Silverfish are six-legged insects that are spread throughout the world. You will usually find them in the sinks of your home, around the kitchen and bathroom, or in your basement, usually right after you turn on the light in the dark. As soon as they feel that they are exposed, they will wriggle away very quickly.
Why do silverfish prefer to be in the bathroom?
The name silverfish comes from the appearance and movements of this insect, however it is even more appropriate when we take into account the fact that silverfish need to be in high-humidity areas, such as the bathroom. In fact, humidity is so essential, that the silverfish can only survive if it is in an environment with 75-97% relative humidity, and it will only reproduce in temperatures that are between 72ºF and 81ºF. Outdoors, these conditions can usually be found under rocks, behind decaying tree bark and in molding leaves. Indoors however, they are mostly present in the bathroom, and sometimes near the kitchen sink.
What are the causes of a silverfish infestation?
Despite being pests (or maybe because of it), silverfish are quite fascinating creatures. Entomologists believe that they stem from some of the very first insects on the planet, and some estimations say that the current species of silverfish evolved around 400 million years ago.
That means that the silverfish has been around for far longer than humans, and they are quite adept at survival. For example, they do not even need to drink from a water source. Instead they will extract moisture from the air through their rectums. Disgusting, but apparently, very efficient.
What brings a silverfish into the home is the search for food. Silverfish mostly feed on molecules known as polysaccharides which are found in starches, cellulose, and a variety of other materials found in books, wallpaper, and plants. They will also go for cotton and rayon clothing, making them even more of a nuisance. Of course, these materials are rarely found in the bathroom, but a silverfish can go for a full year without eating if the proper moisture conditions are in place. As such, they place an emphasis on finding the right environment to live in, and then they can search for food nearby.
Getting rid of silverfish
Even with all these survival skills, silverfish can be removed from your property. There are several DIY options out there, from cleaning up dark spaces, to using certain products. However, if the silverfish infestation is stubborn, you should get in touch with a pest control specialist. Contact us today for more information.