Pests in the home are an ongoing issue in most areas, it seems like there are millions of potential critters just waiting to infest your home at any given time. No one wants to share their sanctuary with creepy crawly little pests, never mind the phobias they might induce, but the potential health concerns they present is a major problem. Among the many nasty little skittering monsters, silverfish are some of the oddest creatures to find around the house. These centipede-like insects are the stuff of nightmares, and freeing your home of them will quickly become a top priority.
Silverfish can be white, brown, or even bluish-grey in color. They are shaped almost like a teardrop at about an inch long, with long antennae protruding from their backsides. They are not harmful to people or pets, but they can be very destructive to the home. These little monsters are nocturnal and tend to dwell in dark damp places like your basement, kitchens, and bathrooms.
Silverfish are quick and secretive creatures that reproduce very quickly. You may not even know about the infestation until it is horrifyingly bad. Silverfish are survivors by nature, and they approach survival by bolstering their numbers at a terrifying rate. Seeing one silverfish means that there may be thousands lurking somewhere nearby, and that is only if they have not yet gone undetected for any good length of time.
The silverfish is famous for its very destructive feeding habits. They are known to be drawn to paper and cotton. Silverfish ruin papers, clothing and wallpaper routinely. They are also attracted to sugary substances, like the glue used in the binding of books. Silverfish have a taste for a variety of foods, so it is important to keep up with the housekeeping and prevent infestation. They have even been found in unopened food packages!
Commonly, people never realize they have a silverfish infestation. These little guys are good at going unseen. Yet their destruction is obvious. You may notice that your book covers are beginning to wear in odd patterns, or your curtains have tiny holes in them. In fact, most people never see a silverfish until it gets trapped in a bathtub or sink.
Silverfish can survive most climates and environments, making them more common than most people would like. Yet they prefer humid areas, they are known to develop more rapidly in areas with high humidity. This makes controlling the humidity in your home a major must if you wish to avoid these nasty little creatures. Pay special attention to baseboards, open vents, crawl spaces and basements.
If you already have a silverfish infestation it’s probably a good idea to contact a professional, who can develop a specific approach to ridding your home of the pest. There are traps and insecticides available in most stores, but keep in mind that these only tackle the available critters, and not the entire horde. Alternatively, you can use natural remedies to try to control the infestation with things like cinnamon. However, be aware that cinnamon only repels silverfish, it will not kill them.
There are other suggested ways to control or combat a silverfish infestation. General upkeep of the home is a must. It’s also important to routinely vacuum all carpets, cracks, and crevices, inspect and fix any leaky plumbing fixtures, ventilate closed areas of your home like attics and store rooms, use dehumidifiers in basements and crawl spaces, store all foods in tight containers, and spray your outside foundation with insecticide.
When in doubt, call in a professional. We all like to try to tackle issues on our own, and save a buck in the process, but the truth is that there is only so much that you can do on your own. A professional pest control agent will be able to pinpoint nesting areas and have a better idea of the extent of an infestation than the layman. They will also be able to create an effective plan of attack for combating the problem that poses no risk to you or your furry friends, whereas some do-it-yourself remedies might be a little dangerous.
When looking into professional pest control, research the available companies, and go with one that has a good reputation and is trusted in your area. Ask about their prices as well as any guarantee on their work. A guarantee can give you great peace of mind because you will know that if the silverfish infestation problem rises again, you have a no-cost or low-cost solution standing by.
At the end of the day, preventing a silverfish infestation is much less work than eradicating one. So be sure to follow good housekeeping techniques, routinely check your store areas for signs of pests, and be prepared to meet any challenge that may arise. For as long as there are homes there will be pests waiting to invade. Alliance Pest Services is your Monmouth County and Ocean County silverfish control expert.