Have you ever spied a bug dashing across your kitchen floor or scurrying under a baseboard and thought, “What in the world is that?” It’s clearly not a “common” pest like, say, a cockroach or spider. It’s something… different. If you’ve ever had this experience, the bug in question likely falls in a category we call “occasional invaders.”
A house-dwelling insect derives its name from several characteristics such as its silver/gray exoskeleton and fish-like habit of moving at a rapid pace. These guys are addicted to carbs! This species of insect dates back millions of years and tends to have a prehistoric or fossil like appearance with its long antennae and scale like exterior.
Considered more of a nuisance than anything else, the presence of one or two silverfish in your home could mean that there are more of them lurking behind the scenes. The biggest complaint of the Silverfish is their destructive feeding habits, often ruining items in the home such as wallpaper, books and magazines, soaps and shampoos, clothes and much more.
As small and harmless looking as they are, the Silverfish can be a tough little insect as it can survive in most environments and can go extensive periods without food. Showing preference to more humid conditions, which is prime condition in Southeast Texas. Silverfish are also somewhat difficult to get rid of as they move around fairly quickly, making their elusive nature quite frustrating to many homeowners. Even though these little guys don’t have wings, you’d be surprised at how quickly they appear and reappear in different areas of your home.
Where to find Silverfish in your home
Since the Silverfish is somewhat of an elusive creature, more often than not you’ll spy signs of its existence rather than the insect itself. Their feeding habits will leave behind evidence through small holes in your wallpaper or in boxes you may have lying around, or even by yellowish stains on fabric. You may also notice evidence of their feces, usually mistaken for dust, or through the shedding of their cast skins. If you happen to catch glimpse of a silverfish, more than likely you will spot them in areas that are dark or have moisture such as:
- Under sinks
- Bathrooms/bathtubs or laundry rooms
- Storage rooms
- Behind closets and bookshelves
- Garages and sheds
Control and Prevention
- Here are some tips to help control the silverfish population in your home:
- Additionally, items such as boxes, cardboard or even furniture can be source for infestation if either eggs or adult silverfish were attached to these, and brought into the home.
- Since they prefer an environment with a high humidity and high temperature, lowering the temperature in your home can help to repel them from settling in and reproducing.
- Use a dehumidifier or fan in areas of the house more prone to moisture, such as basements.
- When moving furniture or boxes into your home, carefully inspect in and around these items to ensure that there are no signs of silverfish (either eggs or adults). This is particularly helpful when moving boxes from a garage or shed into your home.
- Don’t give silverfish something to snack on! If possible, eliminate sources of food like old papers and books, as well as unused clothes or fabric that may be left lying around.
- Make sure to caulk and seal any cracks that may be found around windows or doors on the exterior of your home. This will help to keep them from entering.
- Repair or replace wallpaper that is torn as this makes for an inviting space for silverfish to inhabit.