How Silverfish Get Into Washington D.C. Homes


These guys are fast! Turn on the lights and they wriggle away so quickly, you hardly have time to get a good look at them. The creepy part is if you see one you can guarantee that there are hundreds more hiding in your walls. Yuck! No one in D.C. has time for that nonsense. Luckily, the team at Capitol Pest is just a phone call away.

silverfish in a house on a wall

Silverfish Basics

Silverfish get their name from the metallic silver color and fish-like shape of their bodies. They are also known as Bristletails. Other typical traits of silverfish include:

  • Length between ½ and ¾ inches long (not including tails)

  • Flat body in the shape of a carrot or fish, tapering from head to rear

  • Very fine thread-like antennae

  • Three bristly tails

  • Six legs

  • Dislike of brightness

Silverfish pose no direct threat to humans or animals. They do not bite or spread diseases, however, they can be harmful to your property.

Where Do Silverfish Come From And What Do They Want?

Silverfish can typically be found in humid, moist areas of the home including basements, attics, and bathrooms. Many people notice silverfish when crawling out of ceiling soffits or dropping from skylights or canister light fixtures in the ceiling, or emerging from moldings. A few basic housekeeping things can help keep them out.

Silverfish are on the hunt for food, especially anything made from paper. Silverfish are carb loaders. They love surgery and starchy foods and anything that is cellulose-based. What’s on the menu? Your books and magazines, any type of paper-based collectible, documents and records, and the list goes on. They will also feed on food items like granola or flour, or even dried glue and clothing.

Tips To Prevent Silverfish Infestations

“If you feed them, they will come” became a saying for a reason. Silverfish prevention follows the opposite course of action. If they don’t have a reason to be there (ie. food to eat), maybe they will leave.

To keep silverfish out of your Washington D.C. home, try limiting their food sources with the following prevention methods:

  • Keep all dry food in your cupboards in sealed containers.

  • Dust your home often. When you use flour, it floats in the air and leaves a dusting of silverfish food all over your home.

  • Remove items with adhesive from your home. Easier said than done...we know.

  • Clean up any food particles around your home. This is especially important right after a meal.

  • Get a dehumidifier. Aside from food the biggest draw for silverfish is moisture. You can reduce the moisture in the air by using a dehumidifier or ventilating any rooms that get warm and moist. This includes your bathroom and your kitchen. Open windows and doors and turn on fans to clear moisture from the air.

Aside from removing food and water sources, it's also a good idea to think about the physical surroundings of your home.

  • Get rid of piles of brush, dead plants, wood, and leaves. These areas are desirable places for silverfish and once they are in your yard it's only a matter of time before they make it indoors. Clear the perimeter around your home of leaves and other damp debris to reduce areas attracting silverfish.

  • Use caulking. Cover up cracks, holes, or openings to keep silverfish out and stop them from laying eggs inside your home.

  • All of the prevention you can do is helpful, but with silverfish your best bet is to call Capitol Pest for a quick and effective resolution of any infestation.

Elusive And Difficult To Eradicate

It’s a rarity that you see these pests, and they are hard to kill with over-the-counter pesticides. Just when you think you have detected their point of entry and lay down poison, silverfish just find another workaround. When they feel threatened it is no problem for them to retreat and go weeks without food or water. Living inside your walls, under your floors, and in your ceilings, they have access to your entire home unchecked. Capitol Pest gives the red light to Silverfish traffic and the green light to quick effective service. We have a service plan that will have your home Silverfish free in short order.

Tags: silverfish | silverfish prevention tips | silverfish control |

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