Prevention Tips to Keep Your Washington, D.C. Home Silverfish-Free


If you’ve been spotting silverfish in your Washington, D.C. home, then you’re most certainly not alone. Silverfish are typical household pests in the Capital City. Silverfish are mainly nuisance pests, meaning they don’t harm humans and pets, but their presence is a nuisance, especially in high numbers. However, these pests can cause extensive damage to personal belongings within the home, and they’re also tough to get rid of.

Silverfish are recognized as occasional invaders, meaning they enter homes either by accident or purposely at specific points in the year. However, because they’re fast-moving insects and nocturnal, homeowners don’t often realize they have an infestation until some time has passed. It’s possible for a single silverfish sighting to indicate there are hundreds more living within your walls. Read on for more on how to identify silverfish, the damage these pests can cause to your home and belongings, and prevention tips.

a silverfish on a book in a home

How To Identify Silverfish

Silverfish have thin, teardrop-shaped bodies that measure 12mm to 19mm long, with two long antennae on their heads and three long bristles on their backsides. Their bodies are covered in blueish-grey metallic scales, and they are known to move very quickly and in a fishlike manner.

What Is Attracting Silverfish To My Home?

Silverfish are attracted to homes primarily in search of food, water, and a place to nest. They prefer dark, damp areas for nesting, such as in basements or underneath sinks and bathtubs. If there are leaky pipes or faulty plumbing, they’ll choose it even more.

Silverfish feed on carbohydrates and sugar, and in nature, they’ll look to dead bugs, certain fungi, and other organic matter for food. Indoors, however, they’ll choose flour, cereals, and dust, as well as starch-based items, such as cotton, linen, silk, and rayon fabrics (as in clothing and upholstery) and paper products, like books, wallpaper, cardboard, and newspapers. They also feed on the glue used in bookbinding and shampoo.

Four Tips On Silverfish Prevention

Because silverfish are both fast-moving and nocturnal, they can usually avoid detection until an infestation has grown severe. To prevent a future infestation, consider the following tips:

1. Seal up entry points to your home. Silverfish living on and around your property can find their way indoors through small cracks in the foundation and exterior-facing walls. Inspect the outside of your home and make repairs to areas that may be allowing silverfish and other pests into your home. This also includes making repairs to damaged windows and door screens.

2. Fix leaky pipes, clogged drains, and plumbing-related problems. Silverfish are attracted to moisture but not dryness. Remove the dampness from your home by making repairs to plumbing, as well as by ventilating rooms, turning on the air conditioner, or using fans or dehumidifiers.

3. Remove cardboard boxes and paper stacks from the home. Silverfish love to hide (and eat) paper products, including cardboard boxes and piles of mail, newspapers, and magazines. Remove cardboard boxes from the home, and if needed, store paper products in closed, plastic, airtight containers instead - and check for silverfish beforehand.

4. Add door sweeps. Silverfish can also find their way inside by entering underneath exterior-facing doors, including garage doors. Add door sweeps as a way to deter them further.

For assistance with silverfish in Washington, D.C., and answers to any of your related questions, including further tips on prevention, contact the local professionals at Capitol Pest. We’ll conduct a thorough inspection of your home to determine the extent of the infestation and to develop the most suitable residential pest control plan for you.

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