Don’t let the name fool you – silverfish aren’t like goldfish you fed as pets when you were little. While the latter swim calmly in their aquarium, the former hide in the dark and damp corners of the house and feed on anything like leftovers, paper, clothes, stickers, mould etc. Another characteristic of them is that they leave excrement all over the place. DISGUSTING! And not only that, these parasitic insects reproduce very quickly, so the risk of infestation is always on the agenda!
Their name derives from their silver colour and their creeping way of moving.
Silverfish are domestic parasites without wings and antennae, whose ancestors date back millions of years, even before the dinosaurs. Given their ancestry and history, it is easy to see that silverfish are a tenacious species. Getting rid of these resistant pests from your home may not be that quick and easy. Fortunately, with the right advice and products you can solve this problem once and for all.
Even if you’ve only seen one, you may have many around your house
Silverfish reproduce very quickly. Females can lay between 2 and 20 eggs every day throughout the year and their larvae reach the adult stage in just 3-4 months – in other words, thanks to their rapid life cycle, one male and one female of silverfish can create a nasty infestation in a couple of weeks. Why silverfish love your home
- Presence of food. They tend to eat sugary substances called polysaccharides that are found in numerous household items, such as book glue, carpet fibres, household glue, paint, textiles, and even furniture.
- Places to hide. These insects leave their eggs, which look like small white and yellow bulbs, in dark, humid, hidden areas of your home.
- Humidity. Like many other household pests, silverfish also thrive in wet and humid environments.
• Places to thrive. They can live up to 8 years and reproduce frequently throughout their life. This is why they can cause severe infestations and over time can cause damage to household items.
How to get rid of silverfish
We have seen that these insects can be very annoying and cause infestation, this danger is real due to their incredible ability to reproduce quickly.
Now let’s move on to the most important part of this article, which is how to get rid of silverfish.
There are many insect products on the market but only a few of them are specific for the elimination of silverfish. With the right products and the right strategies, you will not let them escape!
Read on even if you are interested in natural and free remedies. These remedies, although significantly less effective than poisons and repellents, can be useful in some cases. We will talk about it in a few paragraphs.
1. Insecticidal spray (easy to use, medium effective, poison)
The first product you can use is a silverfish insecticide spray. This product is very convenient to use in case of small infestations. In practice, the spray instantly kills the silverfish and prevents them from returning to that area for months. It can also be used for preventive purposes. It’s a great product but it also has downsides:
- Reduced effectiveness if you don’t know where the burrow is.
- Leave the insect bodies lying around.
- It contains chemicals, so it is absolutely not recommended for those with small children or pets in the house.
Spray this product wherever you have seen silverfish. The spray is excellent and does not damage the surfaces, but beware it is TOXIC.
2. Baits for silverfish (slow to act but eliminates all colony, poison)
Let’s now see a type of product effective in the fight against these insects: the baits. This product is usually sold in the form of a container with a bait and insecticide inside. The minnows will be attracted to the bait and will feed on the insecticide present. The characteristic of this poison is that it does not immediately kill the insect but leaves it time to return to the den, with the possibility of poisoning the entire colony.
This method is much more definitive than the spray but is also slower to act, the results should still be seen in less than a week.
This product also contains POISONS and is TOXIC for children and pets. It is less risky than sprays as the bait can be hidden under appliances or in areas not accessible to children and animals. But in any case, in this case, I prefer to opt for the next product: ultrasonic repellents.
3. Ultrasonic repellents (more expensive, effective against all insects, 100% SAFE)
The most suitable product if you do not want to use poisons is, in my opinion, a good ultrasonic repellent. These repellents use modern ultrasound technology to ward off all unwanted insects, including silverfish. In practice, these devices emit waves at frequencies that create an incredible nuisance to insects, who will be forced to leave your home.
Ultrasonic repellents have been revolutionary in recent years. This spread is due to the fact that they are effective, easy to use (just connect them to the electric current), are not audible to humans and pets and do not contain poisons, therefore they are 100% safe. Another feature of them is that it does not kill insects but makes them escape, which also saves you the hassle of having to collect the corpses of dead insects!
ATTENTION: there are various models of ultrasonic repellents on the market. In our experience, NOT ALL WORK and there are a lot of FREGATURES!
I therefore invite you to carefully evaluate your choice. We Major Pest Control advise you EcoPest, a repellent of which we have repeatedly tested the effectiveness.
How to get rid of silverfish naturally
Are you looking for a natural remedy to get rid of silverfish? I want to disillusion you initially! Around the web you can find various grandmother’s remedies to remove them! But are we sure they work? We both know the answer!
Here are some remedies that are recommended:
- Strongly scented herbs and spices: it is said that cinnamon sticks, bay leaves or whole cloves can be useful to repel silverfish. You can try to place these spices in the areas most frequented by minnows.
