While silverfish can be found nearly anywhere, they are most often drawn to moist, warm areas. These pests are called silverfish because they have a metallic, shiny look and move like you might expect a fish to. These insects are bristletails based on the three appendages on their backside that resemble bristles.
Silverfish can be found in homes across the United States but are usually located in humid and damp areas like attics, basements, and bathrooms. The bugs are excellent at hiding from humans and even the damage they cause can go unnoticed.
This article will delve into what you should know about silverfish and when you should call a pest control specialist to handle them.
What Silverfish Look Like
While silverfish have no wings to fly, they can run extremely quickly. An adult silverfish measures about ½ to ¾ inches in length without the tail. The body is flat and the shape is similar to a fish, carrot, or teardrop that tapers from the head to the rear with scales across the surface.
Silverfish have a metallic exterior with small compound eyes and threadlike antennae. Young silverfish look very similar but will be smaller and don’t have scales until after a series of molts.
How To Prevent Silverfish Infestations
The best way to avoid an infestation of silverfish is through prevention strategies. This means you should inspect areas they like to hide and places where foods they eat are provided. If an infestation is in one location, it’s probably recent and was caused by bringing in items with silverfish or a recent invasion from outdoors.
If there are more silverfish in the home, the outdoor areas should also be considered. Items stored near or against the home’s exterior should be removed or moved as silverfish can climb up walls. They can find spots to get inside at door frames and windows, vents, and utility pipes. In addition, make sure to clean and seal shake roofs once every two years.
Other ways to avoid silverfish are using a dehumidifier in your home, repairing leaky drains and pipes, and repairing or removing wet or moldy wood. In addition, magazines and books should be taken out of moist areas like attics, basements, and garages. Foods with starches and sugars should also be placed in tight containers.
However, if you know there are silverfish in the house, the best option is to call a pest control specialist. This person can inspect the home and choose a treatment method for the problem.
When To Reach Out to a Silverfish Pest Control Specialist
If you aren’t sure whether you need a pest control specialist, that’s okay. That’s why we’ve compiled five reasons it’s time to do so. You can be sure your problem constitutes the need for a professional who can make sure the silverfish are no longer in your home.
1. Sighting Silverfish in the Home
It might seem obvious, but if you aren’t sure the bugs you see are silverfish, you might not realize a professional is needed. Silverfish are quite small, wingless, and have flexible scales across their body. They have a teardrop shape and range in color from blue/silver to gray/brown.
When silverfish move, they have a wiggle that might remind you of a fish swimming in a pond. These are nocturnal insects so they aren’t always present. However, that doesn’t mean they aren’t in the house. While seeing one or two silverfish doesn’t mean you have an infestation, it does mean you should have a professional inspection.
2. Noticing Silverfish Droppings
Silverfish have unique droppings which can be used to identify them if you aren’t sure what insects are in the home. The fecal matter from silverfish is small and black like a peppercorn. You might see the droppings in areas silverfish enjoy, such as garages, kitchens, basements, and storage areas.
However, unless you are carefully looking for it, droppings can easily be missed or thought to be debris like dust and dirt.
3. Shed Skin Around the Home
Silverfish shed off their skins at various points in their life. The outer shells are delicate and small, but if you take a good look, they can clue you in that there might be an infestation in your home.
A professional pest specialist can come out and check on things. If silverfish are present, they can help you get rid of them.
4. Yellow Dust or Stains
If none of the above signs are present in your home, look for yellow dust or stains on surfaces. Silverfish will leave this behind when they molt. The yellow stains can be found on items like papers, cardboard boxes, and books.
If you see this, it indicates that the silverfish might have been in the area during the night.
5. Damaged Belongings
All of the other things that call for bringing in a pest control specialist are common, but the biggest reason that people realize they have silverfish is something else. These insects can create damage that you might notice while moving through your home.
Silverfish are fans of carbohydrates and will eat all sorts of things under this umbrella. For instance, they might eat book bindings, paper, foods with starches and sugars, linens, wallpaper, and even adhesives. Therefore, if there are holes in various items in this group, it could mean you have an infestation of silverfish.
Choose a Pest Control Specialist for Help With Silverfish
If you have signs of silverfish in your home, you should bring in a specialist to handle the problem. An expert knows the signs of these insects and can choose a pest solution that works specifically for your home. Without the help of a professional, it will be much more challenging to get rid of a silverfish infestation.
Don’t have a favorite pest specialist? That’s okay; you can find one quickly on Find a Pest Pro. Put in your zip code on the website and get a list of options. Choose one and have your bug problem taken care of in no time. Visit today to take back control of your home.
Click here to read our past blog, Top 3 Mice Control Home Remedies.