Silverfish are known as nuisance pests; they don’t sting humans, or bite them, but they can do quite a bit of damage to stuff. If they can find nothing else, they will consider your books, especially the bindings, a tasty meal, or perhaps your favorite leather coat. They are most often to be found in bathrooms, however, where they wallow in the moist, humid air, have a water source, and even find food sources among your toiletries.
It’s a little difficult to completely eliminate silverfish from the home, because they have so many ways of surviving. There are steps you can take to reduce their numbers though, and to discourage them as much as possible. Here are a few helpful tips to help discourage silverfish from making your home theirs.
Get rid of outside debris
Keep debris, especially moist things, away from the home. Soggy wood, piles of leaves, cardboard boxes — anything that is around the base of your home that would be an attractive breeding ground for silverfish. Or for other, far more harmful, pests.
Seal up even small cracks. Sealing up cracks around the outside of your home, as well as even the tiniest cracks inside is beneficial in reducing or preventing an infestation. Sealing eliminates access points for silverfish, as well as for other insects or things that crawl through the walls. It also helps to seal around water pipes. Silverfish are attracted to moisture, which is why you’ll often find them around bathroom sinks, under the sinks, around the base of the toilet and around baths. Sealing around the pipes not only removes an access point for the silverfish, it helps cut down on the moisture. To reduce humid conditions in the bathroom, turn on the exhaust fan during and after showers, wipe down the walls and try to keep things as dry as possible.
Reduce moisture and humidity throughout the home. While silverfish are attracted to bathrooms, they don’t confine themselves to that room. Reducing the humidity and moisture throughout your home helps make the space unwelcoming to the bugs. A dehumidifier might help with this, as well as fans that keep the air moving throughout the home.
Reduce clutter. Silverfish can sometimes be found sliding in and out of piles of paper, shelves of books, and boxes in dark corners. Reducing clutter and employing good sanitation practices will not get rid of silverfish, but it will help remove the things they love from their reach. Clean up any food spills, especially those around items that attract silverfish. Keep as many storage items in sealed plastic containers; if you are using cardboard boxes, make sure they are stored in dry areas.
Eliminating silverfish is not only a matter of getting rid of a nuisance pest, though that is an important thing to do to prevent damage to your home. If you have tried most of these recommendations and the silverfish persist, professional services like Houston pest control should be considered for best results. Remember that most bugs are also a food source for other bugs – spiders, in the case of silverfish – so getting rid of one pest may also help get rid of others.
Frank Merryman, together with his wife Helen, runs Protex Pest Control. He enjoys sharing his tips and tricks on how to keep pests away from the home by writing for a variety of blogs online.