Silverfish are small wingless insects that move quickly with fish-like motion. They are nocturnal and prefer dark humid places, like your basement. You’ve probably been startled by them. But what are they and where do silverfish come from? Watch our video.
No need to fear silverfish bites – beyond their freaky appearance, they are harmless to human beings. We’ll clue you in on these terrestrial shrimps of the cellar world and tell you how to get rid of silverfish. The main problem is their destructive capabilities, and we’ll tell you what silverfish eat in your home.
What Do Silverfish Look Like?
Glad you asked. The video below highlights the characteristics of silverfish along with some nice (safe) close-up footage. Generally, silverfish are about 1 inch long with gray or silver scales along their bodies. They have long V-shaped antennae sticking out from their head and three spiky bristles off their tail.
Silverfish are quite common pests. It’s even possible that they hitchhiked into your home on items that you brought in. More often, they squeeze into your basement through small cracks and gaps in your foundation or around windows.
What Silverfish Eat
Silverfish aren’t picky eaters. They will feast upon any starch protein or sugar they can find and the definition of each gets stretched.
Silverfish commonly will eat paper and cardboard found in your basement. They also like the glue that holds these items together. Other things silverfish eat include textiles like linen and cotton, cereal grains, wallpaper or even carpet.
Baby silverfish are tiny versions of the adult form except for the scales. Babies molt several times before they develop their scales. They eat the same starchy diet that adults do and are nocturnal feeders, like the adults.
How to Prevent Silverfish in Your Home
The way to keep silverfish out of your home is to create an environment they don’t like. This means keeping your basement clean and dry. Run a dehumidifier and fix any leaky pipes that are causing moisture. Seal gaps and cracks in your foundation and around windows where silverfish may squeeze in. Don’t attract silverfish and don’t let them in.
If you’re concerned about a silverfish infestation in your home, call or contact Griffin for real solutions to your pest problems. They may be harmless but that doesn’t mean you want them in your home!
Silverfish are attracted to humidity, darkness, and the carbohydrates in starchy material. To keep them out, deprive them of these things. Make sure your basement is dehumidified, dry, and well-insulated. Keep anything you’re storing in the basement in hard plastic containers, and elevate those containers off the ground.
If you have silverfish, chances are they’re hiding in your basement. Basements are a silverfish paradise because they provide all the food, shelter, darkness, and humidity the pests could want. Keeping these pests away from your home means finding a way to make your basement less appealing. Here’s what you should know to do exactly that:
What are silverfish?
Silverfish are several different species in the Zygentoma order of insects. The most common silverfish is the Lepisma saccharina. Silverfish are small, silver or grey insects with no wings, long antennae, and even longer bristles on their tails. The insects’ shiny scale-like segments and distinctive zigzag movement patterns make them resemble fish or shrimp.
Silverfish aren’t dangerous, but they can be slightly destructive when they feed. They could feed on stored food, books, boxes, clothing and other fabric, and a wide variety of other materials. As they feed, they’ll damage the material they feed on. They’ll also leave behind droppings, shed skin, and other waste products.
Why are silverfish in my basement?
Silverfish are attracted to warm, humid environments. They need a 70 to 80℉ environments to stay fully active. The more humid the environment, the longer they can remain active. Their ideal environment has 75 to 95% relative humidity. Basements are frequently the only part of a home that satisfies both of these requirements at once.
Most silverfish species are naturally nocturnal. They spend days hiding and come out at night to forage for food. To hide out successfully, they like to live in dark, secluded places where they won’t be bothered while they rest. If they can rest and hide around their food sources, that’s even better. The pests aren’t particularly picky when it comes to food. The stuff in your basement usually does nicely.
How do silverfish get into my basement?
Silverfish either sneak into homes themselves or you accidentally transport them inside yourself. They’re flat, thin, flexible pests and they can easily squeeze through tight places. Some follow utility lines like plumbing pipes until they reach small gaps they can follow into a home. They may also follow drafts coming from frames, base boarding, or the foundation.
People frequently transport pests inside because they don’t realize the pests (or their eggs) are hiding in their boxes. Silverfish spend days remaining perfect still in cramped, dark hiding places. They’ll frequently hide in commonly-transported materials such as cardboard, paper, boxes, bags, books, and more. After you inadvertently bring them inside, they’ll spread out, eat, grow, and mate inside your home.
Where do silverfish go once they’re in my basement?
Upon establishing themselves, silverfish spread throughout your basement. Often, the pests work themselves into the most secluded, humid, hidden corners in order to eat and hide continuously. Look for them beneath cardboard boxes, nestled in bookbinding and other stored paper products, and even inside storage materials. Female silverfish also lay their eggs in small crevices near food sources in secluded places.
