damage that silverfish do to homes and property is real, and they can sometimes make people with allergies sick.
A study done in 2015 on different types of home pests found that someone allergic to silverfish might have breathing problems.
A protein called tropomyosin is found in silverfish scales. This protein can mix with other allergens and sometimes cause allergic responses. Even silverfish droppings can make some people sick.
Food items like flour and meat can also get silverfish on them.
The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) says the following are signs of a silverfish problem:
- Some types of eating marks on a surface are holes, cuts, and scratches.
- The area has yellow stains or scales on it.
- Poop, which looks like small black pellets
What are silverfish?
Snakefish are called silverfish because their scales are silver or shiny brown.
Usually 12–19 millimeters long, their bodies look like fish and have six legs and two eyes.
One more name for silverfish is bristletail because the tail has three long bristles.
However, they can be found anywhere in the house, especially in damp or wet places like bathrooms, basements, laundry rooms, and attics. Most of their activity happens at night, so they are called nocturnal.
Home things like books, photos, papers, and walls contain sugar and starch that silverfish eat.
Silverfish can eat anything from glue and clothes to hair, dirt, and dust.
Additionally, these bugs are able to consume dried beef and even other silverfish. Additionally, they can eat the following foods:
- Carbohydrate-rich foods, like flour and rolled oats
Insects called silverfish are shy and will hide from people. Insects can’t bite or fly, but they can run very fast.
Additionally, they can reproduce very quickly, which means that outbreaks can get worse very quickly.
According to the Wildlife Trusts in the UK, silverfish can be found inside all year.
How to get rid of silverfish
Getting rid of silverfish can be done in a number of ways, including using chemicals or natural remedies.
When it comes to food, silverfish are picky, and most store-bought baits don’t work against them.
Additionally, silverfish can go a very long time without drinking or eating, which means they won’t eat food because they are hungry.
Insecticides should only be used on big infestations, and they won’t work as long as silverfish can find a place to live.
It may take a few weeks for poisons to work, even if these places are taken away.
Sprays with the following chemicals have been shown to work against silverfish by experts:
- Synergized pyrethrin
In one study, commercial bait formulations that included 0.05% or 0.20% chlorfenapyr were the most successful in killing silverfish.
A person should always follow the directions on these chemical products to ensure their safety. They should also check that they are allowed to use them in their chosen setting and in their state.
People should also not use chemicals in areas where they may contaminate food or water or where children or pets may accidentally eat them.
Some people may prefer to try natural methods of removing a silverfish infestation before they use chemicals. In this case, the first steps involve reducing the amount of moisture and humidity in the place in which the silverfish are living.
A person can use a dehumidifier to reduce the humidity to levels that make the place uninhabitable for silverfish.
If there are dark places for silverfish to live, clearing out these spaces will lower the number of places they can use to shelter.
Anecdotal evidence says that the following natural ingredients can repel silverfish:
- Cedar shavings
- Cedar oil and water
This powder is called diatomaceous earth (DE), and it is made of fossilized algae. Silverfish that come into contact with it will eventually die because it makes them lose water.
DE can help get rid of a small infestation by being sprinkled on the affected areas. It is safe for both people and animals.
Small infestations can be treated with traps that use sticky tape or boric acid. But boric acid is bad for people and animals if they eat it.
Professional pest control
If someone finds silverfish in their home and chemical baits or natural methods don’t work to get rid of them, they can call a licensed pest control professional in their area.
The professional in pest control will suggest the right treatment.
How to keep silverfish away
Reducing the number of environments suitable for silverfish to live in is an easy way of preventing them from entering the home.
Removing piles of wet leaves and keeping wood off the ground and away from the home can encourage silverfish to find shelter elsewhere.
Sealing up any gaps, cracks, and holes in basements, attics, foundations, or outer walls can prevent silverfish from finding their way into the home.
Eliminating any damp areas in the home can also discourage silverfish from settling inside.
Keeping basements, attics, bathrooms, and kitchens clean and dry will help prevent them from living in these rooms.
People can also remove food sources for silverfish, such as dust and debris, by cleaning out closets and cupboards and dusting bookshelves.
To prevent silverfish from getting into food products, the NPMA recommends storing the products in glass or plastic airtight containers.
Earwigs, centipedes, and spiders are natural predators of silverfish. Letting house spiders remain in the home can keep the number of silver-fish down naturally.
Are silverfish dangerous?
Silverfish do not bite people or animals, do not carry disease, and are not poisonous.
However, they have the ability to spread germs if they come in from the outside and contaminate food.
Insects such as silverfish do not really endanger people. They do not bite or transmit illness, despite the fact that they may cause allergies in some individuals. Given that silver-fish are known to seriously harm properties and belongings, it’s critical to promptly eradicate a silverfish infestation in order to reduce the harm that silverfish may do.
A silver-fish infestation may be eliminated by a variety of approaches, including minimizing the species’ habitats within the house, using chemical baits, or utilizing natural solutions like DE and traps. Professional pest control services should be able to assist if these measures fail.