SILVERFISH are one fabric pest with the potential to cause costly damage to stored items such as clothing and linen, carpets and mats as well as paper products and photos.
The insect can also spoil stored food products and while silverfish do not transmit or cause disease some people can be allergic to their moulted skins or droppings.
As the winter leaves us and we move into the warmer months of spring, our thoughts turn to that lovely feeling of peeling off extra layers of clothing, lightening the blanket load on the bed and ultimately storing these items away until next winter.
The nocturnal insect lives in the moist, dark, humid and undisturbed areas of the shed, the roof void, the linen closet and wardrobes.
Silverfish are silver in colour with six stubby legs and have a long slender body which tapers off at the rear – they are swift movers.
Telltale signs that you may have a silverfish infestation include sightings of the insect, empty shells from their moulting phases, yellow dust or stains on the surface of shelving, books, papers and boxes and evidence of their droppings.
Did you know that silverfish do a three-phase dance before mating?
Females deposit their eggs singly or in clutches of up to 60 in small cracks and crevices and they can take up to two months to hatch.
Silverfish go through many moults in their lifetime and can live for up to four years.
In the food chain they provide a food source for other insects, arachnids and centipedes.
The pest management for silverfish involves the client removing all clothes from the wardrobes and drawers and a requirement to wash infested clothes and linen.
A wet spray is applied to the cupboards and a powder throughout the roof void.
Blankets and winter clothing should be stored in vacuum bags, photos and precious documents in airtight containers instead of cardboard boxes and food products as always in airtight containers.
A reputable, registered pest controller can safely and effectively treat silverfish in the infested areas of your home which in turn will save money from having to replace items of clothing and linen, loss of irreplaceable photos and literature and spoiling of food stuffs, ensuring peace of mind.
By Amanda Cope from Quinns Districts Pest Management
The advice given here is general in nature – and your specific situation should be discussed with your pest controller.