No longer than a nickel, with a hard steel-like outer shell, silverfish appear to move like a fish swims. These destructive pests do not hibernate but may go into a dormant state in the winter because they can convert the water in their bodies into glycerol, an antifreeze type of chemical that keeps them warm during the dormant state, known as diapause. However, in Florida, with such mild winters, this is not what usually happens – they tend to remain active in winter.
If silverfish can get into your home in the winter, they will. Not as common a pest as many others, silverfish can do as much damage as termites and carpenter ants. Feeding on cellulose, silverfish excel at destroying wood beams, feasting on important paper documents, dining on expensive works of art, and other items containing cellulose.
Keeping silverfish out of your home
Similar to silverfish prevention measures taken in the spring and summer, West Florida homeowners should remove the incentive that attracts silverfish by avoiding storing anything against the sides of their homes such as trash receptacles, woodpiles, or storage boxes and cabinets, as silverfish can and will climb on these items to gain entrance to your home. Repairing leaky faucets and correcting areas where moisture tends to collect makes your home less attractive to silverfish who, like most pests that travel indoors, need a water source to survive.
Replacing all damp or rotting wood and running a dehumidifier in your home to dry it out can deter silverfish from setting up shop in your home. Taking the initiative to store your important documents and clothing in air-tight containers, preferably not in your attic or garage, adds another layer of protection from silverfish activity. Also, vacuuming your carpet and wiping down your countertops regularly, eliminates potential food sources for silverfish and other pests over-wintering in your home.
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