ALERT: Warning of serious increase in prehistoric insect in homes in Ireland

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Warning of serious increase in prehistoric insect in homes in Ireland

Warning of serious increase in prehistoric insect in homes in Ireland

A warning has been issued about a serious increase in a prehistoric insect in homes in Ireland. 

Silverfish are about 400 million years old, around about a centimetre long and are nocturnal. 

They will eat anything from book bindings, carpet, clothing, coffee, dandruff, glue, hair, some paints, paper, photos, plaster, and sugar.

They are silver or grey in colour, and are teardrop shaped, with tiny scales and two antennae. The insects can lay up to 60 eggs every day, so a small problem can quickly become a large one if you find them on your premises.

Pest control company Rentokil is now warning of a serious increase in these prehistoric insects. 

The company has experienced a 89% increase in the number of callouts for silverfish over the past three months (July – September), when compared to the three months prior (April - June). This significant increase in callouts is due to the insects seeking shelter indoors as the temperature drops and the seasons change.

The company predicts that silverfish callouts will continue to rise as conditions continue to become colder in the Autumn and Winter months. Silverfish will likely seek shelter indoors in homes and businesses, and are attracted to dark, damp, and humid areas such as bathrooms, basements and attics.

An infestation of silverfish can result in damage to books, photographs, paintings, plaster and other household items as they feed on both starch and cellulose. They also feed on human debris such as dead skin and hair. Silverfish eggs are hidden in tiny cracks or crevices, making them extremely difficult to locate.

Richard Faulkner, Advanced Technical Field Consultant for Rentokil said: “Rentokil has experienced a recent increase in silverfish callouts, and we expect this trend to increase in the coming months, as these insects tend to seek shelter in homes and businesses as the weather gets colder outside. There a number of steps that home and business owners can take to get rid of or prevent the presence of these insects: Deny them food by vacuuming and keeping dust and debris to a minimum. Store 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. Make sure all cracks in walls and skirting boards are filled.”