Whatever images a name may conjure is illustrated in the moniker that classifies these scuttling, creepy crawlies with six legs that lurk in the dark, damp corners of a home or residence. Known for their glassy, metallic appearance and style of running, which mimics the wiggling motions of a swimming fish, these slender, unpleasant, wingless critters also have scales.
Also known as bristletails, firebrats fish moths and urban silverfish, these insects severely damage books and fabrics. Other materials are also at risk, as these insects will eat any materials that contain high percentages of cellulose which is the starchy sugar found in: paste, newspapers, bookbindings, wallpaper; fabric, adhesive, mold and even dead insects.
The average home-owner will find silverfish in moist, humid areas with little foot traffic and a plentiful food supply. They need some water to survive, but cannot live without proteins, sugars and starches. Drains, porcelain and other bathroom surfaces don’t appeal much to these critters because they don’t have wings and cannot climb.
They often get struck when they crawl inside. They tend to leave traces of their fecal matter behind, which takes the form of a yellow residue and is usually the first indication that these insects have found a place in a home. They also shed their skins as they age, and these can collect and attract dust, which in turn can trigger allergic reactions in sensitive adults and children.
One Important Study About Silverfish
Published in the journal, Allergologia et Immunopathologia (Volume 36, Issue 4, August 2008, Pages 191-195 ) this older study involving several hospitals in Spain found that silverfish could stimulate allergic-type breathing problems in people who were allergic to common indoor allergens.
A Few Interesting Facts About Silverfish
Silverfish Are Ancient Insects
Silverfish are considered to be among the earliest and most primitive of insect species, predating the dinosaurs by as much as 100 million years. It is believed that they evolved more than 400 million years ago.
Silverfish Have A Long Life Span
When compared to other insects, silverfish have relatively long life spans. Typically, they live between three and six years, but can survive under the right conditions for as long as eight years.
Silverfish Never Developed Wings
Despite their long history, silverfish never evolved to develop wings. They compensate for their inability to fly with their extreme speed, which is a survival technique that helps them run and hide when exposed. This keeps them out of harm’s way from predators, such as spiders or even the back of a shoe. Their nocturnal activities also offer harborage.
Silverfish Continue To Shed Their Skin Well Into Adult Life
This factor sets them apart from most other insects, and is the reason why an infestation is fairly easy to spot. Their thin, silvery, almost opaque scales stick to almost any surface they come in contact with and can be found in areas where they are most active.
A Female Silverfish Can Produce Eggs Every Day Of Her Life
A female adult silverfish is known to produce between two and twenty eggs every day of her life. These eggs are typically laid in protected areas, such as crevices, cracks and under carpeting or rugs.
Silverfish Have A Place In The Balance of Nature
In the great outdoors, silverfish serve as vital decomposers, which aids in the natural cycle of life in the eco-system.
Silverfish Can Be Very Acrobatic
Their small size and many appendages allow silverfish to scale walls and ceilings. They have been known to jump as high as two feet and can squeeze into tiny cracks in walls.
Silverfish Can Live Almost A Year Without Food
According to research conducted at Penn State University, silverfish are incredibly resilient, and they can survive for up to 300 days without food as long as water is present.
How To Remove Silverfish From Your Home
Silverfish are tenacious and difficult to eliminate from a home because they have built up a tolerance to pesticides, which may at least partially explain how they managed to survive down through the passage of time.
While many companies have opined on a number of DIY tips they claim will work, including sealing up food sources, clearing old papers, magazines and books or other options such as jar traps and sprinkling Diatomaceous Earth (or DE), in the words of Bob Wiemer, “the only DIY treatment that will help is a dehumidifier, the rest do nothing and in most cases will make a silverfish problem more noticeable. A full infestation can only be fully remedied with professional pest-control and pest-management services.” — (412) 252-5200.
Here’s how to choose the right pest control company for your home or business!
Silverfish Pest Control For Pittsburgh And Its Environs
Addressing a silverfish infestation requires treatment of both adult silverfish and their nesting areas. For peace of mind and more permanent security, Pittsburgh homeowners should contact our teams at Pestco Professional Services for help with any silverfish infestation.
We are a five-star, family-owned company with a stellar reputation for superior customer service that dates back more than seven decades to the years following World War II. All of our insect control and management programs include skillful monitoring as part of a pest control solution, which also entails the careful application of approved insecticides.
We are Quality Pro Certified, Google Guaranteed and 2 of the 7 Ace-certified technicians throughout all of Western PA are a part of the Pestco Professional Services family! So save yourself time and money by avoiding do-it-yourself options! Call our team today for peace of mind and no silverfish tomorrow — (412) 252-5200.
Photo Credits: Pixabay