Silverfish

silverfish in philadelphia

Silverfish Extermination Philadelphia

Silverfish are no doubt a creepy insect to have in and around your home. They like to eat paper items such as old books as well as infest cereals and food stores. They're a big nuisance for most of us to say the least.

But are silverfish harmful? Do they sting? Do they spread disease? 

Keep reading to find out...

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What are silverfish?

Silverfish are a small, silver to gunmetal colored insect with six legs. They’re called silverfish because of both their appearance as well as their movements. Silverfish are very fast runners but they don’t fly. Adults range from 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch in length and have a teardrop shaped body that tapers from head to tail.

They’re thought to be one of the oldest insects on earth with many believing they were around almost a hundred million years before dinosaurs. Silverfish are most active at night and prefer to hide in cracks and small crevices during the day. Many people discover silverfish after picking up an old book or newspaper and finding a silverfish darting out. Upon further investigation, they will often notice many more silverfish where that one came from.

Are silverfish harmful?

Fortunately, silverfish are not known to bite, sting, or spread any diseases. This is great news for many homeowners since they may be a nuisance but at least they're not dangerous. However, silverfish do molt skins throughout their entire life which can raise histamine levels in your home and trigger those with allergies. Silverfish can also damage your belongings since they enjoy feeding on old paper items such as those found in photo albums, old newspapers, and old books. Silverfish have also been known to eat everything from wallpaper to clothing.

While it may not be a big deal for silverfish to eat holes in old newspapers, most of us would  be very upset if our old family photos had been chewed through.

Signs of silverfish infestations

Since silverfish are nocturnal and very fast-moving, it's not common to see them until the infestation is severe. However, you can keep an eye out for the signs of a silverfish infestation. These signs include feeding marks which may be holes in paper items or cereal boxes, frayed edges, or etchings on the surface of these items. You may also find yellowish stains, molted skins which resemble scales, or feces which resemble black pepper pellets.

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Preferred habitat

Silverfish prefer a very humid environment. This means you will often find them in attics and basements as well as anywhere with access to water such as near water heaters and leaky pipes.

Silverfish are found throughout the United States including Philadelphia and our surrounding areas. They prefer warmer temperatures between 70 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit which means during winter, you'll find them indoors more often and during the summer we find them both indoors and outdoors. They prefer to live near water and food sources. So if you store books, food, clothing, or anything similar in attics or basements it's a good idea to remove those food sources as soon as possible.

Preventing silverfish infestations

Preventing silverfish has a lot to do with removing their food and water sources. If you find an infestation indoors which is localized, chances are that it’s a recent infestation that may have been brought in by contaminated items.

If the infestation is spread throughout your home and outside, then you need to remove anything that is stored outside of or up against your house. Silverfish are very good climbers and very fast so it’s easy for them to climb up items which are against your walls and into your windows or other cracks in the walls.

Since silverfish prefer a humid environment, it's a good idea to get a dehumidifier. Additionally if you store old clothing, food items, or paper items in your attic or basement be sure to inspect these areas and ideally remove these food sources. You also want to repair leaky pipes, wet or moldy wood, and any other area which has a high moisture content.

If you’ve noticed a silverfish infestation, you should call a professional exterminator. a professional can identify the source of the infestation, severity, what's keeping the silverfish in your home, as well as fully exterminate, and put means in place to keep them away permanently.

Exterminating silverfish

If you’re noticing any signs of silverfish such as feeding marks, feces, or you’ve actually seen the silverfish - it's important to have a professional take a look. A professional will come to your house to perform a thorough inspection to identify the source of the problem.

They will also give professional advice on what you can do at your specific home to keep them away. It's a possibility that your neighbor has a silverfish infestation that is so severe it's pushing them into your home. It's also possible that you have things in and around your house, leaky pipes, or high humidity in certain areas of your home which are causing the silverfish problem to proliferate. No matter what the cause is, your professional exterminator will be able to figure it out.

They can also exterminate the silverfish and put measures in place such as invisible barriers, traps, and other pest control methods to control the problem permanently.

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