Silverfish Extermination & Prevention

As you probably know, silverfish love Florida. Extermination and prevention of the growing silverfish population is essential for every Florida homeowner.

Silverfish cannot reproduce in areas that are too cold or dry, making Florida their dream destination. Silverfish are recognizable by their long, thin shape, their silvery color, their long antennae and the three additional long antennae that trail from the rear of their bodies. Depending on their maturity, these wingless insects vary in size, but they can grow to be one-inch long.

Silverfish infestations thrive in warm, humid areas, yet homeowners may not see the warning signs of an infestation because silverfish are nocturnal and extremely shy. A variant of the more recognizable silverfish is the firebrat, which is smaller and more brownish than silver. Firebrats love humidity and warmth even more than silverfish and are, therefore, more prevalent in central and south Florida.

Silverfish reproduce quickly in humid, wet areas like Central Florida

Silverfish prefer dark, damp areas, such as basements, kitchens and bathrooms. They like starchy foods, like flour and sugar, but they also eat starches in other household items. For example, silverfish will eat the glue on wallpaper and shelf paper. They consume books, book bindings and old papers. Silverfish will even eat the starch in clothing. And a dark closet is a perfect silverfish hiding place.

Silverfish nymphs thrive in humidity and grow more quickly in humid environments. Therefore, controlling humidity is central to controlling the silverfish population.

Any insect infestation is unpleasant, but a silverfish infestation is particularly expensive since these insects destroy property, such as food, valuable papers, old books, clothing and wallpaper.

Prevent Silverfish Infestations

Cleanliness and low humidity prevents infestation, and prevention is always preferable to fighting an existing infestation.

Take these steps to prevent silverfish from moving in:
• Vacuum often.
• Always clean up crumbs and spills.
• Seal pantry food in airtight containers.
• Examine old books and papers. If you find evidence of silverfish, freeze valuable items to kill both eggs and adult silverfish.
• Eliminate moisture. Invest in a dehumidifier, close windows and run the air conditioner to lower humidity.
• Eliminate piles of linens in basements or garages, especially if the basement or garage is moist.
• Repair caulk, and seal away moisture.

If you are facing an infestation, however, despite rumors of at-home remedies, the only reasonable solution is professional pest control (Extermination). Using at-home remedies only delays the inevitable and allows the infestation to grow.