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January 3, 2024

Effective Ways to Get Rid of Silverfish

Discover effective methods to identify and eliminate silverfish 

Understanding Silverfish Behavior

Silverfish are small, wingless insects that are commonly found in homes. They are nocturnal creatures and prefer dark, damp areas such as basements, bathrooms, and kitchens.

Identifying silverfish infestations is crucial in effectively getting rid of them. These pests are small and have a distinct appearance, which can help in their identification. Silverfish are about half an inch long and have a slender, elongated body. They are usually silver or gray in color and have three long bristles at the rear of their bodies. Their movements are characterized by a fish-like wriggling motion, which gives them their name in addition to the fish-like silvery scales that cover their bodies.

These pests can cause destruction through their feeding habits. They feed on a variety of materials, including paper, cardboard, fabric, and even wallpaper. When inspecting for silverfish, check these items for signs of chewing along the edges of paper items. Additionally, silverfish continue to molt even when they reach adulthood so other signs to look out for include their cast skins and feces.

By understanding silverfish behavior, you can properly inspect for silverfish and help protect customer’s property from their damage.

Preventive Measures to Keep Silverfish Away

Full blown infestations of silverfish are rare. However, silverfish are extremely common in homes in small numbers. As a PMP, there are ways to modify the environment to help reduce silverfish populations in your customer’s homes.

One of the key preventive measures is to control moisture and humidity. Silverfish frequent areas of high moisture and humidity, so it's important to address any water leaks or excess moisture problems in accounts. Fix any water leaks, improve ventilation, and use dehumidifiers in areas prone to dampness. By reducing moisture, you can create an unfavorable environment for silverfish.

Sealing cracks and gaps in a home's foundation, walls, and windows can also help prevent silverfish from entering the home. These pests are small and can squeeze through tiny openings, so it's important to seal off potential entry points.

Additionally, talk with homeowners about decluttering the home, especially storage areas that may house items that silverfish feed on like books and other starchy materials. Encourage homeowners to not store items in cardboard boxes and instead put items in plastic storage bins. While communicating with customers for follow up as well, you can encourage regular vacuuming and dusting to help remove silverfish food sources.

Doxem Precise

Brittany Campbell, Ph.D., BCE

Technical Services Manager PCO Product Development

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