How To Identify And Get Rid Of Silverfish In Your Cypress Home
Silverfish crawling on a book.

How To Identify And Get Rid Of Silverfish In Your Cypress Home

It is easy to shrug off a silverfish problem at first. You may see a silverfish in your bathroom and not see another for months. When another one shows up, you may think nothing of it. But the silverfish you see are warning you about the silverfish you don't see. How important is this warning? It depends on you and your home. Some homes are more at risk for silverfish damage because the conditions are conducive for activity and items put in storage are not properly protected. Today, we're going to look at essential silverfish facts such as what they look like, how to detect them, what they eat, and the ways they create problems in Cypress homes. We'll also share some tips for getting rid of silverfish. 

You should know upfront that silverfish control is not easy work. If you want an easy fix for silverfish, jump to our contact page for pest control in Cypress. Our service techs are happy to help you address your pest control issue and guide you toward a solution that works best for your specific situation and budget. With that said, let's take a look at how to handle silverfish in Cypress, starting with identification.

Why Are Silverfish Called Silverfish?

It is likely that silverfish got their name from the fact that they resemble fish. You can see this resemblance best by looking down at a silverfish rather than examining it from the side. A top-down view of a silverfish and an actual silver-colored fish bear remarkable similarities, particularly if you are looking at a silverfish that is silver. Some have other colorations, such as tan or brown, but the shape is easily distinguishable as fish-like. If you happen to see silver-colored silverfish, you may also notice that it is shiny like a fish. Unfortunately, it is often challenging to see these visual characteristics because an adult silverfish is less than ¾ of an inch in length, and newly hatched nymphs are as small as ⅛ of an inch. Why do we mention nymphs? Because they look like adult silverfish. They have the same shape, coloration, six legs, and three body parts; they're just smaller. Unlike many insects, there are no silverfish larvae. Silverfish don't start life as grubs, caterpillars, or maggots. They start right out looking like miniature adult silverfish when they hatch from their eggs. 

It is important to understand this because you can see a tiny insect in your home and not realize it is a silverfish. An insect that is ⅛ of an inch long is not much more than a speck. Along with this, a tiny silverfish is a warning sign that there are adults reproducing inside your home. You're not looking at an accidental invader. It is also good to know what a silverfish looks like so you can properly identify them. They have the potential to destroy valuable items in your storage areas.    

Aside from seeing the insects themselves, some other signs of silverfish include:


Silverfish excrement resembles tiny black pepper flakes and can be found in silverfish hotspots, such as the gaps behind furniture and in the corners of your kitchen's cupboards. 

Due to their minute size, the feces of silverfish are sometimes misidentified as common dirt found in the home. If, after cleaning, you still see silverfish droppings, this is a sign that you may have a silverfish infestation.

Shed Skin

The discarded skin and scales of silverfish are another hint. Molting is a constant process for silverfish. In the nymph stage, this phenomenon is most prevalent. This shed skin may be left behind if they visit your home. 

Because of its diminutive size and ability to blend in with dust, it often goes overlooked. Shed skin is common in kitchens, bathrooms, and basements where silverfish are found.

Damage To Belongings

Damage caused by silverfish is one of the most reliable indicators of an infestation of these pests. Some of the silverfish's favorite foods are starchy things like wallpaper, cardboard, books, paper products, linens, and clothing.

If you want to be sure that you have an infestation of silverfish, you should look for holes in materials made of paper or fabric.

Yellow Stains

When silverfish molt, they leave behind yellow powder that may be seen even if you don't see the actual skin shedding. Books, cards, paper, cardboard boxes, and clothes frequently suffer from yellow stains.

Silverfish in Cypress do not present a direct danger to humans; nonetheless, they can attract other unwanted pests and cause damage to your belongings. Because of this, the presence of silverfish in your Cypress home should raise some concerns.

If you see live silverfish around your home or notice any of the above signs of an infestation, you should address the issue sooner rather than later. While silverfish certainly have an important role in nature, they do not belong in our homes. Contact our team at Modern Pest Control for effective silverfish control solutions.

What Do Silverfish Do For The Ecosystem?

Silverfish have many roles to play, but their primary role in the world's ecosystem is to break down organic matter. They consume certain natural materials and turn them into fertilizer for the soil. If not for insects like silverfish, we would have endless piles of wood and leaf debris, among other things. 

