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Know Thy Enemy: Silverfish

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Jessica
07.29.12

They scurry away in the shower and disappear into the depths of your basement, but did you know silverfish also love to snack on wallpaper, cereal and books?

These common household pests have a graceful name, but they’re actually pretty nasty. You won’t be able to catch silverfish with a hook and rod, though. These nocturnal insects are small, fast and crafty. Before you run around like a crazy person trying to squash them, brush up on your silverfish facts so you’re prepared for battle. If you have a silverfish problem, read: Pest Control: Silverfish.

Silverfish facts:


  • Just like real fish, these pests love moisture, so they’ll frequently hang out in basements, bathrooms, pantries and attics.
     
  • Silverfish can dance! Prior to mating, silverfish perform a 30-minute “love dance” that includes a bit of hide and seek and the insect version of line dancing (which is basically just standing next to each other).
     
  • Silverfish have an eclectic appetite – they’ll eat wallpaper, paste, book bindings, cereal, flour and other carbohydrates. So guard your Cap’n Crunch!
     
  • The lifespan of a silverfish can last as long as eight years. However, if they spend that time munching on books, they don’t get any smarter.
     
  • Silverfish have remained unchanged for 300 million years, and could be the ancestors of all insects alive today.
     
  • Silverfish hate the smell of cucumbers and cloves. For a natural silverfish repellant, sprinkle cloves or cucumber peels in areas where silverfish are a problem.
     
  • These pests may be elusive and light on their feet, but they can’t climb smooth surfaces. To make a silverfish trap, wrap the outside of a glass jar with masking tape and place a carbohydrate such as cereal or flour inside. The tape will allow the silverfish to crawl inside, but they won’t be able to escape the smooth inner walls of the jar

Photo: Heart Fire at Home

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