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What Attracts Silverfish & How To Get Rid Of Them

Silverfish On Old Book

A silverfish infestation can make your house a not-so-sweet place to live in. Humidity and high temperatures naturally attract silverfish to any property or household. 

But, gathering all necessary information about silverfish can be a monumental task. If you’ve already noticed a bug inside the house, you’re probably facing a full-blown infestation. Hence, you will need to take serious preventive measures to ensure proper pest control

So, we’re here to guide you through the process by covering all the essential information that you need to know about silverfish infestation and pest control. Now without any further ado, let us begin! 

Basic Information About Silverfish

The silverfish bug belongs to the order Zygentoma and the family Lepismatidae. Its scientific name is Lepisma saccharina. It has an outer body that is grey with a metallic shine. The grey metallic shine and colour gives the bug a fish-like appearance. 

Moreover, the length of this bug varies between 13 mm to 15 mm. It also has a tapering body shape as the abdomen tapers at the posterior end. The bug also comes with a tail made of three long bristles. 

General Description Of Silverfish Bugs

Close Up Of Silverfish On Black Surface

Silverfish is a primitive, wingless insect that comes with two antennae on its head. As it is a primitive species, the body is not segmented into different body parts like other developed arthropod members. 

Silverfish also have short, flexible, and thick legs that offer fast mobility. So, they are capable of moving pretty fast despite their small legs. 

They have a rapid side-to-side movement like that of a fish. Hence, they get their common name from their fish-like movements. Their common name originates from their colour and movements. 

Mode Of Reproduction

Different species of silverfish show different modes of reproduction. However, all of them have a common mating ritual that involves love dances. They usually perform these love dances to attract potential mating partners.

The bugs also show different patterns when it comes to laying eggs. They either lay their eggs in clusters ranging from two to twenty in each cluster or lay a few eggs in a specific interval of time. 

If you’re facing a silverfish infestation, you are most likely to find the eggs in between the folds of clothes or in food. They also prefer laying eggs in between cracks and crevices. As the bugs lay their eggs in well-hidden places, you won’t find them in open spaces. Thus, you have to meticulously look for eggs in the house. 

Habit And Habitat

Silverfish bugs usually prefer humid and warm places that are dark, like basements, kitchen cupboards, bathroom corners, and unused attics. They are quite resistant to high temperatures and extreme climates and thrive well even under unfavourable conditions. 

They are also attracted to moist and damp spaces like clothes or paper. Sugary or carbohydrate-rich food can easily attract silverfish bugs to your house. So, leaving your dinner plates unwashed in the kitchen sink might not be such a good idea. 

These bugs are also easily attracted to high-fibre food like grains and vegetables. Keep a close on your pantry to avoid attracting these bugs to your house. 

Silverfish Infestation

Silverfish bugs are hard to spot. So, you might not even be aware that your house is infested with them. But don’t worry, because we’re here to highlight some key signs that you need to identify to detect a major infestation. 

Three Silverfish On A Book

1. Live Specimen

As silverfish bugs are quite small, you need to look for the living bugs’ hiding spots carefully. People usually ignore when they spot just one bug. But, one living bug mostly signifies more bugs. So, if you spot one living bug, there are usually more of them.

2. Bug Droppings

It can be a gross and cumbersome task, but looking for bug droppings can help you identify a silverfish infestation. The faeces of these bugs are small, black, and spherical. You are most likely to find bug droppings near their hiding spots in your house.

3. Skin Sheddings

Just like other bugs, the silverfish also sheds its skin as a part of its normal lifecycle. As they are small in size, it can be difficult to spot their shed skin. However, the bright metallic grey colour of the skin can be helpful.

4. Paper Damage

Silverfish bugs have an appetite for papers and cardboards. So, if your wallpapers, boxes, and books are half-eaten, you might be experiencing a large-scale silverfish infestation. You also need to keep a close eye on the cereal boxes and food containers and check whether these little bugs are eating away your food boxes. 

Damage Caused By Silverfish

The major damage caused by silverfish is material and property damage. As they have an insatiable appetite for cardboard and paper, they can eat away your books, photos, wallpapers, and food boxes. They can damage anything that’s made of paper or cardboard in your house. They can also easily cut through your favourite wardrobe collection. 

The skin shedding of these bugs can even act as allergens. But, on the bright side, these silverfish bugs do not carry any known pathogens, and so they won’t be a direct life threat. 

However, you need to implement proper pest control measures to avoid any material damage due to the infestation. 

How To Control A Silverfish Infestation?

Well, you need not panic much if you’re having a silverfish infestation in the house because there are some very simple and easy ways to get rid of these bugs. So, we will be discussing some of the most effective ways to deal with silverfish. Let’s start! 

Silverfish Damage Caused To Wall

1. Safe Storage Of Food 

As we mentioned earlier, silverfish bugs are readily attracted to sugary and carbohydrate-rich food. So, if you carefully store the food in a clean, cold, and dry pantry, you’ll be cutting off the bugs from their food source. Hence, you can easily control the infestation. 

2. Regular Cleaning And Vacuuming 

Keep your house clean and well-aerated. These bugs prefer to stay in cramped and damp places. So if you regularly clean and vacuum the house, you can prevent them from making their nests in the nooks and crannies of the house.

3. Cedar Oil And Dried Bay Leaves

Silverfish bugs cannot stand the strong-smelling pheromones present in cedar. So, spraying cedar oil mixed with water can be effective against a silverfish infestation. Similarly, dried bay leaves are excellent insect repellents and work like magic against these bugs. 

Ridding Your Home Of Silverfish

After going through our article, we hope you have a better idea regarding silverfish infestation and how to get rid of them effectively. Although these bugs don’t pose any serious life threat, they can cause some major material damage.

So, always try to maintain cleanliness to avoid such silverfish infestations. Also, try to keep your food well-stored to stop attracting these bugs. You can also consult professionals if the infestation gets out of hand.

And on that note, we’ll be signing off! Take care! 

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