Finding any bug in your home or business in Birmingham, Alabama, can be unsettling; finding an intruder that you don’t recognize is even more disturbing. If you were surprised by a fast-moving flash of wriggling silver, your problem may be silverfish.

What Does a Silverfish Look Like?

Silverfish are wingless, teardrop-shaped insects with long, flat bodies. Sometimes called bristletails because of the three distinctive bristles that fan out from their tails, they have the same shape throughout their lifetime, but their coloring can vary. While adults are the blue-grey hue that gives this pest its name, juveniles tend to be more white in color. When full grown, they range from 0.50 inch to 0.75 inch in length. Getting a good look at a silverfish can be difficult; these nocturnal creatures tend to flee. While they don’t fly or climb, they run quickly with a wriggling motion reminiscent of a fish.

Where Do Silverfish Lurk?

Silverfish reproduce rapidly and can thrive in virtually any climate, but they prefer humid spaces. They feed on carbohydrates, including the starches and sugars found in paper, glues, shampoos, linens, molds and dead bugs. They are often found in kitchens, bathrooms and areas where things are stored like attics, basements, sheds and garages.

What Damage Do Silverfish Cause?

Because silverfish avoid people and are most active at night, it’s not unusual for even a sizable infestation to go unnoticed for quite a while. While you may catch a glimpse of a silverfish, find cast skins left behind after moltings or spot their pepper-like droppings, many people realize these pests are present when they discover the damage caused by their feeding habits. Silverfish will eat holes in wallpaper to reach the glue beneath it. They also munch papers, books and natural fabrics. Although they don’t generally eat man-made fibers like rayon, they will sometimes leave yellowish stains on them.

What Is Required to Get Rid of Silverfish?

There are things property owners can do to discourage silverfish. Some people believe cinnamon repels these pests. Reducing humidity and eliminating their access to food sources may also encourage them to move elsewhere. In addition, various traps, baits and insecticides that can kill adult silverfish are available in stores. Unfortunately, while these options can help, they do not genuinely fix the problem. In order to eliminate silverfish completely, you’ll need professional assistance. Pest control professionals have the experience and resources necessary to eradicate both silverfish and their eggs, effectively breaking the cycle of infestation.

If you suspect that silverfish or some other pest has invaded your residential or commercial property, contact Bad Bugs today. As experienced, state-certified professionals serving Birmingham and the surrounding areas, we can handle all your pest control needs.