Contrary to their name, silverfish aren't found in the water and aren't even fish. But if you see one in your basement, you may think it is for a second - it's shaped like a fish and moves like one too. Silver, wingless and scaly, silverfish are pests that can affect your home year-round.
Unlike other pests, silverfish don't carry a wide range of illnesses and diseases. Instead, silverfish are more likely to eat stored food or goods - anything high in starch, sugar or protein. For many people, this means boxes, book bindings, clothing and rayon.
These pests are particularly drawn to environments where people store old clothing and books, like attics, basements, closets and eaves. This makes them especially dangerous to homeowners, because silverfish cause damage to items that may be valuable but are unseen for long periods of time. Silverfish can also live for years. The life cycle can take up to three years, but it's usually completed around two.
If you find damage to your stored goods in the basement or attic, consider a pest inspection to check if silverfish could be infesting your home. Pest control services can come in and help you eliminate the issue, protecting your belongings from any further damage.
If you're worried about these pests infesting your home or storage area, take some time to reduce their likelihood of thriving. Silverfish need a significant amount of humidity in order to live and reproduce. Silverfish do best in places where the humidity is between 75 and 90 percent and temperatures are between 70 and 80 degrees.
You can address the risk of humidity by fixing any leaks and insulating pipes that are prone to sweating. Pooling or humidity caused by these plumbing issues can help breed more of these pests in your storage area. Investing in a dehumidifier is also a smart idea.
Unlike other pests, silverfish aren't particularly attracted to garbage, so they can exist in clean, well-organized areas. They're also most active at night and can be hard to catch sight of. Patching any holes, cracks or other structural damage can help protect your stored goods.
Unfortunately, in many cases, the only way that people will know that they have a silverfish issue is after spotting damage to cardboard boxes, wallpaper or other stored belongings.