If you have ever seen these creepy crawlies in your home, your first question is, how did they get in? There are several ways these pests make their way indoors. Silverfish can live for up to eight years and are among the world's most common pests.

Silverfish do not carry diseases or create extreme havoc, only when their populations become large.

One of the most common ways is any vegetation growth or leaves matted down near your house. Any wet or moist conditions supply a silverfish with an unlimited supply of food sources.

If you get rid of these outdoor conditions, you will discourage silverfish from making your house their home. Additionally, ensure all gaps have been sealed using water-proof caulking; this will keep the silverfish problem from entering your home.

Another trick for silverfish control is to use homemade traps containing starchy food sources. Including wet newspaper, cedar oil, sticky traps, boric acid, dried bay leaves, and store-bought chemical methods.

How to Identify Silverfish

How to identify silverfish in the house

You can identify a silverfish by its body, which is shaped like a teardrop. It has three distinct, bristle-like appendages sticking out from the back of its body.

Silverfish have antennae that is as long as their body is. The body is brown, with silver-metallic-looking scales. These scales give the silverfish the appearance of being shiny and shimmering.

There is a protein within the scales silverfish shed called tropomyosin; this is what often causes people to have allergic reactions.

Can silverfish fly?

Silverfish do not bite, nor can they fly. However, they are able to run rapidly. They are timid and often remain hidden and out of sight of humans. However, a population of silverfish can quickly grow to large numbers because they reproduce rapidly.

What do Silverfish look like?

A closer look on what a silverfish look like

Silverfish are insects with bodies covered in tiny scales similar to a fish and are gray or silver in color. The head is the broadest section of their body, gradually tapering to the bottom end. It is here that you’ll notice three appendages that are long and bristle-covered.

One shoots directly out of the body’s posterior side, and the remaining two poke out at ninety-degree angles on the torso’s right and left sides.

At only around 0.5” to one inch long, Silverfish can live eight remarkable years! Rarely seen during daylight hours due to the fact that they are nocturnal.

Should I be worried if I see one Silverfish?

Chances are if there is one, there are literally hundreds of them taking up residence within the walls. During a single female silverfish's lifetime, she can lay as many as 100 eggs. The time it takes an egg to mature to adulthood is a mere 90 days!

Think about it, a single male and female silverfish can quickly multiply, filling up that damp basement with their offspring in weeks!

So you can understand now how easy it is for a Silverfish population to quickly get out of control!

What causes a Silverfish infestation in your house?

You have just seen a silverfish inside your house; you are likely pondering where in the world it came from. Here is a list of some of the things silverfish love and find attractive about your home:

  • Your house and yard provide them with an ideal habitat. Silverfish subsist in environments that are moist and well-guarded. Wherever there is excessive moisture, leaf litter, rocks, and logs, you will likely find silverfish. Inside the house, they prefer places that are dark and isolated, such as damp basements, bathroom sinks, behind furniture, cardboard boxes, and even books. Any area with moisture is a likely place they will go.
  • You have all the right food sources.  Silverfish are like any other creepy crawlies. They need food for survival. Their preference is food sources containing starches. For example, fabrics, sugars, grains, fibers, and dried food sources like pet foods and cereals. One of the reasons they can be hard to get rid of is that they are nocturnal. They consume anything, from protein to carbohydrates, starches, and even items that are decomposing. When they come indoors, they will eat anything they find. Pet food tidbits, scraps of leftover food, cereal, flour, sugar, and dried goods.
  • You provide them with a place to lay their eggs. If your home is moist, with lots of dark, out-of-the-way places, it is a haven for egg-laying. Silverfish eggs are bulb-shaped and white or yellow in color.
  • Lots of places to hide.  Silverfish live in areas that are protected and excellent hiding places for laying eggs. This could be in damp places, behind furniture, and even inside a bookshelf. The first step to getting rid of them is to make your home as inhospitable to them as you can.

Does a dirty house attract silverfish?

Contradictory to what many believe, a dirty home is not a common attractant. What is a natural attractant is moisture--wherever there is plenty of moisture, you will find these insects. Silverfish will consume common household and construction items, which is why even a clean house will keep them satisfied.

In addition, silverfish will find a smorgasbord inside areas of your home that are dustiest. This is due to the organic residue contained within dust particles, such as dander and human skin. A silverfish is able to completely sustain on a diet that is solely dust.  They find protein to balance their diet by eating the dead carcasses of other silverfish.

How to Protect Your Home From Silverfish Infestation?

The best way to protect your home from a silverfish infestation is to keep it clean. In addition, store dried foods like pet food, flour, sugar, cereal, quinoa, rice, and pasta in airtight containers.

Silverfish eat dried food packets, they chew papers, and the binding paste of old manuscripts and books is rich in protein.

