This Carrot-Shaped Insect Likes Eating Your Paper

What to do about silverfish.

By Laura RiceJanuary 2, 2017 6:15 pm,

We’ve all seen them out of the corner of our eye – little flashes of silver running away from us as we rifle through our pots and pans cabinet, step into the bathtub, or unpack those dusty attic boxes. But what are they? Wizzie Brown, an insect specialist with the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Office, tells us all about silverfish.

What are Silverfish?

“They’re a carrot-shaped insect and they’re kind of a silvery gray color. They have three tails coming off the tip of their abdomen and they like eating starchy stuff.”

Where do we find them?

“Usually in dark damp areas. They like hiding underneath the washer and dryer. They like going in bathrooms, kitchen areas.  A lot of times you’ll see them in the attic because we have things stored in cardboard boxes up there and there’s plenty of stuff for them to munch on.”

How do you deal with the pesky critter?

“With silverfish, it’s good to do an integrated program. So finding what they’re feeding on – reducing any excess clutter, any magazines that are piled up, any old books. I know a lot of people collect things like books and magazines and newspapers, and if that’s the case, storing them in a proper way is going to really be key. That would be best in a sealed plastic container.”

“There are also products you can use: residual sprays, or dusts, in the areas that are infested. Then they also have silverfish bait packs that you can put out in certain areas.”