Silverfish Damage and Feeding Habits
In order to properly treat and control silverfish, their feeding behavior should be understood. They can roam some distance for food, but once they have found a food source, they remain close to the source.
These nuisance pests feed on natural textiles, wallpaper pastes, books and paper. Silverfish eat both protein and carbohydrates. Normal goods for their diet include: dried beef, rolled oats, flour, paper, starch, cotton, silk, some synthetic fibers, sugar, dead insects, glue, paste, and linen. In damp basements or attics they can also feed on the surface molds. They feed on book bindings and commonly eat the glue behind wallpaper.
Silverfish damage to paper goods can be significant.
Silverfish Infestations and Inspection
Silverfish prefer a dark, moist environment and require a large supply of starchy foods or molds. They can be found many places inside your home but are mainly close to food sources. They are nocturnal and can run quickly.
To detect and monitor infestations, use insect sticky traps.
There are many locations for their habitats because of feeding behaviors. They love cardboard, paper and glue. Cardboard boxes, magazines, and book bindings should be the start of your inspection. They can be in furniture because the glue holds it together. They can be in kitchen cabinets, and bathroom vanities from the glue in the joints. They will eat food items like dried beef and oats but prefer the glue and starchy items.
They are found in attics due the blown in paper insulation and any storage boxes. Silverfish may get trapped in sinks and bathtubs as they were seeking moisture.
Because they molt during their adult lives, their cast skins may be a useful detection too.
Wallpapers may have irregular shaped holes; the silverfish trying to get to the paste.
Silverfish may bite very small holes in various fabrics, including cotton, linen, and silk, even though they cannot digest either linen or cotton. Inspect all cloth closets, since they will eat cotton, linen and silks. They may leave a yellow like stain on fabric. Silverfish will damage rayon, but not feed on it extensively like firebrats.