The silverfish is also known as the wood, dust or batfish. This silver insect belongs to the order of the fringe tail defined as real living fossils as they date back to 300 million years ago.
The body of the silverfish is covered with scales that evoke fish. They are slimy with long antennae, have 3 long appendages in the final part of the body which is often mistaken for legs.
They can blend in. In common with fish, they can shell out, they are impregnable. The colour of these insects changes from silvery grey to dark blue.
silverfish is long-lived (they can live from 3 to 8 years) and very prolific (females can lay up to 20 eggs per day, giving birth to new insects in 20-30 days).
They are also hardy – they can survive for months without food.
The ideal environment of the silverfish, habits, what it feeds on
The silverfish has adapted to domestic life and easily sneaks into our homes. He loves dark and humid areas (bathrooms, basements, attics, closet interiors, under sinks) and moves quickly. If the humidity is below 30% it will die in no time.
It is a small nocturnal insect (just 10-15 mm), it feeds on sugars and starches present not only in food but also in paper, wood, glue, synthetic or natural fabrics (cotton, linen, silk, leather), seals. It also feeds on the remains of other insects, debris of animal or human origin (hair, dander, small fragments of dead skin released into the environment).
They prefer bathrooms and kitchens (more humid environments where it is easier to find food) but can colonize any domestic environment.
Compared to the more common species silverfish, the Thermobia silverfish easily adapts even too hot and drier environments (with temperatures above 37 ° C): it enters the kitchens of restaurants or bakeries.
Eggs are laid in hidden places (baseboards, cracks, cavities, crevices, wooden beams), on clothing, on food or in the trash. When they hatch, they can be quite a problem in hotels or restaurants. Even a deep cleaning with a vacuum cleaner to remove the eggs may be insufficient as they are well protected.
The presence of silverfish does not always equate to poor hygiene even if the dirt encourages their arrival in the house or elsewhere.
How to recognize the presence of the silverfish
The appearance of yellow spots visible on books or linen can signal the presence of silverfish.
Small irregularly shaped holes in fabrics and wallpaper also reveal their presence.
Often, these insects are noticed on the walls at night or inside the drains of showers, sinks and tubs, where they go in search of water. The silverfish, not being able to go up the enamelled surfaces, sometimes get trapped in the drains.
If you find a nest of silverfish, plan to intervene as soon as possible to eliminate them or you can book our service to remove silverfish in Melbourne.
Is the silverfish dangerous?
The question we often get is: Does the silverfish bite? I want to reassure you. The answer is no. It is not dangerous for the health of humans or pets. It does not bite and sting, it does not irritate, it does not transmit pathogenic microorganisms and it is not poisonous.
The infestation of silverfish refers to other problems: the damage they can create for example on books, paper documents, restaurants and hotels.
If they start eating valuable print or fine books, it can damage them significantly. Thanks to their ability to digest cellulose, they cause significant damage to paper products and natural fabrics such as linen, leather, silk, cotton.
That is why it is necessary to eliminate these insects, especially in case of massive presence (even during the day). As?
In the event of an infestation of silverfish, the first thing to do is to proceed with a deep and thorough cleaning to remove paper, food debris that can attract insects. It is also good to reduce the humidity.
Often, cleaning thoroughly and using a dehumidifier is not enough to remove the fringe tail.
In these cases, it is necessary to carry out maintenance on walls and skirting boards to close cracks and cracks and to apply steam at 100 ° C in environments where it is possible to do this without damaging paper and fabrics.
Apart from the bait traps (which can be used to intercept the presence of these insects), sprays with repellent action suitable for moths based on camphor, lavender and other essential oils can be used.
Fringe tail is quite sensitive to different types of spray or powder insecticides as well as diatom dust. The important thing is to carry out a localized application of these substances, limited to the areas where the silverfish are present.
To combat these annoying pests you can use our insecticide spray for minnows.
In case of massive infestation, it is advisable to contact specialized pest control companies to quickly solve the problem with ultrasonic devices, minimizing the use of insecticidal chemicals in sensitive environments such as homes, schools, restaurants and hotels.
How to prevent a silverfish infestation
To reduce or avoid the possibility of a silverfish invasion, follow these good habits:
– keep the house clean (using the vacuum cleaner) and tidy by regularly eliminating piles of newspapers and papers in general, cardboard boxes;
– store dry food in lockers in special sealed containers;
– use a dehumidifier to keep the room sufficiently dry;
– seal cracks, crevices or holes to keep insects out of your home;
– keep clothes in dry places;
– ventilate the house as silverfish hate light and love humidity.