If you find more than an occasional silverfish running across your bathroom ceiling or resting on your kitchen wall, you could have a problem. These insects are attracted by moisture and are frequent inhabitants of bird and animal nests, but they have a low reproductive rate and develop slowly. An occasional sighting of this household pest might be considered normal, but if you start seeing silverfish on a daily basis or surprise a group of these usually nocturnal insects, it’s time to investigate.
You could have a leak in your roof or a leaky pipe; but you might also have birds or squirrels nesting in your attic. If the problem is nesting birds or animals, silverfish may be the least of your worries. Not only can animal and bird pests be very destructive, warn experienced New Jersey exterminators; but they can introduce disease-bearing ticks, mites, worms and other pests into your home.
Named for their fish-shaped body and silvery gray color, silverfish are wingless, soft-bodied insects. From 1/2- to 1-inch long, these insects have distinctive overlong, hair-like antennae and three long filaments that protrude from the rear of their abdomen. Fast runners, silverfish will dart quickly across walls and ceilings but can become trapped in deep, smooth-sided sinks and tubs.
Outdoors, you’re likely to run across silverfish while gardening. These insects prefer to live in dark, damp places and are typically found under rocks, mulch and leaf mold. If they find their way into your home, they will hide in wall voids, attics, crawl spaces and behind baseboards. Silverfish feed on high-carbohydrate plants but will also eat wallpaper paste, box glue, paper sizing, flour, sugar, cereal, fabrics and laundry starch.
Allison Pest Control’s Home Pest Protection Plan can keep your home silverfish free year round.