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silverfishSilverfish are alarming to see at first, as they move fast and catch your eye when you are least expecting it. They are most often considered to be a pest and an unwelcome inhabitant of one’s home. Here is how to spot them and remove them when found.

What Are They?

Silverfish are nocturnal pests. They move quickly and are very secretive, which allows them to hide for long periods of time. Because of this, an infestation can happen without being noticed until significant damage has already been done.

Where Are They Found?

Silverfish are found most often in damp and dark areas. They enjoy feeding on wallpaper, other types of paper and clothing. They are often found in basements, bathrooms, kitchens and laundry rooms. They develop and grow more quickly in humidity and therefore are drawn to those places.

What Damage Do They Cause?

Because they feed off of paper and clothing, they can wreak havoc in rooms and closets. Their taste for glue draws them to the binding in books and they can destroy a library of your favorite reading material while you sleep. They make stains and small holes in your nicest clothing. If you find scratches on the surface of a photograph, you may be able to thank your nearest silverfish.

Recognizing The Signs

You will know that a silverfish infestation is likely when you begin to find these holes and stains in your clothing, and damage to books and paper. Sometimes you may simply find a silverfish scuttling along your bathroom floor or the inside of a sink or bathtub. As with all nocturnal insects, finding one in the daylight may be a sign that there is a larger population around when the lights go off. You may also find small feces that have a similar look to pepper.

How To Get Rid of Them

Getting rid of silverfish begins with prevention. Attempt to keep your home as clean as possible. Because silverfish love humid areas, keep your home moisture free by taking simple precautions such as using the fan during and after a shower or bath. Cover the outside of a mason jar with masking tape and insert a piece of bread to draw them into the jar, as they will slip and be unable to get back out once they are inside.

Use diatomaceous earth to kill these pests. Sprinkle it along baseboards, and anywhere that they might be found. Because silverfish have an exoskeleton, this is an effective remedy because it causes punctures in the insect that leads to its death.

Essential oil of lavender is a repellent to silverfish. You can utilize this natural method of pest control by putting several drops into a spray bottle and filling it with water. Spray your home wherever you wish to keep them away from.

Cedar shavings are also a natural silverfish repellent that you can sprinkle around your home in order to keep them from getting too comfortable there. Vacuum and replace the cedar shavings at least once per week.

Silverfish are critters we all wish to live without. Don’t let these nocturnal pests take over your home. Instead, use these tips to minimize any infestations before damage occurs. Good luck to you, and good riddance to the silverfish.