Have you heard of silverfish? No, they aren’t a species of fish you’ll run into while snorkeling off the coast, but if you are a South Florida homeowner, you’ve probably had an encounter or two. Silverfish are a nuisance bug that thrive in hot environments. These tiny pests have quite the appetite, and while human food does appeal to them, it’s not they only thing they’ll munch down on. Silverfish will make meals out of paper products, books, wallpaper backing and fabrics. If left untreated, the damage silverfish will do to your home can be extensive.
Silverfish are only 12-199 mm in length, making spotting them more difficult than other pests. They are white, brownish-grey or a blue-silverish color. Their bodies are shaped like teardrops with two antennas and three long bristles located at the rear. Due to the warm climate, silverfish are commonly found in Florida homes year-round, usually in hot, wet places like bathrooms, attics and basements.
In order to get rid of silverfish, you must start by eliminating their food sources. Start with regular vacuuming to remove crumbs and loose food. Also, clean up any spills immediately. You should also consider getting rid of any books, newspapers and magazine you no longer need that they may be munching down on. If you do have valuable papers you don’t want to part with, place them in sealed plastic bags and put them in the freezer to kill the silverfish and their larvae.
In addition, reducing the humidity in your home will also help prevent silverfish. Cool down areas that are characteristically warm with a/c units, humidifiers and fans.
While these tactics will help prevent a silverfish infestation, you will need to call in a pest control professional to eliminate the bugs if they are already taking over your home. After your house has been treated, it is important to follow up with regular cleaning and spot checks to prevent silverfish from making your home theirs.