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Houston Pest Guide: Silverfish

An image of a silverfish

Silverfish are smallish, blue-gray insects with a carrot-shaped body and long, protruding antennae and legs. Silverfish thrive in areas of high humidity, so Houston is an ideal habitat for them. They are found in damp, dark environments and are almost exclusively active at night.

Are Silverfish Dangerous?

They're not dangerous insects, they don't carry diseases, but they can be a considerable nuisance because of their property-destroying diet. Silverfish will feast on nearly anything containing starch, including books, photographs, paper, wallpaper, and sometimes even clothing.

Silverfish leave small, uneven holes in the items they feast on. When dining on books or photographs, the damage is often seen as small, white blotches. Silverfish are also very fond of the glue used to bind many books and can consume enough of it to severely damage books.

How Do I know If I have a Silverfish Problem?

Seeing Silverfish or seeing the damage they have caused is usually how you know it you have a silverfish problem. A homeowner's first interaction with silverfish is usually seeing them scurry away in at night when light switch is turned on.

Silverfish live in dark areas, such as wall voids or in cracks or crevices. They normally only come out to feed or mate at night, and they will usually flee light.

They live in areas where damp can collect. These are usually areas such as basements, under kitchen sinks and refrigerators, and in bathrooms. However, in Houston’s high-humidity climate they can thrive throughout the home.

Silverfish are resilient and can live for more than a year without eating. This means that even eliminating food sources from an infected area may not eliminate them from your home.

How Do I Get Rid of Silverfish?

Silverfish are a nuisance pest, and controlling them can be difficult. Silverfish are highly elusive, and their nests are almost always in very difficult to reach places. Over-the-counter traps, baits, and insecticides will kill individual insects, but are generally ineffective at eliminating an entire colony.

Silverfish mate in pairs and don't have a single egg-laying queen. This means that eliminating an infestation means eliminating all the individuals, as even a single surviving breeding pair over time will reestablish the infestation to its full strength.

Silverfish are prolific in Houston, and ridding your home entirely of silverfish may require professional pest control. Although they are not dangerous, if allowed to proliferate silverfish can do a significant amount of damage to your personal property.If you have a silverfish problem, give Bulls Eye a call at 713-222-PEST (7378) and we'll be happy to come out and see you. Wherever you are in Houston, whatever's bugging you, we'll be there.

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