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Many insects that trouble homeowners are attracted to garbage or food left out at night on kitchen counters. They may spread disease or aggravate allergies with residue they leave behind. They often escape pest control by scurrying away from light or movement when they're discovered.

But those pests aren't silverfish, which may hide away for years in relatively clean storage areas that you rarely check. It's the things you don't have out in your home, but that you treasure nonetheless that are particularly attractive to this particular type of insect. They can reside near old clothing, books or family records for a few years, and you may not see them until you move a box and discover they've been comfortably ensconced underneath it.


What silverfish do like are dark, humid areas that are left untouched for long periods. They may have entered your home on the very things they continue to feed on - book bindings, textiles or cardboard boxes filled with papers. They feed on starchy substances such as glue or paper, but they could turn up in dark cupboards during periods of high humidity to feed on starchy foods like crackers.

Ways to eliminate silverfish

If there's one way to discourage silverfish from staying in your home, it's to do a better job of clearing away clutter that has a tendency to build up over the years. Leaving boxes upon boxes of old papers, magazines and books in attics, basements and under eaves may be an open invitation to host silverfish where they like to gather.

Left undisturbed, a single adult silverfish may lay an average of 100 eggs. If the conditions are between 72 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit with a relative humidity of 75 to 95 percent, you've provided the silverfish with its best breeding grounds. Telltale signs that a silverfish infestation has occurred is damage to storage cartons, wallpaper or other stored items that contain paper products. You can set out sticky traps to find out where they're highly populated.

Addressing humid conditions in your home that may occur as a result of leaks, sweating pipes or other plumbing issues is one way to curtail the emergence of a silverfish population in your home. You may also consider installing a dehumidifier in dank basements or attics. If more help is needed, a pest control service like Abell Pest Control can rid your home of the problem and give you tips on preventing a recurrence.

Abell Pest Control is a family owned Canadian company dedicated to providing effective, professional and courteous service in pest management. Abell is proud to announce its 90th year of providing quality pest control services to North America. Started in 1924 with one office, Abell now employs several hundred people with branch offices across Canada and the United States.

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