Silverfish are silver, torpedo shaped insects that move lightening quick. They creep out from their cracks and crevices at night and adverse to light they scarper back to their hidey-holes when a light is snapped on.
Silverfish have a preference for warm, moist environments like a bathroom or kitchen but they can be a librarian’s pest too. Silverfish like to nibble on matter which contains polysaccharides. This includes glue, paper, sugar, hair, carpet and dandruff. Yummy. They can also live for a year or more without eating anything at all. In times of desperation, they may also eat synthetic fibres, dead insects or even their own exuviae (moulted exoskeletons). Waste not want not!
Another bug which loves a damp environment is the centipede which is the Silverfish’s enemy number one. As an insectivore, house centipedes enjoy snacking on silverfish and other nasties such as Bed bugs.
Silverfish can be treated by spraying insecticide into all your kitchen and bathroom cracks and crevices but if you have a bad infestation it is likely you won’t reach them all. Silverfish are very cunning and like to hide in far to reach places. However a professional pest control technician has a few tricks up their sleeve and can reach parts DIY treatments can’t.
Many librarians could write a book about the methods used to keep silverfish from their collections but here are a few tips:
Good Book Keeping
- Place an infested book in a plastic bag and pop in the freezer for a day which will to kill off the larvae and insects.
- Treat mildewed by wiping away mould with a very lightly moistened cloth with solution of one part vinegar to eight parts water.
- Dry books by in the sun, but more than half an hour and the paper will fade and turn yellow.
- To remove dust from old books dust use a soft paint brush.
- Finally, get rid of that musty stench. Place book into bag with cat litter for a week. Remove bag and bush off litter.