If you’re unsure if you have an infestation, start looking for them by unpacking anything you’re storing in your basement. Go through all the cardboard boxes, paper or plastic bags, or other storage containers you keep downstairs. Silverfish usually nestle themselves in food sources to hide during the day. They might suddenly run away from you when revealed. Make sure you check beneath furniture and in corners, too, especially around utility lines.
How can I can keep silverfish out of my basement?
Controlling humidity is the best way to control silverfish. If you can dry the pests out, they won’t be able to live in your basement. Look for drafts, plumbing leaks, runoff, and other sources of excess moisture. Make sure pipes and fixtures don’t drip condensation and keep all storage materials dry. Replace weatherproofing once every couple of years, and make sure your basement is very well insulated. Consider investing in a dehumidifier if you’re having trouble keeping things dry.
While you’re patching drafts, look for other possible cracks and gaps. Check around door and window frames, base boarding, utility lines, and the foundation If a gap is large enough to see, it’s probably large enough for the pests to exploit. Finally, make food as inaccessible as possible. Elevate all storage material and keep paper, fabric, and other starchy materials in hard plastic containers. If silverfish have nothing to eat and nowhere to hide, they won’t stick around.
Once established, silverfish can be very difficult to remove. They’re small, fast, sneaky, and very good at finding the best hiding places in your basement. Don’t worry, though: as good as silverfish are at hiding, we’re even better at finding them.
Give Griffin Pest Solutions a call any time you want to wipe out your infestation once and for all. Our experts will help you keep silverfish out of your basement–and the rest of your home–for good.
Boxelder bugs congregate near homes to stay warm, seek shelter, and remain close to food. They’re attracted to sunny, heat-reflecting surfaces like windows, concrete, and homes with southern or western exposure. Boxelders also tend to stay close to their food sources: acer trees such as boxelder, maple, and ash trees.
If you feel like you’re seeing boxelders constantly this summer, it’s probably not just you. Boxelder bugs really are more attracted to some homes than others. Unfortunately, the more attracted boxelders are to your home, the more likely you’ll have to deal with them all year. Unless you do something about it! Here’s what you should know about the boxelders attracted to your home, including how to keep them away.
What are boxelder bugs?
Boxelder bugs, or Boisea trivittata, are a species of true bug native to North America. They’re ½” long with black bodies, dark red eyes, and distinctive red markings on their abdomens and wings. Seeds from trees in the acer genus, including maple, ash, and boxelder trees are boxelder bug’s primary food source.
Boxelder bugs are considered “nuisance pests” because they’re not dangerous and can’t inflict serious damage to the plants they feed on. Boxelder bugs typically annoy or disturb homeowners by congregating near or on homes in large numbers. They may also secrete a foul-smelling, yellowish liquid when frightened or crushed. If they secrete a large amount of this liquid, it could stain nearby surfaces.
Why are boxelder bugs here now?
Starting in mid-spring, boxelder bugs re-emerge from their overwintering sites. Boxelder bugs are very temperature sensitive, and upon awakening, they’re usually lethargic and cold. To order to warm themselves up and regain their energy, boxelders seek out heat-reflective surfaces. During spring, you may see large concentrations of boxelders congregating around sunny places such as windows or porches.
By summer, boxelders are seeking mates and food. To find both, they’ll seek out other boxelders around food sources such as acer trees. When boxelders congregate, they release a pheromone that attracts more boxelders to their location. These boxelders eat, mate, and lay eggs on or near their food sources.
What do boxelder bugs want?
During the summer, boxelder bugs are primarily looking for mates and food. They’ll typically leave their usual sunning places in favor of food sources. During summer, you may find congregations of boxelder bugs clustered around the lower trunks of acer trees. These bugs feed on the seeds falling from the branches and lay eggs on the trunk and leaves.
Boxelders are slightly less common around homes during the summer, but they’re not unheard of. You may continue to see boxelder congregations around your home all summer, especially if there are acer trees nearby. Boxelders also like to sun themselves to warm back up after cloudy weather or rainfall. The more you see boxelders during summer, the more likely they’ll attempt to overwinter near you in fall.
Why are boxelder bugs around my home?
If you’re seeing boxelders around your home constantly, it’s probably because they’re getting food nearby. Boxelders feed almost exclusively on the seeds of boxelder, maple, and ash trees. Once they find a good food source, they’ll spend all summer feeding off of it and mating nearby. Boxelders lay eggs near food sources, usually on trunks, branches, and leaves.
