If you’ve found a silverfish bug in your home, it’s not just in for a visit; that one and others most likely are living there with you. Great, right? But hey, set worry aside because these bugs are pretty easy to get rid of with a little patience and the right remedy put in place.
Covered below is the “all-you-need-to-know” lowdown on this insect. You’ll learn a little bit more about what a silverfish bug is (don’t worry, nothing too gross – you surely already know about that part!), and what to do to make these guys vanish, along with some tips to keep them from coming back.
What is a silverfish bug?
If you haven’t already confirmed it, a silverfish (or fishmoth) is wingless insect that gets its household name from its appearance. With its metallic gray (silver) body that tapers from head to tail, a silverfish slithers across surfaces in speedy steps and quick turns – like a fish under water. They are nocturnal, and you’ll usually find them hiding under objects if they aren’t already crawling around the floor in plain site.
What do they eat? Carbohydrates. Starch and fiber are their food of choice, and nothing is better than cardboard, starchy foods and powders, paper, cotton and most linens besides wool and fur. This is why you often find them in your kitchen hanging out in old grain and cereal or cake mixture boxes. To boot, they also prefer environments with higher humidity and lots of dark places to hide, making the kitchen a great habitat. Bathrooms, basements, crawlspaces and attics also provide ideal climates for silverfish.
These little bugs are pretty much harmless to us humans and our pets. They aren’t known to be carriers of harmful diseases. They will pretty much leave us alone, although some have reported silverfish bites. Interestingly enough, silverfish bugs have relatively long life spans, ranging from a couple years to five or more. They lay eggs, which of course can hatch dozens of new generations. Babies are smaller and a brighter gray, darkening a little and taking on a shine as they mature.
Dekko Silverfish Bait
How to get rid of silverfish insects
Believe it or not, the predators of silverfish bugs are spiders and earwigs. Just get a few more spiders to solve your problem, right? Fortunately, there is an easier, more dependable and permanent way to go about it.
The best approach to say goodbye to silverfish is to lay out a bait made specifically for this type of bug. Something that attracts them and kills them once they consume it. A company called Dekko has created bait packs just for silverfish. You simply place these small packs around where you see the most silver fish, give it some time, and the problem goes away in most cases. This is much better than spraying or spreading poisons like gels or boric acid dust, which can end up getting in places you don’t want, especially when you’re dealing with food areas. It’s also pretty economical as compared to other, riskier controls or expensive exterminators.
How to use the bait packs:
The following is a great list of steps and tips on how to best use this product. Additionally, always follow directions included to help give you the best chance for your situation.
- Place silverfish bait packs in closets, drawers, bookcases, basements, pantries, kitchen cabinets and so on; anywhere you see silverfish bugs. Dekko sells these in boxes of 24 packs; and so for best results, place 2-3 in each area, not just one. Be sure to space them at least a foot apart, but no more than three feet apart.
- Be creative with your placement if necessary. For example, silverfish like dark, moist places so put some packs behind toilets, bathroom cabinets, under water heaters, washers, near hot water pipes, etc.
- Have patience! One thing users of these packs complain about is that the problem with silverfish in their house didn’t go away quickly. Dekko recommends waiting a few weeks before seeing results such as finding dead ones or seeing fewer; but ultimately, it could realistically take up to six months depending on how many you have or how easy it is for these bugs to enter your home.
- Your treatments should include a long-term maintenance plan of both using the treatment and a plan to prevent sliverfish bugs in your house.
- While the poison in these packs is not highly toxic to humans, by all means do not make these easily accessible to small children and pets. If necessary, you can tape packs to the backs of toilets or to the tops of cabinets to get them out of reach of little ones.
- Replace packs over time, especially if it’s taking more than a few months to rid your home of silverfish.
- Some people report this product will take care of small infestations only. If you have a big problem, it may require a major clean-up of your home first (throw away old food in cabinets, recycle old newspapers, magazines and books, take care of moisture leaks or excessive humidity, do a deep cleaning of all surfaces, etc.) In other words, don’t expect these to solve really large infestations where there are bigger things at play than just a few munchies for these bugs laying around your house.
- You’ll know your treatment is working if you start to see dead silverfish. Keep in mind you may not end up finding dead ones, but rather just noticing them disappear over time.
- Dekko has great customer service and is there to help you if you have specific questions or are having trouble using their product with success. If all else fails, they will even give you your money back, but it’s good to know you can work with them first before giving up.
The best ways for keeping silverfish from coming inside in the first place is to seal things up, remove or at least make food sources hard to reach. You have to find a balance, since you can’t take the “bubble boy” approach to everything in your home. Here are few tips to keep in mind, which can help reduce the potential of getting these bugs in the first place.
- Use the Dekko silverfish traps described above early on. Don’t wait until you see dozens of these bugs; start treating your home after you see only a couple. This way, you can actually stop any real infestation threat.
- Since these bugs thrive on paper and clothing products, check what you’re storing in damp basements or attics. Don’t use cardboard boxes for your old books, files or clothing. If you’re hanging on to this stuff, it must be important to you, so invest in some plastic tubs or containers with snap-on lids. Not only are they easily stackable and last longer, you can seal them up better and keep out silverfish. If you have to, get more organized to make this happen. Consolidate these items in containers and keep them safe. You can even use these containers in closets for linens, towels and clothing you don’t use as often.
- Silverfish bugs also like wallpaper and even the paste that sticks wallpaper to the wall. Keep areas where you have wallpaper dry and treat by laying packs along baseboards for these walls.
- Watch for what comes into your home from deliveries. Without realizing it, you could be bringing silverfish into your house inside packing materials and/or cardboard boxes that may have just come from dark, damp warehouses. Check all packaging carefully and throw it away or recycle it as soon as possible.
- As with keeping out any insect, try to seal cracks and gaps around baseboards, plumbing and windows. It’s the first way in for many critters like silverfish bugs to get in.