As a rule insects are not the most pleasant creatures to look at, but silverfish are some of the worst. They are not actually damaging to humans, but they're still not nice a nice tenant to be sharing a home with. Also, they do cause a lot of damage to your property so it is best to employ silverfish control techniques as soon as you spot an infestation.
If you ever wondered how silverfish got their name, it's because they travel in a swishing movement, like
Silverfish have been around since before dinosaurs a fish swimming through water. Also, because they are silver. At least adult silverfish are silver, young silverfish are white. They grow to a maximum of one inch, which is about 2.5cm, but others only grow to only half that size. So they're small, but definitely visible. On the other hand, it might take a while to notice an infestation because they do not like light conditions and tend to hide out in the dark, so it might be quite a sizeable infestation before you actually notice there is a problem. To get back to the name though, their official title is “Lepsima Saccharina but also answer to “The Carpet Shark,” “Fishmoth,” and “The Urban Silverfish.”
As with all pests, the best way to get rid of them is to remove the conditions that gave rise to them in the first place, and then go about eradicating the pests that are already there. When it comes to silverfish control this proves to be quite difficult, and requires patience and perseverance.
Although silverfish feed off just about anything, from crumbs on the floor to human dandruff, the main condition necessary for their emergence is the presence of damp. This means that they are commonly found in bathrooms, but the damp needs to be there for quite a long time so an infestation of silverfish actually means that you have a problem with damp somewhere in your home. That could be a leaking pipe, or anything else that creates damp conditions, such as high humidity levels. Silverfish can actually survive for a year without eating, so just removing the food source is not going to get rid of them (at least, not quickly). In any case, since they are so small, unless you seal up all your food and make sure no crumbs get anywhere this is going to be a near impossible task.
The best pest control technique to prevent silverfish from continuing to breed is therefore to get rid of the damp conditions. This can also take a long time, and will involve fixing whatever the problem was in the first place, and then keeping your home extra dry. In addition, insecticides should be sprayed in as many nooks and crannies as you can find to kill the adult silverfish. Other silverfish control techniques involve getting rid of old clothes, as well as stacks of magazines or newspapers. If you discover the infestation in clothes you want to keep, they should be cleaned thoroughly, preferably dry cleaned. Any books you want to save should be sealed in a plastic bag and stored in the freezer for at least four days.
If you can't wait for the silverfish to be gone, and after all it really is a very unpleasant experience to have a silverfish infestation in your home, then pest control experts can fumigate your house to get rid of the pests. You will still have to keep everywhere as dry as possible for a while, but it should get rid of the infestation fast.
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