Boxelder bugs are also naturally attracted to warm, sheltered areas, which may bring them closer to you. Homes with southern or western exposure tend to deal with more boxelders than most, because the sun shines on those homes longer every day. Tall buildings and structures with many large glass windows also tend to attract boxelders. If you find boxelders near your home, you’ll probably see them on garden level windows, porches, decks, or sidewalks.
What can I do about all of these boxelders?
The most effective way to avoid dealing with boxelders is to remove the boxelder tree from your property. You probably don’t want to do that, however, so follow these alternative tips instead. First, don’t crush the boxelders you find. Smashing the bugs will only release the foul-smelling liquid they also release when threatened. This liquid contains pheromones other boxelders find attractive. In other words, killing boxelders will only attract more boxelders to you.
Instead of killing them, vacuum up the boxelders you find and throw out the bag when you’re finished. Wipe down the surfaces where boxelders congregate with soapy water to remove the pheromone they secrete. Mow your lawn frequently to pick up fallen acer seeds as much as possible and deprive the bugs of their food source. To prepare for fall, you should also look for signs of gaps or cracks near areas where the bugs congregate. Patch up any gaps you find with weatherproofing or caulk.
Despite being one of the most common and widespread pests around, most people don’t know much about silverfish. This lack of public knowledge often makes silverfish seem like a scarier pest than they are. That said, it’s not difficult to understand why you might be frightened of the weird little things. Silverfish don’t look like common pest insects. In fact, they don’t look like insects at all!
Silverfish are definitely strange insects. They look like shrimp or crustaceans, and they’re distressingly fast. Although they’re not dangerous, they’re also not much fun to have around. You shouldn’t necessarily panic when you see one, but you should do something about it. Here’s what you can do. This is everything you should know about the creepy crawlers, including how to keep them out of your home.
What are silverfish?
“Silverfish” is frequently used to refer to several different species in the Zygentoma order of insects. It’s also the common name of one specific species of insect: the Lepisma saccharina. If you have silverfish in your home, chances are they’re Lepisma saccharina. Silverfish are small, wingless insects with six legs, silver or grey coloration, long antennae, and bristles on their tails. They’re typically no longer than ½ an inch long, though their appendages are often almost as long as their bodies.
The name refers to two of the insects’ highly distinctive characteristics. First, their bodies are covered in shiny, almost metallic looking scale-like segments. Second, the insect moves in a distinctive, back-and-forth manner, which make them look like fish swimming. Silverfish move very quickly when discovered, and many homeowners mistake them for cockroaches at first. The pests are also sometimes called “bristletails” because of the three long, bristle-covered appendages on their posterior end.
What do silverfish want?
Silverfish are nocturnal insects. They spend days hiding and come out to forage for food at night. They prefer environments that are 70 to 80℉, and have 75 to 95% relative humidity. Usually, the insect spends most of its time hiding in dark, cramped areas where they can remain warm, hydrated, and unnoticed. These dark, warm, humid hiding places should be near a food source they can consume at night. Once silverfish find a good food source, they’ll almost only move from food to shelter and back.
Silverfish are general feeders and consume a wide variety of materials. They’ll feed on anything that contains starch, protein, or sugar–not just food items. Silverfish are known to feed on starchy materials like wood and paper, especially glazed paper. They also feed on glue, linens, silk, cotton, and more traditional food products like cereal and vegetables. All kinds of household items may be food for the insect, including books, wallpaper, bed sheets, clothing, carpet, and furniture.
Where do silverfish come from?
The Lepisma saccharina is a common indoor pest all over the United States. They usually get into homes one of two ways: they sneak in themselves, or homeowners inadvertently transport them inside. Silverfish are naturally attracted to homes as sources of food, shelter, moisture, and darkness. They often follow utility lines like plumbing pipes through cracks in walls and into homes. They also might follow a cool draft and squeeze through a small opening near a window frame.
Unfortunately, silverfish are also often transported into homes by unsuspecting homeowners. The pests frequently feed on several materials used in moving, such as packing peanuts or cardboard. During the day, they hide on or inside their food sources. When people move these hiding places into their homes, they take the silverfish inside, too. Once inside, silverfish generally seek out the most secluded, dark, humid places in a home. You’ll usually encounter them in basements, crawl spaces, attics, closets, or laundry rooms.
How can I keep silverfish out?
Silverfish need humidity to stay active, or they’ll dry out and die. Look for parts of your home with high humidity and figure out why it’s happening. Patch up drafts and reinforce worn insulation. Fix sources of moisture accumulation like leaking plumbing, condensation, or puddles. Consider investing in a dehumidifier for problematic areas like your basement. Deprive silverfish of likely hiding places, like clutter or stray boxes. You probably can’t keep all their food away from them, but you can make it harder to access safely.
