Silverfish Love Wintertime!

Silverfish Love Wintertime!

Good News Pest Solutions Team February 02, 2023

Usually when we talk about how some bugs are really good at surviving, the cockroach is at the top of the list. They’re able to survive without eating for three months, without their heads for 2-3 weeks, and allegedly would even be able to survive a nuclear attack. They’ve been around since the dinosaurs and are still here!

But you also have to consider the Silverfish. They’ve been on this earth longer than roaches and dinosaurs, thrive in just about any environment or weather conditions, and while they can’t live without eating, they can eat almost anything. Our neighbors to the north at least get a little respite from pests in winter when cockroaches hibernate. By contrast, Silverfish keep plugging away – and may even be more active during colder months.

What Are Silverfish?

No relation to any aquatic beasts, Lepisma saccharina Linnaeus get their common name from the silvery scales that cover their bodies. Those bodies measure about a half an inch – not counting their antenna, which doubles their size, or their three spindly tails.

They’re cold-blooded but with a unique quality – they can reconfigure the blood in their bodies to serve as a type of antifreeze. And that’s only triggered when they’re really cold and enter a slowdown period. Like some monks, they can slow their heartrate and become so still they expend only the very least amount of energy.

They prefer cold, damp places, like bathrooms, attics and garages. Which is also how many get into your home  – they will sometimes hitchhike on boxes of Christmas decorations and wrapping paper brought into the rest of the house, although they’re so thin and ‘slippery’ they can skirt through the cracks to enter just about any building with a food source.

While they can eat a lot, their favorite foods – and those most at risk – are paper, glue, wall paper, cardboard, and books. And if you’ve spotted one, well….female silverfish lay up to 3500 eggs! Thankfully, they don’t bite and aren’t poisonous, just ugly looking and a threat to your precious papers, photographs and books.

How do I Get Rid of Them?

The easiest way to deal with a silverfish infestation is to take away their habitat and sustenance.

Stop using cardboard boxes if you can. Plastic tubs are a little pricier but work much better for storing things, especially if they are sealed tightly. If you haven’t already, invest in airtight or tightly-lidded containers for sugar, flour, rolled oats and starch. This protects your staples not just from silverfish but from other bugs too.

Invest in a dehumidifier and check for water leaks. Granted, you can’t really run the dehumidifier in the attic 24/7, but you can use it to dry out the garage or secondary storage areas. Then sweep everything out before restocking. Sweeping and vacuuming regularly is a good practice anyway to prevent insect incursions.

The one benefit to seeing silverfish is that they may serve as an early warning sign of water pipe leakage or cracks in your walls and foundation. Double check all possible areas to make sure you’re not about to have a much more expensive renovation on hand.

Remove any excess magazines, newspapers, etc. Paper is the number one thing silverfish love to eat. We know you think you can’t get rid of anything, but if you’re like some of our family members who still have our niece’s 2nd grade report card from 1992, “in case she wants to show her kids,” perhaps invest in some lock-tight plastic file boxes.

Go around your home and seal any cracks where it’s possible silverfish could slither in or lay eggs.

Finding and recommending sealing those cracks and other entry points is the first step in our popular Go Green Perimeter Plus program. We inspect your home and treat that perimeter. It’s effective in completely covering your home in our protective solution, keeping you and your family safe.

For all the details on our family-safe pest solutions, or to schedule your first appointment for Perimeter Plus, just give us a call!


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