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This aptly named, elusive pest resembles a silver fish. They like damp, dark places and are nocturnal, so homeowners may not know they've got an infestation. Consider these tips to prevent silverfish in your home.

What are silverfish?

Silverfish feed off paper, textiles and crumbs and are usually brought in on cardboard or some other object near an infestation, the University of Minnesota stated. They're often found in urban environments and will happily crawl into your home if they think you've got desirable goods. Females lay 100 eggs at a time, so an infestation could happen quickly.


They're a shy pest and will scurry away at any sight of humans or animals. Most often silverfish are found in kitchens and bathrooms, where there are plenty of damp and dark places to hide. However, their trademark is holes in any paper goods you've got. It doesn't matter how important the paper is - they'll eat it. Homeowners may be irritated if an important legal document or memento is chowed down on by a pack of silverfish. Your clothes aren't safe, either - silverfish have a taste for any textile that has a starchy feel and will gladly nibble on those too.

Tips to prevent silverfish

If you like keeping your papers and clothes intact, follow these insect management tips.

  • Eliminate all exposed food: The first thing homeowners can do to prevent silverfish and many other pests from invading their home is to remove any uncovered food, Memorial University stated. If you have a loaf of bread, wrap it up tightly. Even a few crumbs can stir up a few silverfish.

  • Keep the home or residence clean: It's also important to be mindful of a home's cleanliness. Though silverfish aren't attracted to garbage, they may be interested in what's inside it. Always throw out any cardboard you've got from packaging or a pizza delivery. Wipe down counters and vacuum to eliminate any crumbs. Vacuuming also scoops up silverfish eggs. Pick up any clothes and shoes on the floor.

  • Get a dehumidifier: Eradicate any moisture in your home with a dehumidifier. These devices prove to be very handy at preventing mold and silverfish from entering your home.

  • Store any important documents: Important documents, such as a birth certificate or Social Security card, should always be stored properly. However, if you live in an environment vulnerable to silverfish, a file folder may not be enough. Store these documents in a container that's impermeable for bugs, such as a file cabinet.

If you do have a silverfish problem, don't try a do-it-yourself job. Instead, call pest management services to handle the problem.

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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