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How Can I Get Rid of Silverfish?

By Chris Williams on June 22, 2016.

What’s the deal with silverfish? I used to see one or two occasionally but now it seems like we’re overrun with them. They’re really creepy. How do we get rid of them? W. L., Londonderry, NH

Silverfish are similar to cockroaches in habits and lifestyle. Because they are active mostly at night and hide during the day, they can slowly build up to high numbers virtually unseen. If you live in a multi-unit building, silverfish can be coming from your neighbors, just like cockroaches.

Like cockroaches, silverfish feed on a variety of foods. They are known for feeding on starchy foods and starchy papers and glue. They also like foods high in carbohydrates and protein like flour, cereals, dried meat, and dry pet food. Silverfish can be feeding in your kitchen or in your library!

An Attic is a Prime Spot for Silverfish Infestations

Silverfish are often noticed when you enter a dark or little-used room and turn on the lights. Like cockroaches, silverfish can move quickly. Since they like dark and undisturbed places and like to hide in cardboard boxes or stacks of stored materials, attics are a prime place for silverfish infestations. From there, they can work their way down into living spaces.

Silverfish are generally more damaging than cockroaches. They can leave feeding damage and yellow stains on paper products, especially those with starchy glue, such as books, stamps, photographs, and wallpaper (see Silverfish Can Damage Old Books). They can also damage starched or soiled fabrics, especially those in storage.

Control of silverfish is similar to control of cockroaches and requires applying pesticides into cracks and crevices and other silverfish hiding places. In some cases, granular baits or aerosol treatments can be used. Effective silverfish inspection and control requires a professional exterminator. Give Colonial Pest a call today.

For more on silverfish and their control, see:

Photo Credit : “A silverfish at ONE-iAdvantage” by MinghongOwn work. Licensed under GFDL via Wikimedia Commons.

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