Silverfish are often encountered pests in homes and buildings throughout Australia. They occur anywhere in homes, but are mostly found in roof cavities, wall voids and sub floor areas. They prefer starchy materials, cotton, linens and photographic prints.Silverfish are a common household pest, living and breeding in cool damp places. Silverfish eat almost anything including paper, book bindings, wallpaper and clothing.
Silverfishes have shiny bodies covered with scales. They are flattened, long and slender, broad at the front and tapering gradually towards the rear. They are wingless, uniform silvery in colour and grow to just over 1 cm in length.
While silverfish are among the group of fabric pests, they do have a surprisingly varied diet. They eat both animal and plant products but they prefer items containing starch or glue such as paper, starched clothes, flour, paper, photographs, books, and wallpaper. They are frequently found in cardboard boxes that may be used for storing old or unused clothes, books, newspapers and the like and can do considerable damage to these materials.
Silverfish can live up to four years and each year the female lays around 60 eggs. Generally nocturnal (active at night time), they can be often seen scurrying for cover if disturbed. Behind skirting boards and picture rails, in ceiling and wall cavities and inside cupboards are all excellent hiding and breeding areas. They are commonly found in bath-tubs, where they become trapped while seeking food or moisture.
We recommended a thorough inspection first be carried out by the pest control professional to determine likely and observed habitat locations, the extent of the infestation and control methods necessary.
Treatment of roof voids and wall cavities with a synthetic pyrethroid dust applied via specialized “dust blower” equipment may be recommended. Other areas, such as basements, storage rooms and the like can be treated with a synthetic pyrethroid spray. The cost of a professional pest control service for silverfish varies depending on the size of the house, areas to be treated and ease of access to various parts of the building and a program of ongoing inspection and follow-up treatment may be recommended.