Rentokil, Ireland’s leading pest control provider, experienced an increase of 171% in the number of callouts regarding silverfish in January 2018 compared to the same period last year.
This may be due to the damp conditions the country has experienced, as silverfish thrive in cool, dark and moist areas. The Met Éireann Station at Dublin airport recorded 93.1 millimetres of total rainfall this January, a huge increase from only 21.9 millimetres in January 2017.
PICTURED: The common silverfish insect
It’s common for silverfish to inhabit bathrooms due to their cool and moist conditions, as well as the silverfish’s appetite for hair, dead skin and even shampoo. Silverfish also consume clothing, carpet, book bindings, paper and photographs.
Colm Moore, Area Technical Manager for Rentokil said: “Silverfish are believed to be one of the most primitive of living insect orders in the World. They are carrot shape in profile and possess long tail-like appendages from the tip of their abdomen and their bodies are nearly always covered in scales."
"Silverfish consume a wide range of food types e.g. oats, beef, paper, textiles etc. They are long lived and can live up to about 3 years and possibly even longer. Some species can also survive long periods of starvation e.g. one individual has been recorded surviving as long as 300 days without feeding."
"They require damp and humid conditions and thrive in kitchens, laundry rooms, bathrooms and other dark, isolated areas. Fixing leaks in pipework, improving ventilation and using dehumidifiers can help discourage silverfish."
"They can be found in a variety of common items in households and businesses such as books, wallpaper, paintings, fabrics, carpets, coffee, sugar, pasta and other food debris. In small numbers silverfish are not really a problem and you can easily get rid of them, but a large infestation can be a serious issue for your home or business," he added.
To prevent the presence of silverfish, Rentokil is advising homes and businesses to deny silverfish sustenance by keeping dust and debris to a minimum, vacuuming thoroughly and storing food in containers with tightly sealed lids.
Homes and businesses should also dehumidify their premises through the use of fans, dehumidifiers, or by opening windows to air them out. While March is traditionally the time for spring cleaning, it is never too early to start to ensure a pest free premises.