Silverfish are wingless insects that are typically smaller than 2 inches long. The insect derives its name from is silver-like color combining both light gray and blue along with its distinct movement pattern that resembles a fish. The abdomen of a silverfish is tapered further giving the insect a fish-like appearance.
Silverfish come in many different varieties yet all share a common appearance. Slight color variations may be present, but all exhibit the same basic features. Two long cerci adorn their head and the abdomen contains one terminal filament that protrudes between the left and right cerci.
The silverfish has two compound eyes that are very small, unlike other members of the same family. In most cases, similar insects will have no eyes. This is a characteristic that is unique to the silverfish insect in comparison to its common relatives.
Silverfish are a wingless insect and use a wiggling motion as means of transportation. This wiggling motion is often reminiscent of a fish. Silverfish are very good runners and use this benefit to escape common predators including spiders and centipedes. However, without appendages, silverfish can’t climb with the same speed and it is limited to horizontal surfaces
Silverfish do not procreate through direct fertilization methods. The mating habits of a silverfish can be broken down into three distinct parts. In the first segment of the silverfish mating ritual, a male and female silverfish will rub their antennae together. During the second stage, the female will flee from the male before returning for the third and final phase. In the final phase, the male will begin vibrating his tail onto a female silverfish to release spermatophores, which the female will receive through ovipositors without direct fertilization.
How to Protect Your Home From Silverfish Infestation?
Silverfish are creepy little silvery nightmare creatures that you can often find in the dark, damp corners of your home. They are harmless to us and our pets, but that doesn’t make them any less creepy. They are a natural disaster for books, clothing, and anything else which contains starch
Unlike other household pests, they are slow to establish infestation levels of terribleness but, once they get to that point, they are incredibly difficult to control and remove. Thankfully, there are methods of getting rid of these Lovecraftian nightmares. Keep reading to find out how.
Why do silverfish invade your home?
Like most pests, silverfish like to invade our homes because there is an abundance of food and a lack of predators. Human homes also have a lot of dark, damp hiding places where they can live their little creepy nocturnal lives. All of these elements combined make for a silverfish paradise where they can eat as much as they want, live without the fear of being hunted, and cause adults to scream like children when they run over their foot in the dark.
How to get rid of silverfish infestation
There are quite a few methods of getting rid of silverfish but, for the best results, you should use a mix of preventative measures and extermination methods
Here is a mix of natural and chemical methods that rid you of silverfish:
Spread cedar shavings. Spread cedar shavings around areas you want to keep silverfish away from. They don’t like the smell and will naturally avoid those areas. Since wood shavings are a little bit messy, it is best to put them in places you can’t see them, unless you always dreamed of living in a sawmill, of course. Vacuum or sweep the shavings up once a week and replace them until you stop seeing silverfish.
Lay jar traps. For this to work, you will need some jars, masking tape, and torn up pieces of bread. Wrap your jars in masking tape all the way to the top and put the bread inside the jar,. Before you go to bed, place the jars in areas that you suspect are good silverfish hunting grounds. The masking tape will allow the nightmarish bugs to climb into the jar, but the smooth glass will prevent them from climbing out.
Apply essential oils. Just like most insects, silverfish cannot stand the smell of lemon and lavender. Buy a bottle of either lavender oil or citrus oil and dilute it in a larger bottle of water. Shake the bottle well and spray this mixture around places that are likely to attract silverfish, such as under sinks, in cupboards, and the edges of rooms. The great thing is that this method is non-toxic for us, so spray to your heart’s content.
Powder diatomaceous earth. This powder is one of the ultimate weapons against anything that creeps and crawls. The powder is incredibly sharp and is able to pierce their tiny exoskeletons. If, on the other hand, they eat it, their bodies will shut down from the inside out. All you need to do is spread Diatomaceous Earth everywhere silverfish are likely to appear, wait one night, and then vacuum the aftermath.
