Why Are Silverfish In My Home?

silverfish on a piece of wood

Do you have a problem with silverfish in your home? Every so often you may notice these pests on your walls or in the shower. If so, you're not alone. Silverfish are common pests that can be found in homes all over the world, especially in Texas and Arizona. In this blog post, we will discuss why silverfish are attracted to certain environments, and we will provide tips on how to get rid of them! You can expect to read about:

  • Silverfish identification (and other insects they compare to)
  • What are silverfish attracted to?
  • Tips on how to get rid of silverfish

Silverfish Identification

Silverfish are small, wingless insects that are usually silver or gray in color. They get their name from their fish-like appearance and movement. Silverfish are also known as “bristle tails” because of the three long bristles that protrude from their rear end. These pests are typically between ½ and ¾ of an inch long, but they can grow up to one inch in length. Despite their small size, silverfish can cause big problems in your home. They are attracted to starchy materials such as paper and cardboard, which they will eat if given the chance. Silverfish can also damage clothing, books, and other items made of natural fibers like cotton and wool. There are a couple of pests that look similar to the silverfish and these would include:

  • Firebrats
  • Earwigs
  • Centipedes

Firebrat Identification

Firebrats are small, wingless insects that are closely related to silverfish. They get their name from their love of heat – they can often be found near furnaces, fireplaces, and other warm areas in homes. Firebrats are usually gray or light brown, with bodies that are covered in small scales. Like silverfish, they have long antennae and three long bristles at the end of their body.

Earwig Identification

Earwigs are small, dark insects that get their name from the pair of pincers (or “forceps”) on their rear end. These forceps are used for defense and for catching prey. Earwigs are dark brown or black, with long, thin bodies. They have two pairs of wings – the front pair is hard and leathery, while the back pair is thin and delicate.

Centipede Identification

Centipedes are long, thin insects that have many legs. They are brown or black, and their bodies are segmented. Centipedes have a pair of claws (or “forcipules”) at the front of their body, which they use to capture prey. While most people think of centipedes as pests, they can actually be helpful in controlling other household pests, like earwigs and silverfish.

Where Do Silverfish Come From?

As nocturnal creatures, silverfish are commonly found in dark places like logs and rocks. These tricky pests can easily find their way into your home, as well. They can sneak in through tiny openings in your foundation or hitch a ride in boxes or items you bring inside. They might even come in by accident, like in infested food products or items with starch and sugar.

What Are Silverfish Attracted To?

They prefer dark, damp places, like basements and crawl spaces. Silverfish can also be found in bathrooms and kitchens, where they are attracted to moisture. With Texas and Arizona being high in humidity, these creatures are known to be common pests in individuals' homes and properties. 

How to Prevent Silverfish

Getting rid of favorable habitats on your property is crucial to trying to prevent any from entering your home. Anything that can trap moisture underneath, like rocks, wooden materials, leaves, or mulch, becomes a silverfish paradise.

Having bushes, trees, or other vegetation too close to your foundation creates shaded areas that take forever to dry after rain, perfect for silverfish to thrive. If your gutters are leaky or blocked, not only will you have damp and rotting wood attracting pests, but it also gives them an easy entry point into your home. So, clear that yard waste and fix those gutters!

What do Silverfish Eat?

Although these insects are not known to bite people, silverfish can cause damage to your home as they are chewing pests. The main appetites for silverfish are sources of starch, which can include:

  • Paper
  • Fabrics
  • Wallpaper
  • Glue
  • Sugar
  • Vegetables
  • Pet foods

While other pests can spread a lot of bacterial diseases, it's vital to pay attention to your belongings that could be ruined by any silverfish infestation.

How to Get Rid of Silverfish?

The best way to get rid of silverfish inside is to remove the food and moisture sources that attract them. To do this:

  • Repair any leaks in your plumbing
  • Reduce humidity levels by using a dehumidifier or opening windows
  • Keep food in airtight containers
  • Regularly vacuum and clean your floors and surfaces
  • Throw out old newspapers, books, and magazines
  • Fix any cracks or holes in walls or floors
  • Use caulk to seal gaps around cabinets, baseboards, and moldings

There are certain scents that also deter silverfish. These would include cinnamon, peppermint, and lavender. Utilize essential oil diffusers or candles with these scents in any area of a possible infestation.

Professional Pest Control Solutions

If you are still struggling to get rid of silverfish in your home, it may be time to consult expert exterminators. Termio Pest Control offers services in both Arizona and Texas and has a reputation of being family owned and operated, as well as eco-friendly. If you need fast relief from any pest getting in your way, contact us today for a free inspection and analysis!

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