Do You Have Silverfish Crawling Around Your Missouri City Home?
Silverfish are a pest that most people don’t know a lot about. They are fairly uncommon and don’t often invade homes, so they can be difficult to deal with when they do. Most homeowners aren’t prepared for them and don’t know the signs of silverfish presence or how to keep them out.
The good news is that silverfish aren’t the most dangerous pests out there, and there are things that you can do to reliably keep them away from your home. When you need information about a pest you may not recognize, such as silverfish, you can always count on Modern Pest Control. We’re here not only to help you understand these unusual pests but also to assist you in dealing with them properly. There’s no reason to be afraid of silverfish if you know what to do about them.
We don’t just help out with silverfish, either; we service all types of pests. Our mission is to make pest control in Missouri City easy and affordable, and our cutting-edge techniques and commitment to excellent customer service make this possible.
In order to equip you to deal with silverfish in and around your home, we’ll first give you the knowledge you need to identify silverfish and recognize their habits. Next, we’ll discuss the potential dangers of silverfish compared to other similar pests. Then we’ll cover the usual ways that silverfish get inside homes and what attracts them. Finally, we’ll talk about the best way to get rid of silverfish and keep them away from your home for good. By the end of this article, you should be fully equipped to deal with these pests.
What Is A Silverfish?
In order to properly identify a silverfish infestation, you first have to know what silverfish look like. Silverfish belong to a category of pests known as “occasional invaders.” Occasional invaders are pests that do not invade homes under normal circumstances; typically, some environmental change, lack of food, or another similar factor causes them to seek shelter in a house. Other occasional invaders include centipedes, stink bugs, and earwigs.
So what makes silverfish distinct from these other types of occasional invaders? Silverfish got their name due to their strange appearance and patterns of movement. Their bodies can range in color from white to brownish-grey to silvery blue, but they almost always have a metallic sheen to them. Their movement resembles that of a fish swimming through water.
Silverfish are typically quite fast, even though they are wingless creatures. They have six legs and two antennae. Their bodies are usually between half an inch and three-quarters of an inch long, not including the long tails on the backs of their bodies. These pests usually have three of these tails; one that extends straight back and two on either side that extend outward and perpendicular to the first. They are sometimes also referred to as “bristletails” because of this feature.
The body of a silverfish is usually elongated and broadly oval-shaped. People often compare them to the shape of a carrot or a fish, and their bodies are covered with silvery, fish-like scales. They have compound eyes that sit far apart on either side of their faces.
You can find silverfish all throughout the United States. Silverfish are nocturnal, meaning that most of their activity happens at night and that this is the most likely time for a homeowner to spot one. They are excellent climbers, and they can hide in cracks or crevices in walls, as well as in bathrooms, basements, garages, and even roofs.
While they are capable of living for weeks without a source of food or water, silverfish need a high degree of humidity to survive and prefer room-temperature areas. Their diet typically consists of paper items, cellulose, glue, linen, and dead insects, including their own kind. These pests sometimes also eat human foods like flour, oats, and dried beef, and they will travel long distances to find a food source. However, they tend to stay close once they have found one.
There aren’t usually many signs of a silverfish infestation in your home. You may be more likely to see the pests themselves than any other signs of their presence, though they do sometimes leave yellowish stains, shed scales, or feces behind. Silverfish feces resembles tiny flecks of pepper.
Let’s compare silverfish to some other occasional invaders. Centipedes also have elongated bodies and vary widely in color. Like silverfish, they aren’t much of a threat to homeowners, though some of the larger ones can bite. They are often larger than silverfish, measuring between an eighth of an inch and six inches, depending on the species. Their color ranges from yellowish to dark brown, and they often have darker stripes or markings on their bodies.
Like silverfish, they have a pair of long, sensitive antennae on the front of their heads. Centipedes are also nocturnal and prefer areas with a high concentration of moisture. Contrary to what their name might suggest, centipedes do not always have 100 legs. They have between 15 and 177 pairs of legs, and oddly, they always have an odd number of pairs. Some centipedes have compound eyes, some have simple eyes, and some have no eyes at all, but all species have fairly poor eyesight. Their maximum life span can be up to six years, depending on the species.
Stink bugs have a tendency to expel an unpleasant odor when squashed, hence their name. They are sensitive to the cold and tend to seek shelter during the winter months, which they spend in a dormant state called diapause. These creatures tend to target crops rather than any kind of food that is usually stored in houses, making them more of a threat to your garden than your home. They may congregate around homes during the spring when it begins to warm up, however.
