What are silverfish, and how should they be treated?

Silverfish are strange pests. While not as ubiquitous in Arizona homes as termites or scorpions, they’re still an insect to look out for. In this blog, we’ll talk more about this pest, signs of an infestation, and why you should call Arizona’s Best Pest for any silverfish control needs.

What are silverfish?

Image courtesy: By Taken by Soebe in nothern Germany – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=110451

While they are typically a silver hue, they’re most certainly not fish, and resemble the cross between a cricket and a cockroach, with some of the same eating habits as a termite (more on that in a second).

Silverfish aren’t venomous or dangerous. Unlike roaches, they don’t transmit diseases.

They’re about 12-19 millimeters long and oval, with three long antennae near the rear of their body and two large antennae on their head. They have 6 legs in total.

What is remarkable about these pests?

Much like termites, silverfish can sustain themselves on all kinds of carbohydrates, from human food to paper and clothing. While they’re not as destructive as termites (they don’t eat wood in your home, or at least at any noticeable rate), they can ruin clothes, sheets, or paperwork in storage. They’ll even eat wallpaper.

Silverfish can thrive in many different circumstances, but their favorite places are in cardboard boxes containing stored clothes or paperwork in your cool garage.

How do silverfish get into my home?

Much like roaches or scorpions, silverfish are adept at squeezing through tight spaces to get into your living spaces where their favorite foods are. They can move through cracks in your foundation, door gaps, or through torn window screens.

In many cases, silverfish can be accidentally brought into the home. When you bring home that box full of antiques, or those files from the office storage closet, you could be bringing silverfish into your living spaces or your garage without knowing it.

Treating an infestation

Strangely, there’s actually truth to that old myth that silverfish hate cinnamon. This spice (and other strong-smelling spices) is an effective deterrent to adult silverfish, who will avoid areas that smell of it.

However, it’s not effective in treating an infestation: this pest breeds fast, and cinnamon won’t eliminate the eggs. Of course, it’s worth noting that cinnamon doesn’t kill the adults either; they just take paths through your home to avoid it.

The best way to treat a silverfish problem is to call in a pest professional who can tackle the following:

  • Finding the silverfish infestation
  • Eliminating all current silverfish and their eggs
  • Recommending places where further entry can be blocked.

Call Arizona’s Best Choice Pest & Termite

For friendly pest control services here in Phoenix & Casa Grande, contact Arizona’s Best Choice Pest & Termite Services. We have dedicated pest control experts on our team with years of experience treating infestations.

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