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Handling Silverfish in the Home

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Although they are not really harmful to human health, like mosquitoes, silverfish are unpleasant creatures to discover in your home. They don't cause much damage but simply consume dust from dead skin, glue and cardboard. Silverfish like dark and dank places, so you tend to notice them around plumbing. They feed at night and are surprisingly fast for small insects. If you see one in your home, then you probably have many more hidden away out of sight.

Types of Silverfish

There are approaching 400 different species of silverfish to have been discovered and identified around the world, split into four distinct family groups. Of these, just two are native to Australia which accounts for some 28 different species. The two Australian families differ from others found around the globe because of their eyes. The Oletiidae family of silverfish have no eyes at all while the Lepismatidae family possess very diminutive compound eyes. It should be quite easy for you to spot, therefore, if you have a domestic silverfish in your home or one that has entered the country perhaps within a visitor's suitcase. Either way, here is what you need to do to get rid of them.

Getting Rid of a Silverfish Infestation

If you discover sufficient numbers of silverfish in your home, then it's best to call in a professional pest control contractor to get rid of them for you. This can be much more efficient than doing battle with large numbers of a breeding population for months on end, seemingly getting nowhere. On the other hand, if you think they are new arrivals, then you can take measures yourself before their numbers get out of control.

A good idea is to create food traps. A jam jar with a foodstuff inside that is full of carbohydrates — like bread — will attract them and they'll fall in. To prevent escape, line the inside of the jar's neck with double-sided sticky tape which they cannot climb over. Fly tape is also a good idea if you place it near starchy bait. Cedar oil is another good material to use. Silverfish are reputed to be put off by its fragrance and may move on if you use it in their preferred habitat.

Preventing Their Return

Keep your home devoid of moisture so deal with leaky pipes and run a dehumidifier to dry the air out. Keep foods like cereals in sealed containers, not boxes, and get rid of old newspapers and cardboard boxes where they might also find food. Vacuum your home on a regular basis to also help keep your home clear of silverfish down the line.