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Where Do Silverfish Come From?

May 17, 2024

By Rachel Maldonado

Where Do Silverfish Come From?

You walk into your kitchen in the middle of the night, only to be startled by a quick, slithery movement along the base of the wall. Silver, elongated, and surprisingly fast. Your mind races, trying to remember where you’ve seen that before. A shiver runs down your spine as you realize you’ve just encountered a silverfish. 

“They’re harmless – right?” you ask yourself, but the sight of these nocturnal intruders can be unsettling, signaling other potential issues within your home. 

Silverfish might just be the ninjas of the insect world – they’re often there without you noticing, and by the time you do, they’ve usually settled in a bit too comfortably. In this extensive guide, we will explore where silverfish come from, why they’re in your home, and most importantly, how to keep them out.

Silverfish: The Pests of Paper and Paste

Silverfish, scientifically known as Lepisma saccharina, are one of those creatures that seem to belong to an entirely different era, and in some ways, they do. 

They’re ancient insects, with silverfish-like fossils dating back to around 400 million years ago. Looking at them, you might think they’re some artifact that has come to life, to creep around and read your books.

These nocturnal insects are well-adapted for their escapades around dark, damp spaces. They can live up to a year without eating and prefer to scamper around when and where they won’t be seen. 

Their diet isn’t too varied, sticking mainly to sugars and carbohydrates, such as those found in paper, book bindings, and wallpaper paste.

While silverfish themselves aren’t venomous or destructive in large quantities, they are quite the pest. A large population of these insects can cause significant damage to your belongings, leaving holes in your clothes, chewed-up books, and more. 

Beyond the physical damage, they’re also a nuisance and a symptom of a larger problem within your home that needs addressing. Silverfish thrive in environments with high humidity and dampness. 

This moisture not only sustains them but could serve as a warning sign of larger home issues, like problems with ventilation, leaks, or other sources of excessive humidity. 

Why Silverfish Enter Homes

Silverfish don’t just magically appear in your home – they have their reasons for coming inside.

In their natural environment, silverfish are often found outdoors in naturally damp areas. Think about the baseboards in your kitchen or the cabinet beneath the sink. These would be the equivalent of a luxury hotel to a silverfish. Silverfish are constantly on a search for food, never too far from their preferred environment of high humidity.

When silverfish make it into your home, they are likely to have hitchhiked in on something they think is delicious – or safe for them to settle in such as moving or packing boxes. 

They’re attracted to foods that contain some form of starch, such as the adhesive on the back of wallpaper as well as the glue bindings and dust covers of your favorite reading material. They also adore damp areas and will nestle in walls or attics if conditions are right.

How to Get Rid of Silverfish

Understanding where silverfish come from is only the first step. Now, you need a plan to keep them out.

Remove Moisture

Remember, silverfish absolutely love moisture. If your home is particularly susceptible to high humidity, consider using dehumidifiers or improving ventilation to keep things dry. The absence of damp, dark spaces is a massive deterrent for these pests.

Keep Your Home Clean and Decluttered

One of the best ways to prevent a silverfish infestation is by keeping your home decluttered. Regularly dust and vacuum to remove debris where silverfish could feed and hide. Store books, magazines, and other paper products in sealed plastic containers to lessen the availability of their preferred diet.

Seal Up Entry Points

Like any small intruder, silverfish need a way in. By sealing cracks and other entry points in your home, you reduce the likelihood of them finding refuge within your walls. Pay close attention to gaps around piping, vents, and other fixtures, as these are common entryways for insects and can be areas where humidity is leading them in.

Trap or Treat for Silverfish

Silverfish are relatively simple to trap – they love to eat. Place a small glass jar with a bit of bread inside near an area where you’ve noticed them. Taping the outside of the jar’s walls is a helpful trick – the silverfish can climb in, but their scales will prevent them from climbing back out.

Sticky traps designed for insects can also be effective, placed in the corners of rooms or against baseboards where you’ve seen them. Make sure you replace these regularly, as they can become ineffective if too many silverfish become stuck and block the adhesive.

If things have escalated beyond what traps can handle, it might be time to bring in chemical treatments. There are a variety of pesticides and insecticides on the market specifically designed to target silverfish, but it’s best to work with a professional pest control company to make sure you’re using these safely and effectively. 

Final Thoughts

If the infestation is more than you can handle, it’s time to bring in the pros. A qualified pest control service will not only get rid of your current silverfish problems but also help you identify and address the root causes of the infestation.

We won’t just stop the current infestation; we’ll work with you to develop a plan for preventing future problems. 

Facing a silverfish infestation can be unsettling, but you’re not alone. By understanding where silverfish come from, and what they’re after, you can take the necessary steps to keep them out of your home. 

Hawx Pest Control is here to help and transform your home into a pest-free paradise. Remember, an insect-free home is a happy home.

Join our family of satisfied customers today. Your silverfish problem could just be a wriggly memory away from a pest-free future.


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