Effective Ways To Get Rid Of Silverfish In The Closet

June 10, 2019

The silverfish are small insects that that do not have wings. They are silver metallic in color, and their appearance somewhat resembles a fish. They have very long antennae, as long as their bodies. They are typically 13 to 25 mm in length. Aside from looking like a fish, they also move like a fish with their wiggling motion. They run fast, which is their protection from predators. They just simply outrun them. This extraordinary quickness though applies only on horizontal surfaces as they are not capable of climbing walls. They are also nocturnal and avoid light.

The scientific name for silverfish is Lepisma saccharina. This scientific name is derived from their diet, which consists of sugars and starches. They are considered as ancient insects; they are some of the earliest as most primitive, probably along with cockroaches. They tend to shed their exoskeleton about 50 to 60 times through their lifetime.

Silverfish As Pests

Silverfish are among the most common household pests in the United States. They are just considered a nuisance pest and are not really harmful to humans. They do not transmit any disease, unlike their fellow pests like mosquitoes, cockroaches, and mice. For their habitat, silverfish thrive in damp, dark areas. They are usually found in basements, bathrooms, and kitchens. They prefer to look for food at night and stay in dark places during the day.

As pests, they damage food, especially the sugary and starchy ones that are found in our kitchens and pantries. Aside from that, they do so much damage to books, papers, important documents, photographs, cardboard, and even clothing. They are indeed psychologically and economically bothersome.

Are There Different Kinds Of Silverfish?

Yes, there different types of silverfish.  Below is a list of the kinds of silverfish that are common in the United States:

Bristletail - They are usually referred to as silverfish. Their name comes from the fact that they have three tails at the end of their abdominal segment. They have cylindrical bodies and are usually found outdoors. They prefer grassy areas or wooded areas. They can be found under decaying leaves, under rocks, under logs, and under stones. As for their diet, they prefer dried beef, beef extract, and other items that are high in protein.

Four-lined silverfish - Its scientific name is Ctenolepisma quadriseriata. This type of silverfish can be identified by the 4 lines in their abdomen. They are much stouter, longer, and less shiny than the common silverfish. They infest our homes and can be found anywhere, like the basement, attic, and wall voids. They can also be found in flower bed mulch.

Grey silverfish - The gray silverfish are solitary insects that have flat bodies, three thin tails found at the tip of their abdomens, and a pair of long antennas. As protection from predators, they have slippery scales that cover their bodies, and that prevents larger insects from getting hold of them. Aside from that, they can run very fast. They can be found in dark, warm areas of the house, like inside ovens, clothes dryers, bathroom vents, furnaces, and fireplaces.

They are attracted to sweet, starchy foods. That is why they can be usually found in the kitchen and pantry where flour, sugar, potatoes, and other items full of starch are found. Aside from food, you can also find them in between pages of books because they like the glue that is used to hold them together. It is also worth noting too, that gray silverfish can live without food for months.  

Firebrat - Firebrats have long and thin bodies with hairs that look like spikes. They have yellowish scale-type plates. They have three long and thin tails found at the end of their abdomens. They do not have wings so they cannot fly but they move quickly and can run very fast. They are mere nuisance pests and do not hurt or bite humans.

They prefer to be indoors and near warm areas, like ovens, furnaces, and stoves. They also feed on the glue that holds books together, that is why we can sometimes see them in between pages of books. Our local libraries usually have problems with firebrats because of this. They also eat fabrics made from plants. Cotton and linen are part of their diet. Because they are so thin, they can hide in cracks and crevices. They are also nocturnal, so we do not always encounter them even if we live under the same roof. 

Jumping bristletail - This type of silverfish are small, jumping insects and resemble a shrimp because of their hunched backs. They also have three long and thin tails at the end of their abdomens. They do not have wings so they cannot fly, but they can jump with the help of their abdomens. They have large eyes on top of their heads. Their scales look coppery metallic when under the light.

Their diet is different from that of the other silverfish. They prefer dead leaves, rotting vegetation, and other decaying organic matter. They live under rocks, logs, leaf litter, stones, and other moist areas.

The Life Cycle Of Silverfish

After their mating rituals, female adult silverfish can lay up to 60 eggs at once. These are laid in crevices. The eggs are white and oval in shape and .8 mm long. This takes from 2 weeks to 2 months to hatch. After they hatch, they become nymphs. They are white in color and resemble the adult silverfish already. Even as they molt, they develop a metallic shine and a grayish appearance. They become adults after 3 months to three years. They molt around 60 times in their lifetime and are the only creatures that molt even when they are adults.

How To Get Rid Of Silverfish

Silverfish may not be harmful to humans physically, but they can torment us psychologically because they can be such a nuisance to have around. That is why it is crucial to get rid of them at once.

To get rid of the silverfish, you may want to enlist the services of the best pest control management in North Carolina, Go-Forth Pest Control.  

Some people though, prefer to do things themselves. If you are one of these people, you are in luck; we have some DIY’s you can do to get rid of the silverfish, whether they are in your kitchen cupboards, or in your closets.  

  1. Seal off cracks and crevices. Silverfish are so thin that they can fit into small cracks. These cracks and crevices can either be used as their entry points, or as hiding places where they can lay their eggs.  
  2. Use diatomaceous earth. These are made up of fossilized remains of diatoms. They are powdery materials that resemble little shards of glass that can cause small cuts into the bodies of insects. When the silverfish crawls on them, it would cause tiny cuts which would make them bleed and dehydrate, an eventually cause their deaths. These can be purchased from a local gardening store near you. Apply these in the evening since silverfish are nocturnal.
  3. Invest in dehumidifiers. Silverfish prefer damp places.
  4. Remove clutter as silverfish love hiding in old newspapers, magazines, and books.
  5. Use a vacuum cleaner to vacuum carpets, flooring, and upholstery.  
  6. Reduce their food sources. Keep flour, sugar, potatoes, and other starchy and sweet foods in a sealed container. These would keep them from touching your food.
  7. Repair leaky pipes and faucets. This would reduce water sources which silverfish thrive in. Keep gutter free of debris.
  8. Use traps that are available in the stores. Sticky traps will work. As bait, you may put it beside a small piece of bread. The bread would attract silverfish.
  9. Use insecticide. Read instructions carefully since it is also harmful to humans. Be sure to follow the instructions carefully. Be sure to store these insecticides out of the reach of children and pests. Once emptied, dispose of the container properly.
  10. Try using boric acid. This can kill silverfish and their eggs. Sprinkle this on areas you often see silverfish. The downside is you should be careful not to inhale this as it is harmful to the lungs.  

If you have tried all these, yet still fail, do not worry; you can still resort to calling the best pest control management in North Carolina, Go-Forth Pest Control.  

Why Go-Forth Pest Control?

With Go-Forth Pest Control, you can say goodbye to all your pest problems! Go-Forth Pest Control has a team of expert technicians who are highly skilled and well-trained, using only the latest and most advanced equipment in the business. They also employ family-friendly and pet-friendly methods, so you are assured of your family’s safety.

Go-Forth Pest Control is a family-owned business that has earned the trust of residents and business establishments in North Carolina for more than 50 years. For inquiries, or to set an appointment, simply click here or call 336-841-6111. Their friendly operators are standing by and always ready to assist you.

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