16 Aug 2022

Huge increase in these pesky critters in Irish homes this winter

Huge increase in these pesky critters in Irish homes this winter

Huge increase in these pesky critters in Irish homes this winter

Rentokil has reported a 79% increase in the number of callouts for one common household critter this winter.

They were alerted to a growing number of silverfish during November, December and January, in comparison to the same period last year.

The company is warning home and business owners to be vigilant of the nocturnal pests as temperatures remain low.

The top three counties that accounted for silverfish callouts over the past three months were: Dublin with 52% of all callouts; Cork (11%) saw the second most; and Kildare (8%) was third.

Home and business owners are most likely to find silverfish in dark, damp, and humid areas such as bathrooms, basements and attics. Silverfish are nocturnal insects that are silver or grey in colour, measuring approximately 10-12mm in length with tiny scales and two antennae and have a tapered, tail-like appearance.

Silverfish can lay up to 60 eggs per day, so a few insects can quickly become a much larger infestation. Their eggs are usually difficult to locate, as they are often hidden in tiny cracks or crevices.

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.

A common sign of the presence of silverfish to watch out for is finding unexplained holes in books or items of clothing.

Richard Faulkner, Advanced Technical Field Consultant for Rentokil said: “Like many pests during colder periods of the year, silverfish move indoors to seek shelter and warmth inside homes and businesses. While silverfish aren’t dangerous, they can become a major inconvenience because of their appetite for starch and cellulose, which can lead to them damaging valuable items by feeding on them.”

Rentokil advises following these tips to reduce the likelihood of a silverfish infestation on your premises:

- 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.

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