Silverfish can become quite a nuisance in your home due to their
quick reproduction rates and their munching habits. In their quest for food,
they may destroy books and clothing, as well as infesting your pantry. They
will munch through paper like a caterpillar on your tomato plant, so in this
article we will discuss ways to make your home less inviting and hospitable to
silverfish. First, we need to know a little about what makes them tick.
Silverfish, as you may know, are not fish at all. Silverfish are wingless insects named Lepisma
saccharina. They are often a silver grey color and have antenna that they move
around in a fish like swimming motion, accounting for their name. Silverfish
need carbohydrates to survive and like dark and moist places to reside. The
majority of their activity is nocturnal. They can reproduce quickly and one silverfish
can produce 66 offspring during their life cycle.
Silverfish love dimly lit places with lots of moisture, which
means they may move into your basement, and spread to other areas in your home.
Minimize all excess moisture in your home by checking around pipes, under sinks,
and toilet seals. Make sure that all of those areas are dry as a bone, and
seal/repair any leaks or drips.
Use moisture absorbing crystals for small areas that seem to be holding moisture.
Consider dehumidifiers for larger areas like your basement. Minimizing moisture
will help you keep loads of other insect populations under control.
Store flour, sugar, etc. in sealable containers to reduce silverfish access to food
sources. Even unopened flour bags can be breached by silverfish. It’s a good
idea to have air tight containers dedicated for those staples. Store any extra
packages in your freezer until you are ready to use them.
Vacuum corners and crevices regularly to help not only with silverfish,
but fleas as well.
Chemical controls for silver fish include baiting stations, spray insecticides
and dusting formulas. With baiting stations, it’s good to know that silverfish
will not travel long distances for their food sources, so place baits in the
dark moist areas, near food sources or areas of damage. Since they are most likely to
gather in those areas, that will deliver the most bang for your buck with baits. You may consider using
dusting formulas in cracks and corners of those same areas.
Spray the perimeter of your home to stop more silverfish from coming into your
home. Focusing on cracks or crevices that are near moisture, or on the shadier side of your home.
Hopefully, after employing all of the above techniques, you’ll have silverfsh packing their bags in no time!