Silverfish are considered one of the planet’s oldest insects. These silvery scaly creatures have been around for some 400 million years! While that’s certainly impressive, they’re a nuisance to modern humankind. Here’s why, and what you can do about it.
The Quiet Destroyer
While silverfish look scary and startle many people with their surprising speed and propensity to hide in small spaces, they aren’t exactly harmful to humans. They aren’t known to carry disease or bite in defense and are not poisonous in general. However, they can cause allergies due to their shedding skin, which creates dust that can trigger a reaction in some people.
The real threat silverfish pose is to your belongings. This insect loves to feast on sugars and carbohydrates, and it isn’t picky about where they come from. Your books, clothes and favorite foods are all fair game, as is any hair shed by you or your family. As an infestation grows in size, you may start to see holes appear in your valuables seemingly overnight. That’s because these bugs are nocturnal. You may also see even more unsightly things, like yellow stains, black specks of feces and shed scales. At worst, silverfish can fall from ceilings and light fixtures, which is more than off-putting.
A Proactive Plan
The truth is that it is quite difficult to get rid of a silverfish infestation. Extermination is best left to the professionals. Before it gets to that point, however, there are a number of things you can do to make your home less of a breeding ground.
First off, invest in a set of dehumidifiers for your basement, attic or any damp area, because these bugs love moisture and humidity. Check the ridge vents on your roof to make sure they work, as they can keep the humidity down in your home, as well. Keep dry goods like pasta, beans and pet food sealed in airtight containers. This will prevent silverfish from sensing food in the area. Vacuum your carpet, upholstery and floors regularly to keep them free of crumbs. Also, take the time to check your home for cracks and other gaps that insects can maneuver through. Seal them with caulk, especially those found on the exterior of your home....