Next, try to figure out how silverfish entered your home. Look for gaps along window and door frames, baseboard walls, floors, and near utility lines. Silverfish don’t need very much space to squeeze into a home. If you can see it they can use it. Patch up these gaps with caulk. Replace old or damaged windows and doors. Don’t leave anything leaning up against the side of your home for silverfish to climb on. Finally, be careful when bringing possible silverfish hideouts into your home. Check the bottom, sides, and insides of moving boxes and bags before you bring them inside.
Perhaps the worst thing about silverfish is their long lifespans. A single generation of silverfish can live for several years, and young silverfish grow up fast. Unfortunately, that means if you don’t deal with a silverfish infestation right away, it’s only going to get worse.
Easily the most common pest problem people deal with every day are flies in their kitchen. It makes sense: kitchens and other food storage areas naturally tend to create ideal fly infestation conditions. There are even all kinds of different common flies, and they’re all looking for something a little different. The trick to keeping flies away is figuring out what that “something” is and making sure they can’t get it.
Start by figuring out which kind of fly is bothering you. Chances are, it’s one of the four particularly pernicious pantry pests we’ve listed below. Once you’ve identified your nemesis, follow the steps below to deprive them of what they want. Don’t give up; a fly-free future is possible! Here’s how to keep four of the most common kitchen flies from bothering you anymore:
House flies are dark grey flies with four black stripes on their slightly hairy thoraxes. They’re around ⅛ to ¼” long and round or oval-shaped. The easiest way to identify a house fly is to look for their prominent red eyes. Usually, you’ll notice a house fly infestation when you see one of the flies near your garbage or food. You may also find small cream-colored eggs or larvae laid on food material.
House flies are a problem because they transmit hundreds of pathogens via their saliva and waste. They also soil food products by laying eggs inside of them. Fruit flies are naturally attracted to water, sugar, broth, and soluble food stuff, which they feed on and lay eggs in. The best way to prevent house flies is to make these breeding sites inaccessible. Keep garbage sealed and dispose of it before it begins to rot. Rinse out bottles and cans before you throw them away. Store food like grains and pasta in sealed plastic containers.
Blowflies (or bottle flies) are small, round flies that are metallic green, blue, or copper-colored. Their metallic-looking bodies are slightly iridescent and make them relatively easy to spot. They’re usually only around ¼ to ½” long. Blowflies congregate on dead, decaying, or rotting things in great numbers. They tend to be particularly noticeable outside during the summer. If you have them inside, they’re probably flying around either your garbage or some other source of rotting material.
Like house flies, blow flies are a problem primarily because they transmit diseases. Blowflies also reproduce astonishingly quickly. A large number of flies can inhabit a food source in a short period of time. When you have a blowfly problem, the first thing you should check is your garbage. Dispose of all your garbage and rinse out your cans and dumpsters. Look for and remove any sources of decaying organic material such as pet feces or fertilizer.
Fruit flies or vinegar flies are tiny (⅛” long), very light tan flies with almost translucent bodies. Like house flies, their prominent, bright red flies are their most distinguishing feature. Fruit flies are attracted to any organic material that’s ripe, fermenting, or otherwise moist. They reproduce and lay eggs in any thin film of moisture on top of fermenting material. A single female fruit fly can lay 500 eggs. These flies have extremely short life spans and reproduce extremely quickly.
Fruit flies are primarily considered nuisance pests, but like other flies, they can also contaminate food sources with pathogens. Any food that could produce condensation could attract fruit flies and foster fruit fly growth. Pay close attention to where you’re throwing away food, especially fruits and vegetables. Even small sources of moisture like spilled fruit juice could attract literally thousands of fruit flies. Dispose of any overripe or rotting food regularly, and rinse out your garbage cans once a month.
Cluster flies like the common cluster fly (Pollenia rudis) usually enter homes during the fall. They look very similar to common house flies, except they have patches of bright yellow hair under their wings. During spring and summer, they reproduce and lay eggs in the soil. Cluster flies produce three to four generations in a mating season. During fall, adult cluster flies attempt to enter enclosed and protected areas in order to survive winter.
Cluster flies are largely considered nuisance pests, similar to other overwintering nuisance pests such as stink bugs. They don’t damage your home or transmit diseases. Their bodies or waste may attract other pests to the areas they inhabit, however. The best way to keep cluster flies out of your home is to block their common entry points. Seal cracks around windows, doors, thresholds, and utility lines. Repair or replace damaged screens. Patch up cracks in chimneys or roofing shingles.
