Spotlight on Silverfish
December is typically a month where we get many calls from Jacksonville area homeowners who are seeing silverfish in their homes. Silverfish (Lepisma saccharinum) is a small, wingless, insect that often invades our homes in search of warmth or moisture.
Silverfish are crustaceans who prefer warm, humid, dark places. They are often seen on tile floors in bathrooms, in food pantries, in cabinets, inside tubs/showers, on upholstered fabrics, on or in books, and on clothing in closets.
Silverfish are active all year but are more commonly found in the winter months indoors. They prefer to forage for food and water at night.
How They Enter Your Home
Silverfish are small with flattened bodies, so it is easy for them to enter our homes through small gaps/cracks in floors, wall penetrations, or around doors/windows. Silverfish eat carbohydrates and starches found in cardboard and paper bags and we commonly bring them into our homes in shipping/moving boxes and grocery bags.
Silverfish are prolific feeders and females produce 1-3 eggs per day. Eggs are often deposited communally in groupings of 50-60 eggs which require between 2 to 8 weeks to hatch (dependent upon conditions). Many common household insects have lifespans of up to one year, but the Silverfish is known to live up to eight years in ideal conditions and 2-3 years in harsh conditions.
More Interesting Facts
Silverfish do not pose any physical threat to humans or pets, but they can spread germs and contaminate food products. Left untreated, they can destroy books/papers, wallpaper, clothing/fabrics, and stored grains/cereals. Silverfish are scavengers who prefer carbohydrates and proteins. Outdoors they consume vegetable matter but indoors they feed on flour, dried meat, glue, wallpaper, cereal, oats, pet food, paper, fabrics, and other starches.
Eradicating and controlling silverfish in our homes is rarely accomplished as a DIY treatment. Repellant sprays and traps purchased at the hardware store are ineffective. Finding silverfish in your home does not constitute a need to panic but it does mean you need professional treatment. Left untreated, silverfish are very destructive over time.
What To Do If You See Silverfish In Your Jacksonville Home
Don’t panic! It’s not an emergency but it is something you will need treatment for. If you already have a service contract with 360PestControl, you’re covered at no extra charge. Contact us at (904) 637-1109 to schedule an inspection and treatment.