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Silverfish Identification & Prevention

What are silverfish?

Silverfish and firebrats are both insects that belong to the order Thysanura and are common invaders inside homes. Both are referred to as bristletails because of the three tail-like appendages that extend off their last abdominal segment. Adult silverfish and firebrats are similar in size, with adults growing to about 3/4 of an inch in length.

a silverfish crawling on a surface inside of a home in winston salem north carolina

Silverfish have silvery-metallic scales covering their grayish-brown bodies. Their antennae are as long as their bodies; firebrats have tufts of brown scales covering their bodies, giving them a mottled appearance, and their antennae are longer than their bodies. In North Carolina and South Carolina, we have several species of silverfish that invade our homes and properties, including the common silverfish, four-lined silverfish, and gray silverfish.

Are silverfish dangerous?

Silverfish are not dangerous pests, as they do not bite, sting, or transmit diseases to people. The main problem with these pests is the damage they cause while feeding; they will damage personal property like clothing, curtains, upholstered furniture, and paper items. They also feed on and contaminate pantry items, including flour, pasta, potatoes, and dried beef.

Why do I have a silverfish problem?

These bristletail insects spend most of their lives living outside in damp, dark places. They often live in garden areas close to the exterior of buildings. If the weather becomes too hot or dry, they seek refuge indoors. Silverfish move inside through spaces under doors and cracks in the foundations of homes and other buildings. These nuisance pests are also introduced inside accidentally in potted plants, boxes, and other objects that were once outdoors.

Where will I find silverfish?

Silverfish prefer to hide inside in cool and damp areas, like basements and crawlspaces. On the other hand, firebrats like warmer temperatures and live near furnaces, hot water pipes, and attics. Bristletails live under mulch, landscaping ties, leaf litter, compost piles, trash cans, and fallen trees outside.

How do I get rid of silverfish?

If you are looking for pest control in the Huntersville area, turn to the local and experienced pest professionals at Aruza Pest Control. We offer home and business owners the benefits of comprehensive pest control, superior customer service, and the peace of mind that comes with our guaranteed services. Our eco-friendly solutions solve current pest problems and keep them from returning. For home and business owners who want to protect their property from silverfish, contact Aruza Pest Control today!

How can I prevent silverfish in the future?

In addition to our home pest control and commercial pest control services, use the following tips to prevent silverfish on your property:

  • Inspect potted plants, boxes, and outdoor furniture for silverfish before bringing them inside.

  • Use caulking or wood filler to seal spaces in your home’s exterior walls.

  • Maintain a barrier between any mulch or soil and your foundation.

  • Cut back shrubs and bushes from the exterior of your home.

  • Remove fallen trees, leaf piles, and other debris from your property.

  • Place door sweeps on exterior doors, paying particular attention to basement doors.

  • Reduce excess moisture in or around your home by maintaining gutters, repairing leaky faucets and pipes, and using dehumidifiers.


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