Silverfish bugs may not be as popular as termites, carpenter ants, cockroaches when it comes to being a major pest in the house. But while this not-so-famous pest may not be as dangerous as the other insects, they are a nuisance all the same.
Silverfish insects does not cause major damage as severe as say – termites, but if these silverfish infestation is left uncontrolled then priceless objects such as book collections, furniture of antiquities (silverfish can eat leather when they are very hungry) may cause irreparable damage to these valuable items.
Yes, you can get rid of these pests, but to effectively do so, you have to know and understand why these unwelcomed insects are in your home.
The Lepisma saccharina, also known as the silverfish or fishmoth, is a wingless, teardrop-shaped bug with two compound eyes even though they are members of the Thysanura order, whose types of insects are often eyeless. This fish-like pest has an abdomen that tapers at the end and are also identified by its long antennae in its head and its long bristles in its behind. The silverfish are usually 13–30 mm long (0.5–1 in) and are nocturnal animals that has a lifespan of only two to eight years.
Other characterizations of this insect include their very distinctive color. The adult silverfish is brown-gray or silvery and grayish blue in color while the newly hatched eggs are whiter in hue. This said appearance will change into grayish and metalic blue as the silverfish gets older.
A silverfish bug is an insect that is strongly attracted to moisture and mold especially in places that have 75% to 95% humidity. They are also attracted in places where there are foods with moisture or are located in wet areas. But generally this insect loves to eat paper products such as newspaper, magazines and books – things that are high on starch.
Silverfish is relatively harmless to human beings as they either bite nor are they poisonous. They also do not transmit diseases like the other insects. However, these insects can really be a pain in one’s life as they create damages in our personal belongings and homes by leaving holes and yellowish stains on clothes, walls and floors.
Silver fish bugs are found in continents like the Americas, Australia, Africa, Asia and mostly in the Pacific region. Most of the time these insects are considered cosmopolitan pests as they are often found in most urban homes specifically in basements, showers, bathtubs, walls, and attics.
These bugs are like ants as they like food or objects that have sugar in it. But unlike ants, these silverfish bugs also like the dextrin in adhesives, glue, hair, photos, even frp, its own moulted exoskeleton. If extremely hungry these insects eat leather.
While there are other insects like spiders and house centipedes that prey on these silverfish, it is better that we get rid of them in a safer way. Prevention is always the best way not to experience whatever menace that these bugs can give.
Remember, this urban insect thrive in places that we unconsciously create for them. If you have dark and wet areas where there are lots of foods then its better have some natural repellants like spices in sachets in kitchens and mothballs in your dressers to prevent these types of insects to be attracted to them.
Spices like cinnamon and insect repellents like mothballs are things that silverfish bugs avoid because of their scent. Aside from adding these repellents there are simpler things you can do to prevent from having them, one way is by removing the various food sources from these insects so that they cannot acquire any food. Although, the downside of this is that there are silverfish insects that can live without food for more than one year.
Another simple way to lessen the number of silverfish is dehumidify your environment and always keep it clean especially from food crumbs and paper trash. Vacuum damp and dark places where silverfish eggs may have thrive. When it comes to humidity reduction, make sure you have the right ventilation or have humidifiers in your home. To further make sure that these bugs would not be attracted to your house because of humidity, regularly check the humidity level. Be aware if you think it is already reaching 75%. If so, make sure you have the proper ventilation and can minimize humidity as low as 50%.
Chemicals that have the active ingredient of Propoxur can be sprayed in commonly infested silverfish places, unfortunately they do not eliminate the silverfish eggs totally, but they are a good way to reduce the number of silverfish. There are also compounds that have microscopic organisms such as the diatoms that when crushed into dust and spread in the areas where there are silverfish infestations, it helps dehydrate and eventually kill these nuisance bugs.
Other preventable ways to avoid having these pests include not bringing boxes that came from humid places into your home. When it comes to leaking taps and pipes, immediately have them repair. Not only are you saving water and minimizing your bill, you are also minimizing condensation to prevent uncontrollable water to flow and make it a breathing ground for these insects.
The good news is there are lots of traps, natural ways and chemical insecticides that can help kill these insects but the bad news is that these can only kill individual pests. There are do-it-yourself methods that can easily be done in your house, however keep in mind they require lots of tenacity and patience on your part because they can only provide a brief relief from the infestation.
If your house is already infested by these silverfish bugs it is better that you get a professional exterminator to help you have a customized method to get rid of these pests. To kill large number of these bugs you really need the opinion and help of an expert to get rid of these pests because they can assess your situation and know the best way to get rid of them.