If you have ever dug through old boxes in your attic, you have likely seen silverfish before. They are long, silvery creepy-crawlies that like to live in the humid areas of your home like basements or attics. Read on for more information about silverfish and how to get rid of them.

What are Silverfish?

Silverfish are nocturnal insects, typically about half an inch to one inch in length. They have slender bodies that have an almost metallic sheen to them. They get their name from their distinctive style of movement that resembles a fish swimming in water. The lifespan of a silverfish is anywhere from two to eight years. Silverfish are sometimes called Bristletails, because they have three long antennae-like appendages on their hind end as well as two antennae on their head.

Signs of an Infestation

Silverfish are notoriously good at hiding from humans. They are mostly active only at night and are able to run very fast. They prefer rooms of the home that are less frequently used and have a high humidity level. Basements and attics are preferred, but they can also be found in bathrooms. To know if you have an infestation, keep a look out for feeding marks on their favorite foods, items like:

  • Books
  • Wallpaper
  • Old photos
  • Cardboard boxes
  • Shampoo
  • Linens

Other signs of infestation are:

  • Yellow stains
  • Feces that looks like black pepper
  • Scales

Why Do I Have Silverfish?

The simple answer for why you have silverfish is that your home has an entry point somewhere. This could be a door with worn out weather stripping, a window that does not seal properly, or a gap in the roof around a skylight or other fixture. Water damage is a common draw for silverfish as they search for moisture. Not the mention that water damage can weaken the wood in your home, making tiny gaps that bugs use to get inside.

How to Prevent Silverfish

To keep silverfish from entering your home, eliminate any sources of standing water around your home. Keep wood and other objects stored away from the side of your home. This will minimize their opportunities to enter your home. For the same reason, you should trim trees and shrubs so that they are not touching the house. Ideally leave a gap between them of at least six inches. Another good option is to get a dehumidifier for your home. This will make the inside of your home far less tempting. Additionally, you should regularly inspect your home for gaps around doors, windows, pipes, or anywhere else that may need to be resealed.

Final Thoughts

Silverfish are a nuisance, but they are not considered harmful to humans. They can cause damage to your personal belongings as well as your home. If you find that you have an infestation of silverfish, give Total Pest Solutions a call. We will help you get rid of them, and we can give you some specific ideas of how to prevent them from coming back.