Stink bugs are usually a mottled grayish-brown color, often with dark markings. They have six legs and two antennae and usually measure about three-quarters of an inch long. Their bodies have a vaguely triangular, shield-like shape, and their legs extend outward from their sides, making them almost as wide as they are long. The most common sign of stink bugs is finding large numbers of them in your home or around your property, whether living or dead. People have found them in at least 44 of the 50 states, as well as in the District of Columbia.
Earwigs are long, six-legged insects that get their name from a superstition that claims they crawl in people’s ears at night. This is just a myth, however. Earwigs average about an inch in length. They have six legs and two antennae. Like silverfish, these antennae are long and threadlike. They are usually a dark brown color.
The most noticeable feature of earwigs is the set of pincers on the back of their abdomen. These pincers can be rather painful, as earwigs will defend themselves if picked up or disturbed, but this pinch is rarely strong enough to break the skin. Earwigs also have two pairs of wings, but only some species of earwigs actually fly, and the ones that do only tend to fly for short distances. Earwigs are nocturnal, much like silverfish, and they also prefer moist areas, though they like the cold more than silverfish do. Unlike silverfish, earwigs aren’t likely to eat much of anything in your house, as their diet normally consists of plant matter, fruits, seedlings, and insects.
Now that we’ve covered how to identify silverfish, as well as what makes them different from other occasional invaders, let’s take a look at the dangers these pests might present in your home. We’ll start with an important question; can silverfish bite?
Do Silverfish Bite?
Fortunately, silverfish do not bite humans. Their jaws aren’t strong enough to pierce the skin, they aren’t venomous, and they also don’t spread any known diseases. However, they are quite dangerous to some of your belongings, including paper items and clothes, as these are part of their diet. They can also chew holes in wallpaper, upholstery, and other household items. These pests may occasionally eat certain types of human food, like meat, flour, or oats.
Overall, silverfish don’t present many dangers to humans, but it’s important that you be able to get rid of them, as they can cause damage if left alone. Compared to other pests, however, silverfish are far less destructive. Another pest that commonly feeds on cellulose is termites. Termites are one of the most dangerous pests in existence, as they eat the cellulose in the wood of your home rather than more superficial structures like wallpaper or furniture.
Termites can also remain undetected for months or years, allowing them to do extensive damage to your home before you notice them. In fact, termites cause more than 5 billion dollars of property damage to homeowners every year in the United States.
Silverfish, on the other hand, are much more manageable and don’t require the same kinds of removal and exclusion tactics. Next, we’ll talk about some simple prevention tactics and answer the question, “why do I have silverfish in my house?”
How Do Silverfish Get Into Homes?
Like other occasional invaders, silverfish are likely to seek shelter in your home during abrupt changes in the weather, unusual shifts in the condition of their environment, or when their food supply begins to run low. Due to their size, silverfish are able to fit through tiny cracks and openings on the outside of a structure. This makes it fairly easy for them to get into many homes.
Silverfish are known to infest houses with shake roofs, as these are an ideal source of food and shelter for them, and their ability to climb enables them to reach the roof easily. Since silverfish infest paper products like cardboard boxes, books, and paper, they often gain access to new areas when someone moves their source of food and shelter.
Now that you know how silverfish could get into your home, let’s talk about what you can do to keep them out. Here are a few helpful tips that will help you get rid of silverfish naturally:
Seal any crevices or cracks in the exterior of your home.
Get rid of excess moisture, such as areas of standing water or leaky pipes.
Don’t store paper products in damp areas of your home like garages or attics.
Keep food items like flour and oats in tightly sealed containers.
Let’s expand on each of these tips a little. For the first tip, you’ll want to prioritize openings outside of your home, such as in siding and near windows and doors. For the second tip, a dehumidifier may be a good option to help you reduce the general level of humidity in your home.
The third tip is meant to remove the main sources of food for silverfish from the areas they are most likely to be found in. You may find it helpful to store items like books and papers in plastic containers rather than cardboard boxes. The fourth tip will make it harder for silverfish to get into your food. Finally, let’s talk about the best way to get rid of silverfish.
What’s The Best Way To Get Rid Of Silverfish?
Since 1952, Modern Pest Control has been helping homeowners like you with all their pest problems, big or small. With more than 70 years of experience in the pest control industry, there’s nothing we haven’t seen. Our technicians are highly trained and licensed by the Texas Department of Agriculture.
If you have silverfish in your home and want them out, just give us a call. We offer free inspections so that you can know what you’re getting before you make a decision. Modern Pest Control is committed to cutting-edge, quality service and a 100 percent customer satisfaction rate. Don’t let silverfish hang around in your home; contact us today!