If you feel like you’ve tried everything and you still have a fly problem, don’t despair. There’s a reason why flies continue to be the most common pest problem in the US. The frustrating little bugs are very good at getting theirs. Luckily, we’re even better at stopping them.
By now, you don’t need us to tell you which pests are the most active this summer. In fact, you probably never want to think about these four pests ever again. For these four particularly prevalent pests, the heat and humidity of Michigan’s summer is paradise. They’ve been growing, breeding, spreading… and probably bothering you like there’s no tomorrow.
No matter how bad the bugs, however, you don’t have to suffer them without recourse. Even at their most populous, there’s always a reason why pests choose a particular place to infest. If you can make sure you don’t provide them with what they want, they’ll leave you alone. Here’s everything you need to know to keep your least favorite nuisances away from you this summer.
Mosquitoes are so prevalent in summer for a couple reasons. First, they either hatch in spring or start reproducing. Either way, it means a lot of mature mosquitoes come early summer. Hot weather also allows mosquitoes to grow through their life cycles faster. They hatch faster, grow faster, and reproduce faster. The hotter and more humid the environment, the more mosquitoes breed. The more mosquitoes breed, the more mosquitoes hunt for blood and bother you.
Mosquitoes need moisture to stay active, breed, and lay eggs. They prefer to live and hunt near sources of standing, stagnant water. You’d be surprised just how many sources of stagnant water mosquitoes can find and use. Any kind of ditch, basin, or bucket can collect water, and mosquitoes only need the tiniest amount. Look for and remove sources of water mosquitoes could use to reproduce or lay eggs, outside and inside. You’ll be surprised what a difference it makes!
Several different factors conspired in 2018 to give us the worst tick season in years. Weather from La Niña produced a milder winter and an earlier spring. The mild weather allowed ticks to emerge and lay eggs much sooner than usual. In addition, the white-footed mouse population grew substantially last year. Small rodents like the white-footed mouse are a great food source for ticks. Between the weather and food availability, 2018 is a perfect storm for tick activity.
Ticks hunt by climbing shrubs and grasses. From their perches, the ticks simply wait for their prey to walk by and then grab onto it. The fewer places they have to hunt, the harder it will be for ticks to infest your property. Keep grass, shrubs, and bushes trimmed short during tick season. Take care to wear bug spray, long pants, and long sleeves when you’re in an area where ticks might live. Always check yourself for ticks after spending time outside. Tick-borne diseases are on the rise this year, so keeping yourself safe from ticks is more important than ever.
Unlike the other pests on this list, silverfish aren’t more prevalent during summer because of their natural lifecycle. Silverfish live for two to three years or more and produce more 50 offspring each. They can remain active and reproduce as long as they have access to warmth, darkness, and humidity. They seem more active in summer because heat and humidity let them move around more and stay out longer.
Silverfish are nocturnal and live in dark, humid, and secluded places. Indoors, you’re most likely to find them in places like your basement, attic, closets, or crawl spaces. Often, you’ll find them under furniture, boxes, bags, and other stored materials. They’ll generally stay close to food sources, such as flour, cereal, fabric, paper, clothing, paste, glue, or paper. Controlling your home’s humidity is the best way to keep silverfish out. Find and correct moisture problems like leaking pipes, especially in at-risk areas like your basement. Reducing the number of hiding places silverfish could access and depriving them of food will also help.
House flies become especially prevalent in summer because they begin reproducing in late spring. Mother house flies deposit up to 150 eggs on an appropriate food source, such as garbage. During the heat of summer, these eggs hatch very quickly–sometimes only hoursafter they’re laid! House flies grow faster in hot weather during every other stage of their development, as well. In summer, house flies can complete their entire four-stage life cycle in as few as 7 to 10 days.
If you seem to have a house fly problem, it’s probably because they are laying eggs in your home. House flies lay eggs on food sources, which is usually garbage. House flies can only eat liquids, but they can liquefy various food items such as sugars and starches. Keep all your garbage in sealed plastic bags. Rinse out any liquid containers before you throw them out. Take garbage out to your outdoor dumpster frequently, and make sure it doesn’t spill.
Hopefully, these tips prove that no summer infestation is too intense to beat. Know your enemy and follow these strategies, and you can enjoy a pest-free summer. That pest-free summer can be this summer. Don’t give up!
If you need a little help driving out your pests once and for all, give Griffin a call any time. We’ve dealt with these all-too-common pests for plenty of summers before, and we’re happy to deal with them again.