How to Get Rid of Silverfish

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How to Get Rid of Silverfish Before They Eat Your Belongings

People worry about fire, flood, and vandalism causing damage to their cherished items. Those are valid concerns, and those worries keep insurance companies in business. You may be less familiar with how devastating silverfish can be when it comes to artwork, books, photographs, and other belongings.

Improper storage techniques can encourage this particular type of insect infestation and lead to the total destruction of the items you boxed up and tossed into the basement. Silverfish cause damage to a wide range of items we all store in our basements and garages. Read on to learn more about silverfish and how to get rid of them before they eat your belongings.

What are Silverfish?

Silverfish are wingless insects about a half-inch long that come in various shades of silver and are common to households. With two long antenna up front and three long prongs coming off their back end, silverfish can look creepy crawling across your basement floor. The good news is that silverfish pose no real threat to people or pets. However, those with asthma or severe allergies can experience respiratory irritation if they are close to silverfish for long periods of time.

What Do Silverfish Eat?

Silverfish will eat any materials that contain starch. That means they will happily eat your:

  • Paper products
  • Wallpaper
  • Plaster
  • Books, including the glue holding them together
  • Fabrics
  • Carpet
  • Flour- and sugar-based food products
  • Pet food
  • And much more

Paper and wet wood are two favorite food sources for silverfish, so don’t keep stacks of newspapers around the house. Don’t stack firewood close to your house. Also, don’t store books in the attic or basement. Keep them on bookshelves in your living spaces, and dust them regularly.

TEX Recovery Technologies can restore many types of damaged belongings – click to learn more.

How to Get Rid of Silverfish

To get rid of silverfish you need to lower the humidity level of your home and work to remove food sources. They like dark, damp environments, so check for plumbing leaks and run a dehumidifier. Wipe up crumbs immediately and keep trash and clutter from piling up. When silverfish find food is less plentiful, they will move along or die off.

Diatomaceous earth is a talc-like powder that is an effective, pet safe, eco-friendly insecticide for many bugs, including silverfish. It works by absorbing fats and oils out of the bugs’ exoskeletons, thereby dehydrating and killing them. To use diatomaceous earth, simply apply a light layer on any surfaces you think pests may inhabit. It can help you safely get rid of silverfish, cockroaches, bed bugs, spiders, crickets, and many other bugs.

In order for diatomaceous earth to work, silverfish have to walk through it. Traps provide a good secondary layer of protection by capturing silverfish already in your house. Most hardware store traps work well, but DIY traps are easy to make.

Here’s how to craft your own silverfish traps out of common household items:

  1. Put a piece of bread at the bottom of a glass jar.
  2. Wrap the jar in masking tape.
  3. Place the jar in a dark, damp corner of your house you suspect may harbor silverfish.
  4. Monitor the trap and empty as necessary. Silverfish can climb in, thanks to the masking tape, but then they can’t climb out because of the inner glass surface.

Let TEX Repair Your Items After Silverfish Infestation

TEX Recovery Technologies helps homeowners remedy insect damage to antique books, tapestries, artwork, photographs, and more. We can help you restore your items after a flood, fire, or silverfish infestation. Call TEX at 800-227-0796 to talk to one of our restoration experts.

Have insects damaged your electronic devices? Electronic Restoration Services can fix them.