While this is an important role in the ecosystem, it is not good to have an insect that is skilled at breaking down organic matter crawling around inside your Cypress home. Your home doesn't have tree branches and leaves, but it has lots of paper, cloth, and other things for silverfish to eat. When they eat certain items, they leave holes. Do you have important documents? Imagine a word or two missing from those documents. Do you have old photos? Imagine a face or two missing from those photos? Do you have a wedding dress that has been passed down from generation to generation? Imagine tiny holes chewed in the fabric. These are just some of the ways silverfish present problems when they find their way indoors. At the first sign of silverfish (or before), it is wise to protect the items in your home from silverfish damage or infestation. 

Habits And Behavior Of Silverfish In Cypress

There are many habitats in your home. It helps to know what silverfish are looking for so you can consider where they are hiding.

  • Moisture: Silverfish are moisture pests. While they don't need much water to drink, they require moist habitats to stay hydrated. They also thrive in moist habitats because, in a moist habitat, they're able to find moist paper products, which provide them with an ideal food source. You'll likely find silverfish in your bathroom because bathrooms are the most humid of all spaces within homes.
  • Dust: Silverfish prefer attics and storage rooms because these areas tend to be dusty. Dust is made up of dead skin and organic debris, which are food for silverfish. They may also find stored items in these places that provide a food source. We recommend always storing items in sealed plastic totes to protect them from pest damage.
  • Skin: Another reason silverfish love bathrooms is that they find skin and hair debris to feed on. A clean and dry bathroom is more resistant to silverfish activity. Routine cleaning and always using the fan when you take a shower or bath are a good start.
  • Food: Silverfish eat certain foods with starches, such as cereal, pasta, rolled oats, and flour, so they can become pantry or kitchen pests. You can prevent this by storing these foods in sealed containers. Doing so will also help you to detect and prevent other pantry pests, such as Indian meal moths, beetles, and weevils.

Keep in mind, silverfish are nocturnal, so it can be tricky to catch sight of them during the day. They tend to emerge from their resting places at night to feed, but you can find them in the daytime if you know where to look. A good role of thumb is to inspect areas that are dark, humid, dusty, and rich with food options. If you find silverfish, take steps to address the infestation. Let's look at some tips that will help you stop a silverfish infestation and keep silverfish out for good.      

What Can I Do To Remove Silverfish From My Home For Good 

There are several steps to get silverfish out and keep them out. It is a rigorous process but worth your effort. These steps don't just work to control silverfish. They can provide essential protection from a host of other pests.

  • Protect Your Stuff: The first step is to protect what you can protect. Consider the things silverfish damage, such as documents, wallpaper, photos, and clothing. Examine items thoroughly and store them in plastic totes. Wash clothing items in soapy, hot water to eliminate any silverfish hiding in them, and store them in sealed plastic totes.
  • Clean: Your vacuum is your secret weapon. Not only will a vacuum suck up silverfish for removal, but it will also suck up a primary food source. Routine cleaning and deep cleaning can have a big impact.
  • Address Humidity: Silverfish can't survive in dry climates. Installing a dehumidifier can eliminate silverfish in key areas such as attics and basements. Plus, removing moisture from the air will make your home more comfortable to live in. Along with this, take steps to address humidity, such as repairing leaking faucets and other plumbing issues and using the fan in your bathroom.
  • Protect Kitchen Foods: We discussed this already, but it bears mentioning again. Silverfish sometimes become pantry pests because they eat certain pantry foods and they also eat paper and cardboard packages. When you store your food in sealed, plastic containers, they can't get into your food.
  • Seal Entry Points: Silverfish don't eat wood, so you can keep them out of your home by sealing the tiny gaps and cracks they're using to get inside. A caulking gun or a few cans of expanding foam can do the trick. Inspect your exterior and get trouble spots, such as gaps around utility pipes, doors, and windows. Repair screens. Replace weatherstripping and door sweeps. Align double doors so that you have a complete seal all the way around your doors.
  • Address Exterior Habitats: Silverfish get into homes because they first find reasons to live near homes. They are attracted to moist habitats, so make sure your gutters are doing their job. They eat insects, both alive and dead, so take steps to reduce insects by raking leaves, replacing white lights with yellow lights, and by maintaining healthy vegetation in your landscaping. Silverfish hide in dark spaces and they prefer organic material, so move stacked wood and dead branches away from your exterior.

These tips can stop most silverfish problems and prevent silverfish from continuing to get in. If control products are needed, it is best to contact a licensed professional. DIY silverfish control is often frustrating, and when misapplied, it will leave the items in your home at risk for damage. A professional is also a great choice because you won't have to do all this work.

Are you in Cypress? If so, you're in our service area. Contact Modern Pest Control for a silverfish treatment, or you can get started with a residential pest control plan that includes silverfish control. We'll help you find the right solution for your silverfish issue.

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