Silverfish, also known as fishmoth, is a blue pest that has no wings and looks like a fish. It's called a silverfish or a fishmoth because its movements are the same as that of a small fish. If you don't get rid of silverfish, it won’t be too long until they destroy your textiles, tapestries and books. Deal with it with the help of these tips below:
Silverfish or Firebrats? - Getting rid of silverfish requires you to determine whether what you are seeing is actually silverfish or just firebrats. You need to know first about the color of silverfish. Their color ranges from gray to green. They stay in an area where the temperature is around 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Firebrats, on the other hand, like places where the temperature is around 100 degrees Fahrenheit and they can be seen as either white or black insects.
Target Sources -- A way to literally “work” on getting rid of silverfish is to deal with their sources. Silverfish live in moist areas. In your house, moisture is high in places where water is present, like in piles of mulch, piles of leaves, attics, kitchens, bathrooms, leaks and sinks. Silverfish also thrive in books, bookshelves, water heaters, stoves and laundry rooms, because they like it in places where the humidity level is high.
Since these these creatures can be controlled through moisture reduction, you must try to reduce moisture at home. Fix everything that leaks. It's best to use silicone caulk in infested areas to cover cracks (Tips on how to use silicone caulk). You can also install a desiccant and use humidifiers inside the house. Silverfish don't survive in dry environments. Even firebrats die from excessive dryness.
Where to Find the Pests -- It is easy to tell where silverfish are, because they are always near some food. You can catch them in starches, sugars and protein. Starch is a silverfish favorite, so watch your stock carefully. You can also find silverfish in synthetic fibers, cereals, silk, starched fabrics, wallpaper pastes and glues. If you think a specific part of the house is infested, then clean that part thoroughly before silverfish can damage your stuff.
Signs that silverfish had fed on something include notches, holes and scrapings with irregular shapes. Usually, you will see these marks on wallpaper because silverfish try to get the paste. You will also notice yellow stains on your shirts, pants and any type of fabric.
Poisons – When killing silverfish, you can't go wrong with poison. Borax, diatomaceous earth and insecticidal dusts work wonders. Use these substances on crawlspaces and inside walls. Don't forget to apply some behind your appliances, furniture and other parts of the house where silverfish thrive. Do not skip leaks and cracks. After applying or spraying some of these substances to your target location, make sure you don't inhale them. Even your pets and children should be kept away from these substances.
Silverfish on Books -- If your books are among your priceless possessions, you must take care of them because silverfish are prone to ruining them. To deal with this problem, put your books in a ziplock bag with some desiccant. Store the books inside your freezer for three days. The temperature will kill both silverfish and firebrats.
Sometimes, silverfish also damage your book case. If this happens, spread diatomaceous earth at the back of the books when you display them on your book shelves. Diatomaceous earth help kill firebrats, silverfish and other insects that feed on paper. It also lowers the level of moisture in your books.
Roach Traps – Sticky roach traps have always been useful and efficient when it comes to trapping firebrats and silverfish. Since you cannot make a sticky roach trap yourself, visit your local hardware store and purchase one. If not, you can always search on the Internet. Find online shops that sell this product. Pay for the item through credit card or money transfer and then wait for your sticky roach traps to be delivered right to your doorstep.
Jar Trap – Aside from a paper trap, you can also make a jar trap. You don’t need to buy an expensive trap since it's easy to make one yourself. First, scrub a canning jar and make sure it's squeaky clean. After this, cover the outside using masking tape. This will make it easier for the silverfish to climb.
Place your home-made jar trap in the infested area. Once the silverfish climb up the jar, they will all fall inside it. Since the interiors of the trap jar are smooth, the silverfish will not be able to climb out and escape. You can also use starchy food items and moist cotton as bait, but these aren't necessary.
Bait -- If you find it extremely difficult and almost impossible to determine where the center of infestation is, install bait. You can make it yourself instead of purchasing. With a soft brush, water, flour, index cards, a bowl and the proper methods to create bait, you will capture silverfish easily.
Pour a cup of water into a bowl and add flour to create a paste. Make sure the paste is as sticky as your thin paint. Use the paste to coat the two sides of the index cards. Once the index cards are dry, put them in places where silverfish appear frequently. These creatures will get trapped by the starchy coating on the index cards. Silverfish are attracted to such material and will eat the paper. You know that they have touched your bait if, after a week, you see signs of feeding on the paper like notched edges and scrapings with no regular shape.
Whatever method you choose to get rid of silverfish, make sure you're not feeding these pests. Making silverfish healthier means creating more damage inside your house without you noticing it.
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