Silverfish: Why They Like Your House

Though their name might suggest otherwise, silverfish are actually white or brown-grey in color.  They do have a slight iridescence that makes them appear slippery.  They are tear-drop in shape, but most people know them best by their bristles.  There are three that protrude from the rear end.  Additionally, two long antennae that bend back and stretch nearly the length of the body.

prevent-silverfishThis insect is a very hardy breed.  It has demonstrated a capability for living in extreme conditions, despite its obvious preference for cool, damp places.  The nymphs develop faster in areas that are humid, so it only makes sense that the colonies would seek these locations.  The majority of homeowners plagued with the problem will find the pests in basements, attics, kitchens or bathrooms.  Unfortunately, the more mess there is on the premises, the more likely silverfish are to make a home.  They are naturally drawn to paper and damp clothing, which provides ample hiding places, as well as the preferred climate. They will also slink their way into unopened boxes and bins, which have been stored in garages, sheds, and basements.

Just like humans, Silverfish require carbohydrates to live.  They feed on slightly different food, however.  They will often eat through books, linens, glue, and will even feed on shampoo. This easily explains why the silverfish will seek out bathrooms and the stored goods in a nearby attic.

In addition to the obvious damage they can do, silverfish have also won disfavor among people for the fact that they leave behind their pepper-like feces wherever they go.

If you have been plagued with this pest for a while, you are probably wondering if the battle can ever be won.  Unfortunately, the traps and pesticides marketed to the public will only exterminate individual bugs without addressing the colony lurking nearby.  Natural remedies have also proven less than adequate.  Cinnamon, for instance, has proven to be a good deterrent, but it does not kill the insects or the eggs, which means that the colony can continue producing until the problem gets out of hand.

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