As we are still in the middle of winter, pest control and scheduling your next inspection may be far from your mind. While it is true that many of the most well known pests such as mosquitoes and termites are mostly inactive, all is not necessarily peaceful.
The truth is, there are a few pests that can invade your home year round, and it is critical to ensure that your home is well protected. One of the best examples of these types of pests is the silverfish, a pest that can go from harmless to significantly destructive when provided with the right environmental conditions.
What are silverfish?
Silverfish are the small, teardrop shaped insects that grow to around 20mm in length. These invader pests can be easily identified by their silvery-blue body coloration and the 3 distinct bristles that protrude from their tail.
The degree to which silverfish infest your home is largely tied to the environmental conditions that they require to survive. Silverfish naturally seek out dark areas with high moisture level. When an area experiences a significant dry season, silverfish can be pushed into homes seeking a humid area in which to reproduce and grow.
How do silverfish infest your home?
Silverfish can access the home from a variety of avenues. Due to their small size, they can easily exploit any cracks or gaps in the exterior of the structure, and they may also enter through ventilation, beneath door and window frames, or be carried into the home in boxes or bags. Regardless of how they enter, silverfish will typically be found in areas of the home that are near to a food source and contain sufficient moisture. As such, some areas that homeowners may want to investigate include:
- Bathrooms, especially near to drains and sinks
- Beneath large appliances
- Boiler rooms
- Around water damage
While you may spot silverfish in any part of your home, it is likely that they can be traced back to one of these areas. Silverfish growth and development rates are directly linked to the moisture content of their habitat, and thus if moisture levels in your home are not controlled you may find yourself dealing with a large infestation.
What do silverfish eat?
Silverfish feed on a variety of different carbohydrates, mostly sugars and starches. They can consume almost any food scraps or spills left behind, as well as a variety of unusual food sources such as glue, shampoo, linens, and cellulosic (wood based) materials.
This ties directly into how silverfish can be destructive in your home. When left unchecked, these pests can feed on wallpaper, books, fabrics, and antique furniture. While they are not as destructive as termites in capacity, many of the items they target are difficult to replace or repair, and thus it is critical to stop an infestation as quickly as possible.
How do you identify and prevent silverfish?
The key to silverfish prevention is in environmental control. Controlling humidity levels in vents, basements, and other external access points to the home will avoid unduly attracting the pests. Beyond this, you should also seal food sources and repair any water damage as quickly as possible.
If you suspect that you already have silverfish in your home, it can be difficult to remove them without professional assistance. A popular myth exists that silverfish can be killed by contact with cinnamon. While it is true that the pests will avoid cinnamon, they are not in fact harmed by it in any way, and thus it is not an effective way of treating an infestation.
Due to their reclusive nature and nocturnal habits, it is rare to spot silverfish moving around your home. However you may start to see small signs of damage on items that they are known to feed upon. If you begin to see these signs, the best option that you can employ is to call in a licensed pest control company to perform a thorough inspection of the home. A trained technician can spot signs of pest activity, uncover the source of the infestation, and apply treatment where necessary.
Here at Canton Termite and Pest Control, we have decades of experience treating pests of all kinds here in the Cherokee County, GA area! Our technicians employ a wide range of safe, targeted treatment approaches that are designed to remove a pest population in its entirety quickly and completely!
So don’t let silverfish and other destructive pests roam free in your home! If you are noticing signs of pest activity, call us today at 770-479-1598! We will be happy to help in any way that we can!