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How to get rid of the silverfish forever

Plagues of books and newspapers. Paper feeding insects - silverfish

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If you have seen small silver insects in your home, then they are likely to be silverfish, a common pest in the United Kingdom.

Silverfish are harmless enough for humans, but they can destroy books, old papers, wallpaper, carpets and clothing with their droppings. They also love making pasta, oatmeal and cereal packages without sealing your home, so you'll want to get rid of them quickly.

Here is everything you need to know about these little insects, as well as how to get rid of silverfish once and for all.

Paper feeding insects - silverfish

Leonid Eremeychukfake images

What are silverfish?

Silverfish are small nocturnal insects. They get their name from their color (a silvery gray tone) and their fish movement, thanks to their tails and conical antennas. They move quickly, so they can often overcome predators and like to dig in dark places.

How do you get the silver fish?

Silverfish are common pests, but they can be difficult to detect because they prefer to live in dark and humid places where humidity is common. This includes attics, basements, garages and kitchens where they can feed on dust, dry, unsealed food and mess like paper.

Plagues of books and newspapers. Insects feeding on paper - silverfish, lepisma

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How do you know if you have silverfish?

The telltale signs include yellow spots on clothes made of synthetic fabrics, along with small holes and feces left on old paper and wallpaper. You can also find them by digging in dry unsealed food packages.

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How do you get rid of the silverfish?

Consult an expert in the first instance, says Natalie Bungay, technical officer of the British Pest Control Association.

"Although most silverfish are only considered a nuisance, if they reach a considerable number they may become unacceptable, especially in sterile environments such as hospitals," he explains. "They can also damage paper, textiles and dry food packages."

"Although it is advisable to control humidity, it is rarely a realistic approach to control silverfish after an infestation," he adds. "A pest management professional will use an approved insecticide and his specialized knowledge of pest behavior to control silverfish. You can find a pest management professional approved by BPCA at bpca.org.uk/find."

How do you prevent silverfish from returning?

Solving moisture problems can help prevent silverfish from returning in the long term. That means sealing leaking pipes, increasing ventilation (think of extractors in bathrooms), installing dehumidifiers and opening windows regularly.

The silverfish tends to feed on dust and debris, so it regularly cleans carpets, cleanses clutter like magazines and papers, and dust can make a difference to eradicate and prevent an infestation of silverfish. Make sure that dry foods such as pasta, legumes and cereals are also stored in airtight containers.

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Source: https://www.countryliving.com/uk/wildlife/a28827603/how-get-rid-of-silverfish/

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