Silverfish Prevention Tips For Maryland Property Owners


close up of two silverfish

Silverfish (Lepisma saccharina) are small insects often referred to as “carpet sharks” or as “bristletails” because of their unique physical characteristics and behavior. They have a long, thin body style that usually measures around ¾ of an inch, six legs, long antennae, and appears in shades of silver or light blue. Silverfish are aptly named based on their “fish-like” way of moving, and they can climb walls and walk on ceilings. 

The females can produce multiple eggs each day all year long that are commonly positioned in small voids or crevices. Beginning as an egg, these creatures progress through a nymph phase before adulthood, which is a process that spans several months. Depending on various environmental factors, silverfish may have a life span of several years.

Maryland property owners may unknowingly bring silverfish indoors within cardboard boxes, paperwork, or packaging materials. Common signs of silverfish include their feces that resemble black pepper, small holes on surfaces, and yellow staining. Fortunately, silverfish pose no legitimate health risks to humans and are predominately seen as a nuisance.

The Conditions That Attract Silverfish

Silverfish prefer damp, humid, and dark environments, making them likely to be found in basements, crawlspaces, laundry rooms, and drain areas when they are indoors. Before navigating their way inside, they are often first attracted to exterior property conditions such as damp piles of leaves, firewood, or overgrown weeds. Silverfish do not hibernate; therefore, they may be a potential source of frustration year-round. 

Silverfish consume an unusual diet consisting of various things that contain starch, polysaccharides, or sugar. Being largely nocturnal, these pests will emerge at night to infest wallpaper, books, photos, and other paper products. 

Best Tips For Prevention

Some of the best ways of preventing silverfish include: 

  • Removing firewood, piles of leaves, and other similar debris from the areas that are adjacent to the home.
  • Consider alternatives to using mulch, such as crushed rock.
  • Closely inspect the lower exterior area of the structure for any cracks or other openings that may allow access and fill them using a durable caulk or sealant.
  • Promptly address areas of water damage with repairs or with the replacement of damaged materials.
  • Fixing leaky spigots, pipes, or hoses, increasing indoor ventilation, and using dehumidifiers when needed to reduce moisture in basements and crawlspaces.

Properly Responding To Pest Intrusions 

Avoid the mistake that many property owners make by attempting to take these matters into their own hands. Many individuals will search the internet or local home improvement stores to identify a do-it-yourself home treatment option. Many of these products including traps, baiting stations, and granular formulas create very mediocre results that are incapable of eliminating serious pest intrusions. 

When you contact our licensed professionals, we will conduct a detailed inspection of the premises to identify the problem. We now use some of the latest treatment options that have been recommended by the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) and other industry leaders that are committed to safety.

Leading Provider Of Pest Control Solutions In Maryland

The technicians with American Pest now offer a host of ongoing Preferred Care pest protection plans that keep the property pest-free all year long. Our basic Preferred Care protection offering can now be upgraded to the Preferred Care Plus pest control service that includes termite monitoring. The Preferred Care Complete option adds the Sentricon Always Active program that actively eliminates termites all year. 

Be sure to ask about adding our specialized mosquito and tick coverage that keeps these pests at bay and away from your pets. Our packages feature onsite treatment visits from our experts either monthly or quarterly and are backed with our satisfaction guarantee. 

Contact us today to schedule a personal property inspection. 


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