The Dangers of Silverfish
Silverfish are tiny, crustacean-looking creatures, often found in moist dark spots around the house such as basements, toilets, shelves and closets. Many scientists consider them the oldest living species of insect on the planet, existing roughly 100 million years before the dinosaurs. They have a gray coating, antennas and they shed their skin continually throughout their lives. Despite their frightening appearance, they do not bite humans, nor have they been known to be venomous. However, this does not mean they cannot cause their fair share of problems to you and your household. Here are some of the dangers of silverfish and how you can avoid them.
Silverfish in Your Home
Although silverfish do not bite, sting or transmit any major pathogens that spread human diseases, there is a reason to believe that they may trigger allergic reactions in people who are exposed to them. As mentioned above, silverfish molt multiple times throughout their lives, leaving behind their old scales. These scales or skins turn into dust, which over time, may begin to irritate people who are allergic to them, causing coughing, sneezing, congestion or rashes. Not only this, but silverfish may even attract other pests into your house such as dust mites.
The really aggravating aspect of silverfish is their propensity to consume everything from books to sweaters to wallpaper. Silverfish live on a diet of sugars and carbohydrates which they get from things like paper, cardboard, tissue, cotton and wood. Silverfish do not discriminate between the things they devour. They’re just as quick to eat holes through an antique war uniform or a precious book as through an unattended paper towel. This is why everyone with any items of value made from cloth or paper should make sure their house is free and clear of any silverfish who may want to destroy them.
To keep these pests at bay, make sure all food sources are kept safe in sealed off areas. Don’t leave crumbs lying on the floor or the counter top, as that will attract silverfish by the dozens. Also, use dehumidifiers in high moisture areas like basements, as silverfish thrive in damp environments. Furthermore, seal off any openings where silverfish may sneak through. Use caulk around the outside of your house and repair any window screens which may be torn. Hopefully, these tricks will keep silverfish out of your home for good.
THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY: CRITTERS THAT LIVE IN OUR HOMES
Humans are an indoor species. Despite spending nearly 90 per cent of our lives under a roof, we know next to nothing about all the life that lives with us — insects: the most successful creatures on earth.
In The Great Wild Indoors, a team of entomologists spends a week delving into the dark crevices of a typical Toronto house, finding a whopping 112 distinct species. But they say that’s no cause for concern; an insect census taken in homes all over the United States revealed that number is about average.
This insect goes all the way back to the Paleozoic era. In fact, silverfish haven’t changed much in 400 million years and are found all over the world. Studies even show that they’ve been with us since we first started indoor living in the Stone Age
They often live in our bathrooms and can make a meal of almost anything, especially our dead skin. As long as water is abundant, silverfish can live for up to a year without food.
They run very fast, can jump up to half a metre and squeeze into tiny cracks in walls. All of this makes them very hard to kill. For such a tiny critter, they have a surprisingly long lifespan of three to six years.
Identifying and Treating a Silverfish Infestation
Curious creatures they may be, but an infestation of silverfish can cause a serious pest control problem for commercial and residential properties alike.
Silverfish are tiny wingless insects which mainly inhabit warm humid environments such as bathrooms. They prefer the dark and damp and are predominantly nocturnal which – combined with their rapid movement – means a silverfish infestation can go unnoticed for some time.
Silverfish get their name from their teardrop shape, blue-silver scales, and the wiggling motion of their movement. Whilst only around 20 mm in length, these tiny creatures may seem harmless enough however, they can cause serious damage to plaster walls, books, paintings, photographs and household items that contain starch or cellulose – as they feed on carbohydrates
The easiest way to identify a silverfish infestation is by seeing them with your own eyes. As they are nocturnal, this is most likely to happen if you go to the toilet at night, or when having a pre-bedtime bath or shower. If you are seeing them regularly, it probably means there is an established infestation present.
Now you have identified a possible infestation of silverfish, you are no doubt looking for some pest control advice on how to tackle the problem. Thankfully there are a few practical steps you can take to dissuade the pests from hanging around, using a little knowledge.