The inch-long silvery insect that skittles out of sight as soon as you turn on the bathroom light is the silverfish. It is one of the oldest and therefore most successful species of insect with forbearers dating back 400 million years. Despite their distinguished antiquity, it is fine if you think that they are creepy and want them out of your home. Cal Termite and Pest Control will help rid your home of silverfish and any other unwanted guests.
Wingless but a Fast Runner
To survive, a silverfish does not have to be the fastest insect. It just needs to be faster than its predators like spiders and centipedes. However, this inch long critter with the tapered abdomen and fishlike side to side movement is not very quick or good at climbing walls. They are nocturnal and like moisture which explains seeing them when you turn on the bathroom light at night. The silverfish is also long-lived for the insect world, often living for as long as eight years.
The scales of the silverfish are gray but shiny, which creates their silvery appearance in the light. They wiggle side to side as they run which resembles the movement of a fish. At the end of their tail are two extensions called cerci and a central filament creating the look of a pitchfork.
Silverfish dine on starches on sugars. Plain sugar is just fine, thank you, but this insect has enzymes in its gut that let it break down the starches in book bindings, paper, plaster, photographs, even clothing. Other sources of nutrition for the silverfish are dead insects, cotton, and leather. These tough little critters can survive for a year on just water if food is not available!
Silverfish do not carry any diseases or bite people. The damage they do is to household items and it can be very expensive if a large number of them take up residence in your home and start attacking valuable books in the library or expensive clothes in your closet. That is mostly, besides the fact that they look creepy, why we consider them to be pests.
Getting Rid of Silverfish
Cal Termite and Pest Control has been eradicating silverfish from homes in the Ventura area for years. Along the way, we have seen the damage that these creatures can do to family heirlooms and valuable. We have a program to get rid of these pests and keep them away.
The first step is to dust voids in the walls and around cabinets with insecticide. This is where the insect hides during the day. Because they are tiny and able to slip into tiny cracks and crevasses, we carefully inspect and treat all likely hiding places. Using compressed air we treat door jambs, window frames, and baseboards. Because of the thoroughness of our treatment and the potential for toxicity, we will have you and your pets leave the home while treatment takes place. With all of their hiding places treated, the silverfish will be gone from your home and will not return any time soon.