The unwelcome invaders: Silverfish edition

This article was inspired after discovering a silverfish simple crawling about near my bookshelf. Needless to say that pest met its maker, but it did get me thinking about the silverfish in our house that we occasionally encounter only to swiftly kill with a single blow.

Silverfish are wingless insects having three tail bristles and silvery scales. They are considered pests as they eat wallpaper, book bindings, fabrics and are a general nuisance if left to their own devices. They are able to survive indoors with humans if they are provided with an adequate damp environment. If you see silverfish in your home it may be a warning signal that you have dampness issues.

Damage is caused when the silverfish scrape the surface of ours walls causing eroded areas of thinned and weakened paper that eventually breakthrough to make holes. Silverfish may be found happily residing under kitchen sinks or behind air conditioners as they seek damp areas to abode.

Silverfish may be transported through cardboard boxes while moving, or may be found in garages that are left unattended. They may also be found in storage boxes, plastic containers or old book collections. It is therefore important to inspect any items that you bring into your house from the storage for signs of a pest infestation.

So, how serious is a silverfish infestation? It depends on the nature of the problem and the degree of intensity. They do not transmit disease but may cause significant damage to your carpets, paints, photos, clothing and books. Their presence may attract more predatory insects such as earwigs, house centipedes, beetles and spiders.

If you have already spotted a few silverfish in your house, we provide you with some home remedies to get rid of a silverfish infestation. Be vary as these are short term solutions that will not be effective against a larger infestation!

• Lay jar traps: Take a glass jar, masking tape, and torn up pieces of bread. Cover the exterior of the jar with masking tape and put the bread inside the jar. Carefully place your trap in areas you suspect the silverfish will frequent. The masking tape will allow the silverfish to climb inside the jar but the glass will prevent them from climbing out.

• Lemon and lavender spray: Not only will this drive out the silverfish, but will also leave your home smelling like a spa. Like most insects, silverfish cannot stand the smell of strong citrus and will tend to avoid you spray the solution in.

• Boric acid: We mentioned boric acid as an effective solution against ants as well. This powerful chemical is lethal upon consumption against silverfish and will effectively kill them. Be vary if you have toddlers or pets, this may not be the safest treatment for you!

• Naphthalene balls and silica gels: Naphthalene balls (or moth balls as they are more commonly known) may be effective against silverfish as well. Silica gels tend to dehydrate the silverfish by absorbing the waxy content of its body. Again, we advise caution as this may not be the safest treatment if you have kids or pests.

• Buy gel traps: There are many gel traps available that are the most effective against silverfish! Place the traps in the most frequently visited areas and dispose of the traps according to instructions.

At American fumigation, gel traps are one of the many products that we provide to our customers. Over the years the company has established a reputation and maintained a value as a provider of high quality service and has enjoyed a steady growth of its customer base. We are committed to providing a reliable, good quality and trouble free service ensuring complete client satisfaction. Be sure to contact us for a free inspection!

However, prevention is better than cure. The best way to get rid of silverfish is to stop them from invading your home in the first place. Here are a few things you can do to deter them.

• Lower the humidity: Silverfish tend to reside in damp locations. You can deter their presence by using a dehumidifier, fixing any leaky pipes, or closing the shower curtain so it can dry out.

• Use airtight containers: Store foods, such as cereal, pasta, sugar, and pet food in airtight containers. This helps to make sure that silverfish do not get into your food and that you don’t accidentally consume the silverfish.

• Remove excess food sources: Clear away stored clutter, such as old newspapers, magazines or books.

• Take care of your walls: Fill up any holes with putty and seal any cracks to deter a silverfish entryway. Either repair peeling wallpaper or remove it to avoid a silverfish infestation.

• Keep your home warm: Try to keep the temperature of your home around 26 degrees Celsius or above. This will help to drive moisture out of the air and silverfish don’t like such high temperatures.

The unwelcome invaders: Silverfish edition
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