Be prepared: if you have noticed some creepy and silver bugs that creep around your house lately, you may have an infestation of silverfish.
Silverfish are nothing new; in fact, they are some of the oldest insects that exist, before dinosaurs in about 100 million years. This means that he would not be the first person to feel more than a little disturbed to see them sniffing around his kitchen in the middle of the night (yes, they are also nocturnal).
Fortunately, we now know more than a few things about these old bugs, including what attracts them and how to get rid of them. Here is your refined guide to get rid of the silverfish.
What are silverfish?
"Silverfish are grayish insects without wings found throughout the United States and in many other parts of the world," he says Scot Hedges, vice president of technical services for Arrow Exterminators. "They have elongated and thin bodies that are wider in the head, silvery gray and covered with small scales."
As you may have guessed, that gray color, combined with the appearance of its movements, is how the silver fish gets its name. Disgusting, right?
What attracts silverfish?
"They are attracted to high humidity, so they like dark spaces like attics, crawling spaces and wet bathrooms," he says Mike Rottler, owner of Rottler Pest & Lawn Solutions.
And let's not forget the food source. This mistake is almost eaten anything.
"Since the diet of silverfish consists of cellulose, sugars, starches and carbohydrates (books, wallpaper, grains, fabrics, whatever), any household with excess moisture can be attractive to silverfish," he explains. Kristiana Kripena, director of content marketing for InsectCop.net.
Where do silverfish come from?
The problem is that these bugs are quite traveled. They will settle in cardboard boxes and move with you from house to house. Or sometimes they can go through the cracks in the basement of their basement, find some old magazines to eat and stay until they evict him.
"Silverfish, like bed bugs, are generally hitchhikers, which means they probably brought them home accidentally," says Rottler.
"(Its) being nocturnal, it is generally difficult for owners to know if they have an infestation immediately," he adds. "While seeing a silverfish is not necessarily a direct sign of an infestation, it is a good cause for an inspection, either alone or with a professional."
Since the silverfish can live up to six years and survive for a year Without food (eek!): having some of them around can quickly become a complete invasion.
Can silverfish cause damage to your home?
Even if they scare you, there is a silver lining (sorry, we had to do it): silverfish are not as destructive as other pests.
"Although silverfish are unsightly insects, they don't actually transmit disease or bite humans or pets," says Kripena. "In fact, they are unable to do so since their jaws are not strong enough to bite something other than paper, some dry foods and similar substances."
That means they cannot eat at the base of their home. But you shouldn't let Silverfish take your place either.
"If you don't deal with your silverfish infestation, you run the risk of ruining things like books, important documents, photo albums and other paper materials," Kripena explains. "Since the silverfish also gladly feeds on things like grains and other dry foods, it also runs the risk of having to dispose of all dry food supplies because they are contaminated."
How do you get rid of the silverfish?
Getting rid of silverfish begins by making your home less hospitable to them. To begin, try to keep disorder, moisture and food sources at bay. Vacuum food crumbs regularly and make sure that dry foods (yes, even dog croquettes) are stored in sealed containers.
If you have a collection of old papers rotting in your wet basement, that would also be a good place to start cleaning. Make sure the rooms are ventilated frequently and repair any leaks in the foundations or insulating pipes of your home.
If you have started on this list and still find silverfish on your night trips to the bathroom, consider buying a pest control kit or hiring professionals to speed up the extermination process.
You don't want to pay the cash? You can even build your own silverfish trap, says Kripena, using a glass jar and homemade bait.
Above all, be patient. Silverfish can be difficult to eliminate, and it will take some time.
"Stay constant in your treatments, regardless of the route you choose," says Rottler. “Very rarely a treatment will kill a complete infestation. However, if you are consistent, keep your home clean and address the problems that made it so attractive in the first place, you can get rid of the silverfish. "