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Silverfish Facts

  • Measure 1/2 to 3/4 inches in length.
  • They and can survive long periods of time, sometimes over a year, without food

How to Get Rid of Silverfish

Addressing a silverfish infestation requires treatment of both adult silverfish and their harborage. These insects reproduce very quickly – depending on the species, one female silverfish can produce anywhere from one to three eggs each day. And since each individual can live as much as two years, it is extremely important to address an infestation swiftly and in its entirety. In order to best control them, it is recommended to seek professional treatment as soon as possible from a reputable service that can create a customized approach.

One of the best ways to prevent a silverfish infestation is to control humidity. In crawl spaces, open vents and in basements, use baseboards with caulking. In areas where books are stored, reduce humidity by using air conditioning units, fans, or dehumidifiers. Repairing any plumbing leaks will cut off water sources for these insects. The silverfish bug prefers to live in moist, humid places and need high humidity levels to survive – typically between 75% and 95%. If you have a leaky roof or a damp place in your home where mold can grow, the mold can become a food source for these bugs. Low humidity levels can actually delay or stop silverfish eggs from hatching.

Stringent sanitation and housekeeping practices may help prevent an infestation by limiting potential feeding sites. Vacuum regularly and clean up spilled food or drink immediately. However it cannot be used as the only means to eliminate infestations. Clean closets on a regular basis to help remove harborage areas. Remove old books, magazines and newspapers. Make sure to inspect any item brought into the home for damage or infestation, particularly fabrics that have been stored for long periods. If books or fabrics will be in storage, store these items in sealed plastic containers. Many times valuable books or papers have infestations of silverfish. These items can be placed into a sealable plastic bag and placed into the freezer for several days to kill the silverfish.

Most do-it-yourself remedies prove ineffective over time, with brief periods of relief followed by another infestation. Some homeowners have been known to use cinnamon to repel silverfish from certain areas, but it typically does not kill the insects or their eggs. There are a variety of silverfish traps and insecticides sold in stores. However, these traps target individual insects and cannot address an entire infestation.

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