Remove the humidity in damp basements by employing a dehumidifier; this will eliminate one of their favorite environments.

However, controlling humidity levels isn't always a realistic approach when trying to control silverfish.

To get rid of silverfish eggs, using a HEPA vacuum will suck them up and prevent silverfish from multiplying. In addition, use caulking to cover any openings, holes, and cracks to avert silverfish and cease egg laying.

Boric Acid will get rid of silverfish infestations

It is available for sale in small packets at your local home and hardware store. These packets are made to trap and poison silverfish. Simplet place in hidden areas like desk drawers, beneath sinks, in dressers, and bookshelves.

What are the signs you have silverfish?

Silverfish eating on the pages of the book

One sure sign of a silverfish pest infestation is the yellow stains they leave behind on fabrics made from synthetic materials. Another sign is discovering them as they burrow through dried food containers.

Seeing only one silverfish does not necessarily indicate you have an infestation. Sometimes it has been simply transported indoors via a used book you purchased at the thrift store.

Are Silverfish Dangerous to People and Pets?

Because silverfish are nocturnal insects, it is difficult to know they exist as household pests.

Some people show sensitivity to silverfish droppings and may even be allergic. These tiny pests can contaminate our food supplies, like meat and stored dry goods. However, they don't bite or spread disease.

Sometimes, people discover an allergy or sensitivity to molted skin and droppings of silverfish. Molted silverfish exoskeletons contain tropomyosin, a protein. In combination with other indoor allergens caused by mites and other insects, can cause these allergies.

A recombinant allergen forms stronger allergic reactions. Besides causing allergic reactions, silverfish are basically harmless when it comes to silverfish bite.

The molted skin of silverfish, in combination with other inside allergens such as dust, can cause mucus buildup, coughing, and itching.

Are silverfish harmful to the fur kids? Although silverfish control isn't toxic, avert pets from eating them.

Do Silverfish get rid of other bugs?

Although a silverfish infestation may be damaging to your home, having a few silverfish live with you maintains insect equilibrium. Silverfish will eat predatory insects like spiders and other pests.

They also eat dead insects, including dead silverfish. Thus, you shouldn't worry about killing silverfish if you have only seen one bug.

What attracts silverfish?

Silverfish are able to sustain themselves on a dust-only diet because human skin and dander contain organic residue.

Silverfish consume any dead or dying silverfish as well as the carcasses of dead plants to supplement protein requirements.

Because silverfish live for as long as eight years, they can easily wreak havoc on your household items over time.

If your home has any clutter, such as cardboard boxes old books, or is extremely dusty, you risk a silverfish infestation.

Using Natural Repellants

You can prevent silverfish invasions by using a natural repellant, such as dried bay leaves, cinnamon, and cedar oil.

You can create your own silverfish traps to discourage silverfish with a spray bottle filled with essential oil and water.

Using Natural Repellants to get rid of silverfish in your house

Create your own silverfish traps

There are a variety of ways to eliminate a silverfish infestation. Up to and including repelling silverfish by decreasing their nesting sites inside your home.

Chemical baits, or natural ways to kill silverfish, are diatomaceous earth and sticky traps. However, if you are still unsuccessful in getting rid of them, it's time to call the professional pest control services of A.N.T. Pest Control.

What Damage Can Silverfish Cause to Your Home?

Silverfish don't really cause any severe damage to your home. Typically, the most damage they create is flaring up allergies to their droppings or molted skins. These allergens, in combination with other allergens like dust mites, can cause severe allergic reactions.

Silverfish Facts, Habits and Threats

A silverfish gets its name because of its fish-like movements and silver-colored scales. They have three bristles on their tail end and two antennae as long as the body.

The body of a silverfish has tiny scales covering it. These scales, if touched, come off. Some of the natural predators of the silverfish are spiders, centipedes, and earwigs.

A silverfish is a wingless insect, rather primitive, and belongs to the group of insects referred to as Bristletails.

Professional Silverfish Removal Services

For a severe silverfish infestation inside your apartment or house, you need the assistance of a licensed pest control service.

Professional Silverfish Removal Services

Professional pest control

A.N.T. Pest Control knows the proper treatment for getting rid of these insects. They also have integrated pest management methods set up for controlling silverfish in historic buildings, libraries, and museums.

Contact Us to Get Rid of Silverfish for Good!

When you have run out of DIY options for getting rid of silverfish, call the professionals! We are a pest control professional company with the answers to your silverfish issue. Call A.N.T. Pest Control at 815-215-7211 to schedule an appointment today. We know how to get rid of silverfish that infest your house and casue damages!

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1200 S Cedar Rd #2D/E
New Lenox, IL 60451

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