common garden pests
What’s Eating My Garden? The 5 Most Common Garden Pests
June 8, 2020
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What Are Silverfish and Where Do They Come From?

what are silverfish
You might have seen these little bugs scurrying around you bathroom or other places in your home. These silvery little bugs are called silverfish. They are called silverfish because of their gray and silver color and move like a fish out of water.

What are Silverfish?

No one really likes the looks of them and to see them pop out of somewhere. They have two long antennas and never get any longer than about ¾ of an inch. They live for anywhere from 2 to 8 years, so they can stick around for a while if you don’t take measures to get rid of them.

They are harmless. They don’t fly, they don’t bite, and they don’t carry any type of disease. So they are no danger to you, your family, or your pets. Even so, you probably don’t want them crawling around your home.

Where Do Silverfish Come From?

Silverfish normally live outside in piles of decomposing leaves or in crevices, such as under logs and rocks. You might wonder if these small bugs live outside, why and what are silverfish doing in my house.

Silverfish like damp and dark places, which is why you usually first find them around sinks, toilets, and dark corners. You will most likely see them in the bathroom, kitchen, and garage.

What Foods Do Silverfish Look For?

Like any bug, they are looking for food. And when they find food in your home, they will stay, making them harder to get rid of.

Silverfish likes to eat starch like flour, whole grains, or oats. Open containers of these foods will attract silverfish into your home. You should always keep these food products in tightly sealed containers. They also like to eat paper, fabric, cardboard and can chew through plastic.

Do Silverfish Cause Damage?

They are not like termites and won’t damage your home’s structure. But they can cause damage to your clothing and books.

If you start to see tiny holes in your clothing or yellow stains, it could be damage done by silverfish. They will eat fabrics like cotton, wool, silk, and clothes made with rayon.

Since they also like to eat paper, silverfish can also damage books and papers. I’m not sure the IRS would believe your tax papers were eaten by silverfish, so it is probably best if you store your books and important papers off of the floor in sealed containers.

How to Get Rid of Silverfish

Silverfish might be hard to get rid of if you can’t find where they’re coming in from. To get rid of the problem quickly, you should call a professional pest company. But there are some things you can try yourself to prevent silverfish and possibly get rid of them. A few DIY ways you can try include:

  • Sprinkle diatomaceous earth under your appliances, in cabinets, around toilets and sinks, and wherever else you think silverfish might be.
  • Place cedar shavings in garages, and in storage containers with clothing, books, and papers. You can also use cedar oil in corners and along baseboards.
  • Fill cracks, crevices, and other places silverfish might be.
  • Silverfish are repelled by certain spice scents. Make small sachets filled with cinnamon, cloves, or bay leaves
  • Store papers and books off the floor. If you have file cabinets, you can put spice sachets in them.
  • Dehumidify your home. Silverfish like damp areas and making your home less damp will discourage them from coming in.
  • Keep dry good like flour, grains, cereals, and cookies in tightly sealed containers and off of the floor.

How to Make a Silverfish Trap

Silverfish love damp paper. Roll up some newspaper and secure both ends tightly with rubber bands. Wet the middle of the newspaper roll and leave the silverfish trap overnight in places where you have seen silverfish. The next morning throw the trap away, outside.

You can also try using boric acid. Sprinkle boric acid on a cracker and leave it out. Or make a solution of 5% boric acid in water and spray crevices where you suspect they are entering your home.

Using boric acid is dangerous though because it is toxic to people and your pets. If you have a silverfish problem, the best thing to do is call a professional pest control company.


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