We’ve all heard of silverfish as pests we need to keep our homes, residential properties and businesses free of, but what exactly are they? What locations are likely to be infested by them? How do you get rid of them? In this article we’ll be aiming to answer these questions and more.
- Silverfish Aren’t Fish!
When hearing the name alone it can be understandable why some might think these pests are fish, but in fact they are insects. They got their confusing name for several reasons, the first being their appearance. They are silvery-blue in color and have a scale-like exterior, like a fish, as well as having flat, elongated bodies, reminiscent of a mackerel or sardine. Silverfish also move in a way that is fish-like, moving side to side when moving as a fish may through water. The final reason for the name silverfish is because they like moist areas, often being found in drains, sinks, bathrooms, or basements, leading people to assume they have swam through water to infest their homes.
- Silverfish Love Starches
When it comes to the diet of a silverfish, one thing is certain: they love anything with starches. Starches can be found in a variety of objects around your home such as clothing, books, fabric, and paper, as well as more traditional foodstuffs such as flour, cereals, and dried meats. They crave starches because they need both carbohydrates and proteins to survive, which starch is rich in.
- Silverfish are Speedy
Silverfish are not aggressors; they have no venom and no fangs with which to defend themselves. Therefore, their natural defence against predators is their speed, which allows them to flee whenever threatened. However, due to their physiology, having no additional appendages for scaling vertically, silverfish only have a speed advantage when scuttling along horizontal surfaces. They still have the grip to scale vertical walls, but won’t be very quick, and are therefore much easier to catch when climbing.
As with any infestation, good sanitation is usually your first step in preventing any potential bugs or nasties from calling your home their home. However, once a silverfish infestation has taken place, sanitation will not be enough to rid your home or residential property of these insects. This is because silverfish can hide in wall partitions and all manner or nooks and crannies that household cleaning generally won’t reach.
Instead, try to remove stacks of newspapers, magazines, books, and fabrics – have a little spring/summer clean! You should also go through your pantry, checking food that has been stored for some time, and throwing out those that are past their best. You should also try to reduce the humidity in your home by using dehumidifiers. Finally, ensure all leaky plumbing is fixed and moisture is reduced, particularly in areas with linens.
When it comes to removing an existing infestation you can try using pest control products from the hardware store. However, unless you know what you’re doing these can simply be a waste of money, and can even be harmful to you and your family. For complete peace of mind you should leave all pest control to the professionals who will ensure your home is safe and infestation-free first time around.
Proudly serving the greater Chicagoland area in Illinois and southeast Wisconsin, the professional exterminators at Aerex Pest Control understand the habits of different types of pests and use that knowledge when developing a pest control program that is best suited to your home and your particular problem. Our technicians are professional, state certified, licensed applicators. Call today for your free consultation 847-255-8888 or click here for a free quick quote.