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What Are Silverfish? 

Silverfish, or bristle-tails as they are commonly called, are unique-looking insects that are hard to misidentify! These insects are pearl gray, have long antennae, and metallic scales cover their tear-drop-shaped bodies. At the end of the body are three long tail-like appendages. Silverfish may be wingless, but they can move quickly across surfaces using a wiggling or fish-like movement. Silverfish are insects with high moisture needs and can adapt to living either indoors or outdoors. 

silverfish on a white surfaces

Are Silverfish Dangerous?

Silverfish are nuisance pests because they don’t bite or sting, nor do they pass diseases to people that make us seriously ill. But, these pests are annoying and damaging. Their quick movements startle people, and their appearance often causes people to become frightened. 

When silverfish decide to make themselves at home in our Florida homes, they cause damage to many things we all have in our homes, including clothing, papers, wallpaper, carpets, upholstered furniture, and dry goods stored in pantry areas. 

Another important fact about silverfish is that they are attracted to areas with a lot of excess moisture. Having silverfish in your home could indicate an underlying moisture problem in or around your house that needs repair. 

Why Do I Have A Silverfish Problem?

The humidity that Florida is well-known for allows many pests to thrive, including silverfish. Silverfish often live outside in flowerbeds or gardens or under things like trash cans and recycling bins, putting them close to our homes. It is very common for these pests to move into our structures, searching for areas of moisture or food sources. Spaces under doors, cracks in the foundation, and gaps around wires and cables are common entry points for these pests. 

In addition to moving into our structures on their own, they also get inside in things like cardboard boxes, potted plants, buckets, newspapers, wood, and other items that were previously stored outside. When we then bring those items into our homes, we also bring silverfish with them. 

Where Will I Find Silverfish?

When silverfish move into a structure, they move to areas that will meet their moisture requirements. If silverfish are in your home, the following areas are where you are likely to discover them.

  • Kitchens

  • Bathrooms

  • Laundry rooms

  • Utility rooms

  • Crawl spaces

  • Cabinets under sinks

  • Wall voids near leaky pipes

  • Cardboard boxes and areas of clutter

How Do I Get Rid Of Silverfish?

At Native Pest Management, we understand how unsettling it can be to have silverfish living in your home. To help you maintain a house free of silverfish and other household pests, we offer customized pest control services that we perform on a routine basis. If silverfish have become a problem in your home, contact Native Pest Management. We will be happy to work with you to eliminate these pests from your property. Call today to learn more about our effective residential or commercial pest control services!

How Can I Prevent Silverfish In The Future?

Implementing the following prevention tips will help keep silverfish out of your West Palm Beach home:

  • Avoid problems with silverfish by sealing cracks in your foundation, filling in spaces around pipes and wires entering your home, and covering vents and drains.

  • Create a crushed stone barrier between any mulch or soil and your foundation.

  • Keep landscaping plants cut back from your home’s exterior to allow the sun to hit the ground around your foundation and keep it dry.

  • Store trash cans and recycling bins up off the ground and away from the outside perimeter of your house. 

  • Regularly vacuum your home to get rid of hair, dust, and dry skin that silverfish like to feed on.

  • Store dry goods in hard-sided containers with airtight lids.

  • Use dehumidifiers to keep your home free of excess moisture.

  • Repair leaky pipes and fixtures.

  • Make sure bathrooms, kitchens, and crawl spaces are well-ventilated.


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