Have you ever seen a tiny insect that moves quickly in your bathroom? It's probably a silverfish. Find out what it looks like, what attracts it and how to eliminate it.
What is a silverfish?
Silverfish are nocturnal insects that dwell in damp locations. They move very quickly and hide in the various little cracks they find in our homes. They are often found in bathrooms and kitchens, where moisture rates are higher. You might also see silverfish in other places around the home, such as in attics, basements, crevices and inside walls.
Essentially, silverfish feed on starch, dead insects, food scraps, glue, flour, pasta, wallpaper and paper. They can live for several weeks without food and water and are considered as pests because they can cause damage to your personal belongings.
Silverfish usually get into our homes by travelling on foods, furniture, old books, paper and old clothes.
What do silverfish look like?
Silverfish bear this name because they are covered with shiny silvery scales.
You can also identify them by the two long, fine antennae on their head as well as the three rigid and long carrot-shaped filaments at the tip of their abdomen. Note that silverfish have no wings. When they reach maturity, they are about 1 cm in length.
Silverfish are often mistaken for firebrats, which are very similar. However, the body of firebrats isn't shiny, and they are grey or brown in colour with stripes of dark-coloured scales.
Preventing and eliminating silverfish
Here are a few things to check for when you notice the presence of silverfish:
- Clean the house thoroughly and vacuum behind furniture and appliances.
- Clean cupboards on a regular basis, as well as drawers and the pantry.
- Insulate pipes that show signs of condensation.
- Repair any leaking faucets.
- Keep the surface of counters clean.
- Control moisture rates in the house by checking your ventilation system.
- Use a dehumidifier to keep moisture rates below 40%.