The creepy, silver, tear-shaped insects called silverfish (Lepisma saccharinum) are one of the most common household pests. These insects aren’t harmful to people or pets, but they can be a nuisance and cause damage. They’re most commonly seen crawling on book bindings, photo albums, wallpaper, and other paper products. Their appetite for starches and polysaccharides (commonly found in these items) makes them a problem.
They breed quickly, so a small infestation can spread throughout your home, and the critters can live for up to two years. After reaching maturity, female silverfish lay eggs in crevices and cracks around your house. The young then consume paper, various adhesives, and different fabrics, along with the detritus of other insects, animals, or humans.
As adults, silverfish prefer dark, high-humidity spots such as basements and attics. However, they’re also attracted to a lot of the same things as you and your family, like dandruff, hair, sugar, starches, flour, toothpaste residue, shaving cream, book bindings, and wallpaper paste.
When it comes to getting rid of silverfish, vacuuming is often the fastest and most effective method. However, it’s important to bolster your defenses by sealing all entry points, making routine treatments from a professional pest control company possible, and inspecting storage areas in and around your home to identify potential problems.
Because they’re moisture pests, controlling humidity with fans and dehumidifiers will help drive these critters away from your home. In addition, you should check your foundation and exterior walls regularly for any cracks or holes where these insects could enter.