A Comprehensive Guide To Effective Silverfish Control In Yakima County

Do you remember the first time you looked through a microscope in science class? You probably saw jelly-like amoebas, algae, or animal cells moving in the fluid on the little glass slide underneath the microscope lens. You may recall how amazing it was to discover a different world unseen to the naked eye.

Underneath your feet, living in the crawl space and basement is an entirely different universe. Most of the creatures under your feet are unseen without magnification. However, if you get lucky enough to catch a glimpse, others are observable with the naked eye. Silverfish is one creature that tends to live tucked away in the dark recesses of your crawl space or basement that you may see for a split second when investigating those areas. 

You may not see these insects, but they can cause damage inside your Yakima house. If you suspect silverfish live in your home, you need the best pest control in Yakima County, Prosite. We know where to find these elusive creatures and how to eradicate them before they cause any more problems in your house. If you are unsure your problem is silverfish, please read this article and see if what you experience may be from these mysterious creatures. 

What Is The Purpose Of Silverfish?

When you see corn, you know that plant exists to provide food, but when you notice the silverfish insect, you may wonder why it exists. Are these silver to brown 3/4 inch wiggly insects a mistake of nature? After all, silverfish look like weird insects but move like fish! 

Silverfish have been on the planet for 400 million years, according to the fossil record, but that still does not explain why they exist. These lobster-like creatures maintain balance in the ecosystem by consuming moss, fungi, algae, and lichens in high-moisture areas; they also eat parts of dead plants and insects. 

Fungi emit an odor that attracts subterranean termites to damp wood. In the spring, mature colonies in rotten tree stumps dispatch flying reproductive termites to create satellite colonies. When the termites smell the fungal odor, they land, discard their wings, and begin a nest in the moist wood. Over the next few years, the termite colony grows to tens of thousands of workers that constantly chew on the wood for food. Termite-infested wood in a crawl space or basement eventually weakens and causes sagging floors and collapsing structures. Drywood termite-infested wood in an attic can eventually cause sagging ceilings, warping door and window frames, and other problems. When silverfish eat fungi in the crawl space, they help deter termites from creating colonies. 

While silverfish may control fungal growth and reduce the attraction for drywood and subterranean termites, silverfish also attract predators. Centipedes, spiders, and earwigs eat silverfish, so an infestation of silverfish may increase these insects in your house. Although these pests avoid humans, centipedes and spiders may bite if threatened, and earwigs may pinch a perceived attacker. The pinch and bites from most of these insects cause only a slightly painful wound, if any at all. However, a bite from a black widow spider is a different story. Black widows are in the Yakima area, and a wound from a black widow can increase blood pressure, fever, sweating, and nausea.

Partnering with Prosite is the best way to get rid of silverfish and avoid attracting potentially dangerous spiders. 

The Problems Silverfish Can Create In Your Home

Here is some good news: silverfish are not known to spread disease. Unlike cockroaches and other insects that invade Yakima homes and spread disease, the presence of silverfish is not dangerous to your health. However, that does not mean that silverfish are not a problem for homeowners. 

Silverfish are a nuisance pest that can damage the contents inside your Yakima house, but since they are elusive and lurk in the shadows, how do you know they are in your Yakima home? When you suspect silverfish in the house, begin your search in the basement, attic, bathrooms, and other high-moisture areas. Focus on areas where the temperature stays between 70℉ and 80℉.

If you see these signs, it is a good indication that you have silverfish bugs in the house:

  • Holes in clothing, rugs, and wallpaper
  • Notches along the edge of books
  • Etchings on surfaces
  • Yellow stains on books, clothing, and wallpaper
  • Discarded scales from molting silverfish
  • Black pepper-like fecal pellets

Silverfish damage the items listed above because they contain carbohydrates and protein from plant-based sources. Glue and paste are the reason these wingless insects chew on bookbindings and wallpaper; the starch is why they attack cotton, linen, and rayon fabric in clothing, rugs, and drapes. 

