Answering Nashville Residents' Questions About Silverfish

Are you curious about silverfish? Do you have questions? You’ve come to the right place. We’re going to address some of the frequently asked questions we get about Nashville’s silverfish.

What Is a Silverfish?

The insect known commonly as the silverfish and scientifically as Lepisma saccharina, can be found throughout North America. They are fairly easy to identify. An adult is about ½ to ¾ of an inch long, silver to brown in color, and has six legs, two antennae, and three body parts. It has a teardrop shape which gives it a fish-like appearance when combined with the shiny silver coloration. It has two appendages on the tip of its abdomen that look like antennae, but they aren’t. Silverfish are flightless insects that prefer tight, moist spaces, and they feed on carbohydrates.

Why do I have silverfish in my house?

There are a few reasons silverfish get into Nashville homes. Any of these reasons could be why you have a silverfish infestation.

Exterior dampness.
These insects are drawn to foundation perimeters that are damp, and particularly to areas where moisture has caused wood to rot. If you have high moisture around your home or areas of wood rot, it could have attracted silverfish to your home.

Exterior harborage.
Do you have piles of leaves near your home or under external structures, such as decks, porches, patios or stairs? Silverfish love to crawl around under leaf piles because it is dark, moist, cramped and filled with food options. This could have led to your infestation.

Entry points.
Silverfish don’t chew their way into homes. They enter through holes created by other pests that chew on wood. Their attraction to moist spots and rotting wood help them locate entry points created by carpenter ants, mice, rats, termites and more. They’ll also get in through gaps, cracks, and holes in your exterior. If you have found silverfish in your home, you definitely have entry points that should be sealed.

Interior humidity.
Once inside your home, silverfish will be drawn to areas that are damp or humid. If you have lots of silverfish, it is likely that there are humid areas that should be addressed.

Food sources.
There are many things silverfish eat but on the top of their list is anything that is high in starches, glue, and cellulose. Books, labels, and wallpaper in humid rooms are strong attractants. They can also get into starchy pantry foods that are unprotected.

What Do Silverfish Eat?

  • Silk, cotton, rayon, and other fabrics
  • Cereal, flour, coffee, and other pantry products
  • Insects, both alive and dead
  • Dead skin cells, hair, and dandruff
  • Glue and paste
  • Carpet materials
  • Plaster
  • Some paints
  • Their own exoskeletons. Yuck!

Is It Bad To Have Silverfish?

These insects can become a problem in many ways. They can:

  • Infest your pantry foods
  • Damage books, important documents, and other paper items
  • Damage wallpaper
  • Deface photos (literally)
  • Put holes in clothing

How do you get rid of silverfish in your home?

  • Humidity — You can have some success controlling silverfish by controlling humidity in your home. When you take a bath or shower, be sure to use the fan. If you have areas of your home that are high in humidity, such as attic spaces, basements, and laundry rooms, consider adding fans or dehumidifiers to bring the humidity levels down. Fix plumbing leaks.
  • Entry Points — Do an inspection of your exterior and seal any gaps or holes you find, especially the ground floor and basement zones.
  • Yard Maintenance — Clean up debris near your home and reduce moisture.

Professional Pest Control

Remember that the service team at All-American Pest Control is always available to assist you with all your pest control needs. We can apply treatments to control silverfish inside your home and reduce silverfish around your exterior. Reach out to us anytime for assistance. We’re here to help.

Source: Pest News
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