What you need to know about silverfish

Abell Pest Control

One of the world's most abundant pests, silverfish can invade just about any home, restaurant or business. These tiny insects are adept at surviving in seemingly inhospitable environments, and as such, can easily survive in a basement or storage room.

Silverfish may be gray, dark brown or even blue in color. They also have two long antennae and several appendages on the rear that look like tails. Unfortunately, these bugs can scurry across the floor so quickly you may not see them at all. Here's a little bit more about these frustrating pests:

They can be found just about anywhere

According to the University of Michigan Museum of Zoology, silverfish can be found across the planet. They are thought to be native to northern Eurasia, which is where they developed such impressive survival skills.

Silverfish and their close relatives firebrats and fishmoths are master invaders, and thrive in all sorts of human habitats. Attics, basements, pantries, air ducts and any other area that provides cover could become a home to these pests. An aversion to light keeps these insects out of the open, and if they are disturbed, they will scurry to a new hiding spot as soon as possible. Unfortunately, silverfish can live for up to four years, which means they can plague an area even after being displaced.

Silverfish are incredibly resourceful

The problem with these little bugs is that they can feed on just about anything. So aside from crumbs and waste, there's plenty for silverfish to sustain themselves when living around people. Dried goods and preserves must be sealed completely to keep out silverfish, but they can also eat books, old photos, glue and other things that wouldn't otherwise constitute a food source.

Adequate pest prevention steps like keeping a kitchen or dining area clean is important, but because silverfish can be so opportunistic, it can be hard to fully keep these pests out. Yellow streaks in a book can be a sign there is a silverfish infestation, along with small bite marks in other places. All told, home and business owners alike must be vigilant in defense against silverfish.

Property damage is the biggest concern

Fortunately, silverfish aren't known to harbor disease or bacteria, so there isn't a direct threat to human health. Likewise, they don't bite people, so there also isn't a risk of a dangerous run in.

Because they will feed on just about anything, however, a silverfish problem could lead to expensive or irreversible property damage. A favorite book, photo album or piece of art could fall prey to these insects. If you do see signs of silverfish, neglecting to act could result in the loss of a prized possession. Periodic inspections of a library, attic or other area are instrumental for addressing an issue as soon as possible.

Citrus fruit may be your best defense

Silverfish are such successful pests that it can be difficult to keep them out of a home or business. There are, however, ways to keep them away from customers and valuables and discourage these insects from sticking around.

Home Remedy Hacks found that citrus fruits like oranges and lemons in particular seem to discourage silverfish. A few well-placed peels in problem areas can be useful for minimizing the odds that the bugs will venture out from hiding. Sage, basil and lavender also are effective tools for keeping out silverfish. A dehumidifier can be used as well, because insects prefer muggy environments.

For larger infestations, a pest removal specialist is the best bet for ensuring silverfish are fully eradicated from a home, restaurant or business.

About the author:

Abell Pest Control is a family owned Canadian company dedicated to providing effective, professional and courteous service in pest management.Started in 1924 with one office, Abell now employs several hundred people with branch offices across Canada and the United States.

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