St Louis Pest Control Blog

Pest Spotlight: Silverfish

Wallpaper with delicate holes, chewed up books and damaged clothing are all good indications of a silverfish infestation. Silverfish are a common household pest found on nearly every continent. They prefer the hot, humid conditions generally found in attics, basements, bathrooms and closets but can also comfortably live in cool environments. These pests are highly destructive and responsible for damaging millions of dollars worth of property every year. Without silverfish control these insects can quickly consume pieces of valuable possessions.
The aptly named silverfish is unmistakable in appearance. They have a long slender body that gradually tapers as it moves toward the tail. The body is a metallic silver color and has two large antennae on the front of the head and three antennae-like projections on the tail. Silverfish love dark, damp environments and will avoid human contact whenever possible.

Silverfish are unique insects in many respects. They have an incredibly long lifespan for insects of similar size and habits. A silverfish can live up to eight years. They are the ultimate survivors. Unlike other insects, depriving a silverfish of a food source has no impact. Silverfish can live up to one year without eating. It is nearly impossible to starve these pests. They eat almost everything including bookbinding, fabric, leather, hair, carpet, photographs, wallpaper, paint, dander and dead insects but prefer foods high in carbohydrates. The chewing method they use to eat is very effective at ruining books, photographs, wallpaper and furniture upholstery. Households with these pests must seek out silverfish control to prevent damage to important possessions.

Due to their long lifespan and ability to go long periods without food, once an infestation has taken hold it is essential to implement a silverfish control plan before the population becomes overly inflated. Female silverfish can lay about 100 eggs. They find a small crack in a remote area of the home and lay several eggs. Once the eggs hatch it only takes around three months for the young silverfish to become mature and capable of reproduction.

silverfish bugIn order to prevent further damage to belongings, silverfish control is necessary. The first step in silverfish control is to decrease the humidity in the home. Dehumidifiers effectively pull moisture out of the air and make damp areas dry. Any materials that silverfish might find tasty should be boxed in plastic storage bins. Silverfish love the corrugated cardboard that boxes are made with and will readily nest inside these materials.

In order to completely rid a household of silverfish all areas of infestation should be treated with residual materials. This is very difficult to do without the proper tools. Silverfish control is best left to a professional. Commonly a treatment of attic spaces with a residual dust is one of the most effective treatments against these pests. In addition to the attic all areas such as basements, storage areas, etc. need to be treated to eliminate these pests. Professional pest management specialists have the knowledge and skills to permanently rid a household of this destructive pest in a safe manner, and as such silverfish control is best not treated by the homeowner.


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