Bugs Leaving Boreholes in Your Books?Termites aren’t the only creepy crawlies that can feed on cellulose, the hard to digest material found in wood and other plant products – the swift and secretive silverfish also likes to dine on products that contain it. If you find irregular holes in the pages of your books, or you find silvery scales around your peeling wallpaper, you might just have a silverfish problem.
Silverfish are quite common in homes, although they sometimes can go for long periods without being noticed. They are thin, soft bodied, wingless insects covered in silvery scales (that rub off if you try to pick them up, like the scales on butterfly wings). They have 2 long antennae on their head and 3 long ‘tails’ on their rear. They are mostly nocturnal, and will quickly dart away if disturbed. They need moisture to survive, preferring damp, protected areas like those found in attics, basements, bathrooms, or laundry rooms.
Silverfish are not particularly picky, and feed on dust, debris, dried goods, wallpaper paste, paper, and book bindings, all commonly found in homes. With a little diligence however, you can make conditions less enjoyable for your unwelcome little guests. Some easy to follow silverfish remedies include:
- Keeping damp areas dry and free of standing water
- Cleaning regularly to reduce the amount of dust and other tasty food particles lying around
- Keeping stored goods in tightly sealed containers (including dog food, an often-overlooked food source)
- Keeping books and other cellulose containing goods in plastic storage bins instead of cardboard boxes (another welcome food source)
- Monitor book shelves and magazine racks for any activity