- Diatomaceous earth: It is an organic dust extracted from diatoms. You can sprinkle a handful of dust on infested areas. This method appears to actually work and kill the silverfish. If you don’t have this product at home, you might as well buy a poison or an ultrasonic repellent!
- Boric acid: it is a substance that when it comes into contact with insects causes their death, it is often used as a poison. ATTENTION, even if it is an organic product, it is best to keep boric acid away from children and pets, as it can be harmful if ingested. Using the powder as an insecticide is simple, just spread it in areas infested with silverfish.
- Cedar oil: they say that this oil has a smell that this type of insects do not like, which could escape. I doubt it!
Let’s now see an in-depth analysis on silverfish. If you just want to get rid of these annoying insects from your home you already have all the information you need so I recommend that you consider the products and methods listed above.
Where do silverfish live?
Silverfish prefer to live in dark and humid areas, just like many other domestic parasites such as cockroaches, bedbugs and millipedes. Fortunately, this means that your efforts to get rid of it will also kill many other types of insects, which live in the same areas.
These insects love the taste of paper and wet wood. You will usually find them around books, magazines, cereal boxes, packaging boxes, behind the wallpaper. Let’s not forget that they can also be found on windowsills or in damp cabinets, for example in the cellar or garage.
The best places to find silverfish are:
- Under the sinks
- Inside the wardrobes
What do they eat?
Silverfish eat a wide variety of foods containing carbohydrates or proteins. This variety includes sugar, paper, starch, cotton, linen, glue, pasta, oatmeal, dried meat, and dead insects.
Silverfish diets are also high in sugar or starch, including grains, wheat flour, starch in book bindings and glue paper, wallpaper walls are usually one of the most criticisms of the house.
Silverfish can also feed on upholstery and clothing, making them one of the most annoying pests as they can ruin entire wardrobes .
Do silverfish bite or sting?
NO, these insects do not bite or sting and do not spread disease among humans. They mostly stay indoors because they like to gnaw on various things like paper, glue, dry goods and boxes of cereal. Although they are absolutely not dangerous to humans, they are known to make holes in clothing and other fabrics.
Habits of silverfish
- The silverfish move very fast and pass through various buildings. Once they find a place where food abounds, they settle and proliferate.
- The silverfish can spawn at any time throughout the year. Eggs take 20-40 days to hatch. The development cycle from egg to adult is 3-4 months.
- They are nocturnal insects, but are also active in the dark areas of the structures they live in. They can be a problem all year round.
- You may see silverfish trapped in sinks and bathtubs because they come in for water droplets but can’t climb a smooth vertical surface to escape so they get trapped.
- Penthouses and cellars are their favourite place. These insects can live in these rooms for years because they have abundant food sources available, for example boxes, rags or old clothes.
Signs of infestation
Silverfish can be found almost everywhere. But how do we know if they are just passing through or if a real infestation is in progress?
- Silverfish change their moult throughout their life. Finding their skin is a strong indicator of a possible infestation.
- Finding small, irregularly shaped holes in fabrics is another common sign of their presence. Irregularly shaped holes in the wallpaper are another indicator, they like to eat the glue in it.
- Silverfish can leave a yellowish stain on fabrics.
- Finding their nest is a clear sign of infestation. These nests can also belong to other insects, birds and mammals. They also live under tree bark and can sometimes settle inside wooden boxes.
Tips for the prevention of silverfish
Here are some tips to prevent this insect from becoming a problem at home. It is useful to follow these tips even after using the right products, to prevent re-infestation.
- Don’t leave piles of newspapers, ephemeral items or mail lying around. Likewise, get rid of old cardboard boxes in the basement.
- Store all dry food in lockers in sealed containers. This will keep them free from moisture.
- Dust your home often. This will greatly reduce the silverfish’s food sources.
- Remove items that contain glue from home. This includes stacks of paper, old books, and cardboard boxes.
- Store your clothes in a dry environment. Store clothes you won’t be wearing for a while in containers that silverfish can’t fit.
- Seal cracks, holes or openings to keep silverfish out of your home.
- Purchase a dehumidifier. Reduce indoor air humidity to 60 per cent or less. This advice can help you tremendously in fighting these insects.
- Ventilate warm, humid rooms. This includes the bathroom or kitchen. Open windows and doors and turn on the fans to remove moisture from the air.
- Vacuum regularly to pick up food crumbs (and potentially vacuum up any eggs).
Silverfish are parasites that love to settle in our homes. Fortunately, they are harmless insects for humans and pets and do not transmit disease.
But BEWARE they reproduce very quickly and if they grow in large numbers, they can eat clothes, fabrics and valuables and are also not nice to have at home.
Getting rid of silverfish is not difficult. Just use the right products and you will see results very fast. I recommended ultrasonic sprays, baits, and repellents. There are 3 types of different but very effective products that meet all needs.
The last step, perhaps the most important, is prevention. After using the products try to create a hostile environment for the silverfish to prevent them from returning after a few months. You can use major pest control service silverfish pest control.