There are many households that have been affected by a silverfish infestation in the past. These pests are not generally found in natural environments and they can get into your home in a number of different ways. Although they are able to survive in multiple climates, their preference tends to be places that are dark and damp such as attics, bathrooms, kitchens, and basements. They are often found in boxes that have been stored in a damp shed or other location, and often this is how they are brought into the house by accident.
What do silverfish look like?
These insects have a distinct appearance, with some being white/grey and others blue/silver. They also have a distinctive teardrop shape so they are pretty easy to identify. Sometimes, people bring silverfish into the home in damp boxes and packages that they have brought back from a shed, garage, or other location. However, they have sometimes been found in unopened food packages and they find paper and damp material very enticing. In fact, because of their feeding habits, these insects can cause a lot of damage to paper items and material. There are many other sources of food for silverfish including dead insects, shampoos, and even the glue from books.
What are the causes of a silverfish infestation?
There are various ways in which you could end up with a silverfish infestation. Once you have been infested, it can be difficult to get rid of them because they move around a lot and therefore controlling them can be a challenge. As mentioned earlier, they are often brought into homes in damp boxes and containers that have been stored in dark, damp areas such as sheds and garages. However, they are also attracted by areas such as damp basements or crawl spaces, which means that they can generally access your home with ease.
Their small size means that these pests are able to get into your home through small crevices and cracks in the foundation as well as through gaps in doors, so it is well worth making sure that any issues such as this are addressed to reduce the risk of an infestation. If you leave dirty dishes out, this could also attract these pests because they love food and can often be found in kitchens.
Can they cause health problems?
Many people are concerned about whether silverfish can cause health problems to humans and other animals. Well, they do not transmit diseases or cause serious health problems. However, they may cause allergies in some people. The risk of allergies is only mild and it does not create a serious problem. However, these pests can also pose a danger when it comes to property, particularly when it comes to things such as wallpaper and clothing. If there are a lot of silverfish in your property, the damage to paper and materials can be quite extensive, as they can chew big holes into them.
Another thing that is worth bearing in mind is that silverfish can also attract other pests to your home. When you have silverfish, you may find that you also start to get carpet beetles in your home, which means that you have yet another pest problem to deal with.
How can you tell if you have silverfish in the home?
You will generally know about silverfish being present in your home because you will see them slithering quickly around surfaces or on the floor. You may find some of your sinks or in the bath or shower. Another sign that you may have silverfish is that you may notice the damage that they are causing when it comes to paper and clothing. They can also leave fecal matter that resembles grains of pepper around where they have been, so this is another sign to look out for.
You should bear in mind that these pests are nocturnal and they do move with great speed. This means that there is a chance that you may not actually see the silverfish but that does not mean you don’t have them. You would need to look out for other signs of their presence. As a result of their nocturnal activities, many people do not realize that they have an infestation for a long time by which time they have multiplied and the infestation is even worse. Their production periods are short, so they can expand in terms of numbers quickly.
Taking action to prevent or eliminate an infestation
There are various steps that you can take when it comes to preventing an infestation of silverfish. First off, you should make sure you control the humidity levels in your home because of their love of damp places and ability to develop more quickly in humid areas. In addition, make sure that any crevices and cracks in and gaps in the foundation and around doors are addressed, as this will limit their entry to your home. Make sure that any boxes or containers that are brought into the home from a damp area are checked before you bring them indoors, as there may be silverfish lurking in them. If you bring them in without first checking, you may not even notice the silverfish make a run for it – and if you do, their speed means that they can still get away with ease.
If you already have an infestation, you may need to contact pest control services to get this addressed. Dealing with this type of infestation can be more difficult because of their tendency to move around, their nocturnal habits, and the speed at which they move. Therefore, dealing with the infestation yourself may not be as easy as it would be with another type of pest.
You can also find silverfish traps available for purchase but the one thing to remember about these is that they tend to focus on individual insects rather than the entire population of silverfish in your home. This means that if you have a serious infestation, these traps may not prove effective enough so you may need to turn to the professionals for help in dealing with the problem.