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Silverfish- What are they and how to keep them away from your London property

Silverfish- What Are They And How To Keep Them Away From Your London Property

Have you noticed lately in your London property tiny fish-looking insects that are silver in colour and have several legs that suddenly jumped out of your wardrobe or bookshelves? That’s a silverfish.
Nowhere near a fish, but it’s called Silverfish because they pretty much look like one. This little bug may appear harmless to humans, but you need to know that silverfish aren't only an inconvenience but their damages can also be costly.

What Are Silverfish?

Silverfish are thought to be one of the oldest insects in the world. Many scientists think that they were around 100 million years before dinosaurs roamed the earth.
This means silverfish have survived for about 400 million years. These prehistoric insects are typically shiny grey or silver and can be anywhere from one-half inch to one inch long.
Far from most other insects, silverfish shed their skins throughout their adult lives. Silverfish are also active at night, which is why they can freak us out when we are reaching for that bedtime book or heading to the bathroom to brush our teeth.

Nuisances In Numbers

Believe it or not, silverfish can invade your London home in large numbers.  As members of the crustacean family, these insects are highly attracted to humid, damp environments. This is the reason why they can be mainly noticed in bathrooms and basements.
While these pests do not necessarily transmit bacteria or diseases like other pests, silverfish can be a severe nuisance because of their large numbers. They will search through your home for any starchy food sources, which is their main source of sustenance.
This often includes stored, dry food such as cereals and pasta, decaying matter in the soil, or even paper products around your house. Silverfish have been known to chew on the wallpaper, toilet paper, and cardboard in many London homes. Anything stored in a cardboard box will be at risk of a silverfish infestation.
Silverfish Life Cycle
Silverfish go through gradual metamorphosis, meaning that their immature stages look very similar to adult stages, but they lack the ability to reproduce. In fact, a female silverfish can lay about 100 eggs in her lifetime. Silverfish eggs are very small, white, and oval-shaped, and are typically laid in small cracks or crevices or under stones or leaf litter. After the silverfish eggs hatch, the young silverfish are called nymphs.
They are small and white but look and behave very similar to adults. They will soon start to shed their skin or moult, as they develop. During their lifetime (generally 2-3 years) they may moult up to 18-70 times. This is significantly more than the majority of other insects. These cast-off skins can contribute to allergies because they can get into the air and be breathed in.
Silverfish Infestation
Having a silverfish infestation in London can be a pain in the lower posterior. These pesky pests are very good at hiding and sometimes it can be really difficult to notice them, especially when you don’t know what to look for. The most common signs of silverfish infestation include:
  • Seeing Live Silverfish - Since they are nocturnal creatures, you may not see them often, but that doesn’t mean they are not around your London property. However, spotting a silverfish does not guarantee an infestation, but it should be cause for a more thorough inspection.

  •  Shed Skin - As we previously mentioned, silverfish shed their skin throughout their life cycle. Their outer shells might be small and delicate, but with the proper examination, they can be another important clue to a possible infestation.

  •  Yellow stains or Dust - If you do not notice the actual skins, you may notice yellowish dust that is left on surfaces as they moult. Yellow stains in books, papers, and cardboard boxes can also state that silverfish have been there recently.

  •  Silverfish Droppings - Silverfish droppings are fairly unique, so they can be used to help identify their presence. The silverfish droppings are small, black peppercorns and are found in areas where silverfish frequent like bathrooms, basements, garages, lofts and storage areas. Without a careful examination, these droppings might be easily missed.

  • Damages - The easiest and most usual way that people stumble upon silverfish infestations is by discovering damage that they have caused. Silverfish are well known for their love to eat carbohydrates like sugars, starches, papers, book bindings, adhesives, wallpaper, and even linens. If you notice several holes chewed through items like these, you might be dealing with a silverfish problem.

How to prevent Silverfish Infestation In Your London Home

If your London property is infested with silverfish or if you are looking to help prevent a silverfish infestation, try these techniques:

  • Reducing the moisture in your London property
The first thing is to repair any leaky pipes and faucets. Use a dehumidifier in damp areas to help reduce water condensation and humidity, and use a ventilation fan when you take a shower or are cooking. Keep gutters and downspouts free of debris, and grade your landscaping so water drains away from your house.

  • Remove Silverfish Food Sources
Keep your cereal, pasta, flour and pet food in plastic containers.

  • Eliminate any potential entry points
Limit access to your London home by using caulk to seal cracks and crevices under and behind skirting boards, around windows and door trim. Don't forget to seal any holes in walls and floors where pipes are passing.

Does Professional Pest Control London Help With Silverfish?
Professional pest control is the absolute best way to handle silverfish infestation. Do not hesitate to get our team involved if you think these pests are crawling around inside your London home. At Archers Pest Control, we work fast to identify, eliminate, and control problematic area pests and would be happy to put our experience to work for you. Contact our team today to learn more about our home pest control methods and find a time to have your home treated for silverfish.

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