This creepy SC pest will snack on your clothes and books. Here’s how to keep it out of your home

Whether you call them carpet sharks, fishmoths or silverfish, the creepy little critters can be a nuisance in South Carolina homes.

The small, wingless insects, generally referred to as silverfish, are one of the more common household pests in South Carolina each spring, according to Walker Pest Management. And while they are not harmful to humans, they can damage household belongings by feeding on materials such as glue, wallpaper paste, starch in clothing, book bindings, linen and paper.

However, though they are a regular pest, there are straightforward ways to exterminate or prevent them from invading your home.

Identifying silverfish

Silverfish are recognizable by their long, slender and silvery bodies, Clemson Cooperative Extension states. They can grow to up to an inch long. Their heads have two long antennae and they also have three long antennae-like structures at their tails.

Silverfish habitat

Silverfish thrive in humid, warm environments and so can be found in most parts of the home. The most common areas are bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms and basements. They’re also most active at night.

Silverfish removal and prevention

There’s multiple ways to rid your home of pesky silverfish or prevent them from invading in the first place, depending on the severity of the infestation.

  • Reduce humidity: Silverfish prefer humid environments, so reducing humidity levels in your home can help deter them. Try using a dehumidifier in humid areas like the bathroom and basement. Also, fix any leaks that may be causing excess moisture.

  • Seal cracks and gaps: Silverfish can enter your home through small gaps and cracks in walls and floors. Use caulk or weather stripping to seal the gaps.

  • Remove food sources: Silverfish enjoy eating starchy materials like paper, glue and clothing. Store such items in airtight containers.

  • Cleaning: Vacuum regularly to remove any food sources for silverfish.

  • Insecticides: If the infestation is severe, an insecticide will help. Many products are labeled for use by homeowners against silverfish, Clemson Extension states. Apply the insecticide thoroughly to all possible hiding places, such as cracks, crevices, around steam and water pipes and even attics.

  • Hire a professional: If an infestation appears beyond your control, you’ll probably want to consider hiring a pest control company.