Silverfish are small insects that look similar to a flattened pill bug. Only these insects have whiskers. They also prefer damp areas, such as basements and crawlspaces. Although they don't bite or sting, they do feed upon starch-filled things. This includes items made of paper, such as books and photo albums, along with other textiles. They can be a real pest if they invade your home, but there are ways to get rid of them.
1. Lower the Air Moisture
If you remove much of the damp in an area, silverfish will leave on their own. This is because they can't survive if it is too dry. This may mean adding ventilation, running a dehumidifier, or even waterproofing moist areas like basements. If you have a lot of silverfish around plumbing fixtures, such as in an under-sink cabinet, verify that there are no leaks that could be creating the preferred moist environment.
2. Seal Up Food Sources
Any item, like old books and magazines, that can provide food for the silverfish should be sealed up so the pests can't access it. If you have these pests, avoid storing items in cardboard boxes, for example. Instead, place old books and scrapbooks in plastic storage tubs with tight lids. Dispose of paper clutter and old newspapers properly, as well. Make sure all food, particularly starchy dried foods, is in airtight storage containers. The fewer food sources, the less likely silverfish are to invade.
3. Put Up a Barricade
Silverfish can't walk safely across diatomaceous earth, which is a human and pet safe dust made from the fossilized remains of sea-dwelling diatoms. The sharp edges of the fine powder scratch up the silverfish and kills them. You can keep new silverfish from making their way into your home by sprinkling a barrier of diatomaceous earth around the perimeter of your home. Reapply periodically as it washes away.
4. Install Traps
Baited sticky traps designed for silverfish can be used to both monitor for infestations and control active infestations. A pest control service will place the traps in areas most likely to attract the silverfish. They will need to be checked and changed out regularly.
5. Spray Infested Areas
If the infestation is severe, you can have your property chemically treated for silverfish. The service will target the spray to areas where silverfish tend to hide, nest, and feed so that only the pests will be affected.
Contact a pest control service if trapping or spraying is necessary to remove these pests permanently from your home. A pest control service can provide more information.