There is lots to love about spring — flowers and trees bloom, rain subsides, temperatures rise, and the days are wonderfully long. But at Northwest Pest Control we see the other side of spring, the one that isn’t so inviting. This time of year brings out the bugs that had disappeared during the long, cold, winter. Pests are just about everywhere, and for some, that means even inside your home or business.
Most of us are familiar with ants, flies, and spiders that crawl or fly about from ground to sky, but one of the lesser-known pests is the silverfish. While its name makes it sound like something of beauty we believe it’s a bug only an entomologist could love. The silverfish gets its name from its silvery, shiny, scale-like body and from the way it wiggles as it moves much like a fish swimming. Spring and summer are the prime seasons for this pest as they, like many of us, prefer temperatures of at least 70 degrees. They are nocturnal, which may be why they aren’t as well-known as ants or termites, but they are hardy, living up to three years and they can survive for weeks without food or water. And because they prefer their air to have just a hint of humidity, our dry summers can lead them indoors to those steamy bathrooms, or damp attics.
The problem with silverfish is that they have an appetite for paper, dry goods, and clothes. A particular treat for silverfish is the glue found in bookbindings and even in wallpaper. Once they find a food source, they tend to stick close to it—why travel if you don’t have to? With this knowledge, it’s easy to see how a silverfish infestation can cause much damage.
The good news is that silverfish prefer to live outdoors, and in the Northwest summer who can blame them? They find their way inside generally by mistake, being carried in on an Amazon or UPS box they had been nibbling or having taken a wrong turn when leaving that stack of paper in your garage that’s ready for recycling. Tired of eating, they may creep through a crack or crevice around your doors or windows in search of warmer air and maybe a different food source.
Prevention is possible. As with any pests, sealing off gaps around windows and doors is an easy and effective solution to keeping them outside. For silverfish, avoid keeping stacks of paper in humid areas like basements or attics. Bulk food items are another food source so keep things like cereal and flour in sealed containers. Regular vacuuming of carpets and upholstery can also keep these little pests away. And while you’re cleaning your house, consider using products with citrus or lavender oils as there’s some evidence silverfish are repelled by these scents.
If despite your best efforts you are seeing signs of silverfish, like small holes in your clothes or magazines accompanied by droppings, it may be time to call in the professionals at Northwest Pest Control. Silverfish can’t slip away from us and we’ll have you pest free in no time.