A flash of silver in the night might be a lovely find-unless it’s moving! Wriggling like little fish, silverfish are common household pests that can cause some major damage to common household items like books, photo albums, clothing, and even wall paper and walls. Hiding in our damp basements and bathrooms and under our cabinets and refrigerators, these nuisances can breed to impressive numbers very quickly, to the peril of your cherished belongings! Learn more about silverfish, the damage they can cause, and how to get rid of them once and for all.

Silverfish 101

Silverfish are small, silvery gray, wingless insects that get their name from their fish-like movements. They are found on every inhabited continent, and they live in moist climates or places-like basements, bathrooms, closets, and attics. Females can lay nearly 60 eggs each time they breed, and the eggs take roughly two months to hatch. Once hatched, they can live anywhere between two to eight years. Silverfish subsist mainly on carbohydrates, like sugars and starches, but they also enjoy eating natural fibers, paper, and even glue.

Why They’re Pests

You couldn’t call a creature that infiltrates your home and proceeds to eat through your things anything other than a pest. Even though silverfish can live over a year without eating, when food is available, they feast. And nearly everything in your home is food: your books, your clothes, your food, and even your walls are all delicious to these silver pests. Considering how quickly their numbers can increase, the damage can add up.

Are They Dangerous?

Though they can contaminate food with their droppings, silverfish don’t pose any real threat to humans-just to books and other food sources. They are not known vectors for any human diseases, and they cannot really bite or sting.

Extermination and Control

The only way to truly control a silverfish infestation is to exterminate the entire population. There are DIY options available, but these do not destroy the eggs thereby making your efforts worthless. In less than two months, the eggs will hatch and a brand new infestation begins. Instead of putting yourself through an endless cycle of DIY attempts and new infestations, it’s best to take your problem seriously and turn to the professionals. Professional exterminators have the tools and skill to quickly eradicate your silverfish problem, eggs included. Your pest control experts may also offer you helpful tips to make your home less inviting to future silvery invaders.

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