What Are Silverfish and Why Are They in My Baton Rouge Home?

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Silverfish are eight-legged insects that have scales on their bodies, which allow them to move very fast. This swift movement makes them resemble a fish, hence the name silverfish. And yes, they are all over Baton Rouge in homes and commercial buildings!

They are silver or gray in color and approximately 0.5 to 1 inch in length, with long antennae. Silverfish are often found in wet, damp and moldy areas, but they’re also commonly drawn to moist areas in the home like bathrooms, crawl spaces and attics. They prefer dark areas and are nocturnal, but that doesn’t mean you won’t find one trapped in your sink or bathtub first thing in the morning.

Some may also find it’s close cousin, the “Firebrat”, so called because they like to hang out near hot areas such as hot water heaters.  Thus the name “firebrat”!

 

Why Are There Silverfish in my Home?

Silverfish live behind baseboards, near plumbing and pipes or in small cracks. They may have been there all along because they lived in the existing foundation of the home. This is especially common in warm, tropical areas where silverfish were originally native to. Now however, silverfish can be found just about anywhere, including damp, cool areas of your home as well.

There is another way that silverfish can get into your home: you brought them there. It’s not uncommon for pests to be brought in from a cardboard box or secondhand item. Once the silverfish are in your home, they begin looking for a dark, moist area. They are drawn to bathrooms and attics, but they are also likely to find a home in your pantry where there is food and darkness.

Do Silverfish Carry Disease?

Whether you find a silverfish lurking around your pantry or crawling around your bathtub, the first thing you think is, “Is this pest dangerous to my family?” Fortunately, silverfish are not disease carriers, and they do less damage than ants, roaches or termites. Silverfish are often drawn to bookcases and shelving, so they may eat away at your books as they enjoy eating the book paste.

How Can I Prevent Silverfish?

Vacuum often, concentrating around baseboards, cracks and crevices. If you find silverfish, remove their sources of food and kill the eggs. You can also work with a pest control company such as Dugas Pest Control to lay silverfish traps where the insects have been seen.