Let’s face it – insects have been around longer than we have; we see them as we venture through our lives each day. Outdoors, many insects are beneficial to our eco-system through pollination, by being meals themselves to other valuable creatures, and also by being predators of even more insects. When inside our homes and businesses, insects are gross, dirty, and some even carry disease. One such insect we have not discussed is the silverfish.
Silverfish – while completely harmless in regard to carrying bacteria and disease – are nothing more than obnoxious indoor pests that can destroy our possessions if they go unnoticed. Following is a brief description of silverfish, some general indications of a silverfish infestation, and some things we can try at home to rid ourselves of silverfish.
As its name suggests, silverfish are silvery in color (some may have a little brown or black in them) and their bodies look like fish scales. Silverfish have antennae’s sticking out of both their heads and tail ends. These little monsters can run very fast, which is their greatest protection from predators. Here in Hawaii we have an abundance of predators of the silverfish: centipedes, spiders, and even earwigs; this might be the reason we don’t see a lot of silverfish infestations. Either that, or we just don’t notice infestations until our books or important papers have been destroyed. Another reason we may not hear a whole lot about silverfish is because they hide in dark places during the day and come out at night to feed on everything from paper and paper products, books, glue from books, cotton and silk fabric, wallpaper, and even starchy things found in the kitchen. Silverfish will roam great distances to find food sources, but once found, silverfish will remain close to the food source.
Dark, pepper-like poop droppings that silverfish leave as they roam inside a building is one sign of an infestation. Silverfish leave yellow stains and scales from their bodies in food source materials they have found. These insects also leave holes, scrapes, and notch marks on surfaces of things they’ve been feeding on.
Before calling your pest control specialist for help with eliminating a silverfish infestation, you may want to try these home remedies.
1. Boric acid can be harmful if inhaled, but when used safely, sprinkling a little in areas where silverfish have been spotted will kill not only the live silverfish, but also their eggs.
2. Use insect or mouse sticky traps with a little piece of bread on them. The bread attracts the silverfish and then they get stuck on the traps.
3. Reduce the silverfish’s food sources. First, remove old magazines, books, and newspapers from the building. Second, keep starchy things like flour, sugar, and potatoes in sealed containers.
4. Silverfish like damp places, so be sure to fix any leaking pipes and faucets.
5. Synthetic products may also be purchased from hardware and other stores that help with eliminating a silverfish infestation.
If you have any concerns or questions about silverfish, please give us a call.