Another reason you need to get rid of silverfish is that they chew holes in photographs. Although we live in the age of digital photography, many of us still have photo albums of precious memories in our houses, and you do not want silverfish to ruin your pictures. 

Silverfish live in the crawl space, basement, underneath wood shingles, behind furniture, behind books, near sinks, and along the window and door frames. Although these areas may not necessarily be filthy with rotting trash, they are not sanitary locations. The six-legged creatures attract bacteria to their feet that they transfer to eating surfaces and exposed food products as they travel across them at night and contaminate them. Sugar, flour, and cereals are another attraction for silverfish, and they create holes in the packaging as they attempt to get to the food inside. 

Silverfish can be a nuisance in any Yakima house, but they are particularly prevalent in homes with a shake roof due to the abundance of insects, cellulose, humidity, and starch. Silverfish are excellent climbers, and during the warm months, they ascend onto roofs and breed underneath the moist wood shingles. In Yakima homes with shake roofs, it is not uncommon to see silverfish fall from skylights, ceiling soffits, and canister lights.  

If you see these silverfish infestation signs in your Yakima home, contact Prosite before they ruin more clothing, rugs, books, and other items in your house. 

Five Naturally Effective Silverfish Prevention Tips

Although they are not dangerous, no one wants silverfish dropping from skylights or ruining clothing, photographs, or books. So, the question is, what are the best ways for silverfish prevention in your Yakima house? Here are five things you can do to keep silverfish out of your home: 

  1. Seal foundation cracks and gaps
  2. Cover crawl space and attic vents
  3. Provide ventilation to humid areas
  4. Store unused books, magazines, and clothing in air-tight containers
  5. Transfer dry goods into sealable glass or thick-plastic containers

Like other insects, silverfish are comfortable living outside underneath logs, rocks, leaf litter, and yard debris and only enter Yakima houses due to a season of hot, dry weather. When the area becomes dry, these carrot-shaped creatures look for openings into dark crawl spaces, attics, and basements through cracks, gaps between incoming pipes and wires, and vents. Once these flat-bodied insects enter a house, they may migrate into living areas where they remain hidden during the day and venture out only when it is dark. To prevent the entry of silverfish into your house, seal entry points with caulk, wire mesh, or appropriate building material. 

Silverfish require high moisture to survive. Installing a dehumidifier or additional vents to increase airflow reduces dampness underneath the house and in bathrooms. Maintaining a dry environment underneath and inside your Yakima house will discourage silverfish from remaining inside your location. 

Because organic plant material in fabric, glue, paper packaging, books, and wallpaper attracts silverfish, storing old books, magazines, and clothing in air-tight containers will help deter them from staying in your house. Since rolled oats, cereals, grains, and dried meat also attract silverfish, transfer those products from their paper containers into a sealable glass or thick plastic receptacle. 

Applying these five steps in addition to the other recommendations will help with silverfish control, but the ultimate solution is to use our highly trained technicians from Prosite. 

The Trick To Getting Rid Of Silverfish

When silverfish enter a house, they begin to reproduce. A female silverfish lays over 100 eggs in her lifetime. Within three weeks after laying eggs, the eggs hatch, and within four to six weeks, they reach adulthood and begin reproducing. When one considers that silverfish live for two to eight years, one can see how a few can quickly result in a silverfish infestation. 

Although the prevention tips and information listed above will prevent a future silverfish invasion, they only work after Prosite eradicates the current problem. When you schedule an inspection, one of our trained technicians will thoroughly investigate your house to determine if silverfish are the source of the damage. We will identify entry points, hot spots, and attractants that allure silverfish into your home. Using the information from the inspection, we create a strategic plan to eradicate silverfish using pest control products that protect people and pets and are environmentally conscious.

Contact us today to get your free consultation and learn which pest control plan is best for your needs.

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