Silverfish (Lespisma saccharina)
Silverfish are small, wingless insects usually measuring 20mm or less in length. They have three tails (or cerci) and their body is covered in tiny silver scales.
- Silver fish do not have wings but are able to run very fast.
- They are extremely common in Ireland and are usually seen in moist, humid areas in the home, such as bathrooms, basements, and attics.
- They feed off molds and starchy materials like cereals, flour, sweet foods, paper, curtains, and wallpaper items. They can also survive by eating human debris such as hair or dead skin.
- They can live up to a year without food, but require an environment of high humidity.
- They move fast and are by nature nocturnal.
These insects are mainly a nuisance pest because they can contaminate food and damage paper goods such as wallpaper and books. They can reproduce quickly by laying up to 60 eggs every day, that they hide in small crevices (making them hard to find and treat).
The vast majority of calls we receive for silverfish treatments are located in Dublin city centre, and apartments rather than houses.
Do you have an issue with silverfish and need help to get rid of them?
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Long-term Prevention – Control Humidity
- One option is to install a dehumidifier in your home.
- Other options are to identify and repair leaky pipes and drains
- Eliminate or repair any moldy/wet wood or walls.
- Improve ventilation in bathroom (e.g. bigger fan)
- Fit an electric fan heater to raise temperature and evaporate condensation in shower room
- Do not use a clothes horse indoors. Rather use a condenser dryer (“A” rated dryers cost less than 30c in electricity per cycle).
- Cracks in skirting boards and walls should be filled to prevent silverfish harbourage
- Refrain from keeping old books and magazines in areas where silverfish are usually found like basements, attics and garages.
- Food items such as flour and sugar should be kept in tight containers.
DIY Treatments - Get Rid of Silverfish Yourself
If you have a small infestation and have already repaired the issues with humidity, you can catch the remaining silverfish using our professional glue traps (non-toxic).
You can also treat the areas yourself to get rid of the remaining silverfish. We recommend spraying the floor/wall junctions with a residual insecticide such as Protector C, as this insect moves along the structure.
Once applied, Protector C is odourless and leaves a residue that kills silverfish for up to 3 months. Click on the picture for more details on Protector C or to buy online.
For more widespread silverfish infestations in wall cavities, attics or under floorboards, you can take further action using some insecticide dust. Diatomaceous Earth such as Desi-Dust is a natural, non-toxic clay that is ideal to use in such areas. If kept dry it will be effective for many months. Dust is also recommended where liquid sprays cannot be used, e.g. behind ovens & refrigerators, at electrical outlets, attic insulation, etc.
Can Silverfish Harm You?
The short answer is NO. They don’t spread disease or bite humans. However, they do damage many things around your home, and especially if they are made of paper. These insects can destroy wallpapers, printing paper and books. This is because of the glue contained in these items that silverfish eat to live.
Contact Owl Pest Control
Do you have a Silverfish problem and need to talk to an expert?
Contact Owl Pest Control today!