Skin eating bugs could invade your home this winter if your property suffers from condensation or damp.
Silverfish are ancient bugs which survive by eating pretty much everything, but they particularly like to tuck into dead skin cells and hair.
They thrive in moist and damp conditions, which means homes across the UK face the risk of an invasion this winter as it gets wetter outside and we crank the heating up.
The little bugs, which can jump up to two feet and live for eight years, have also been known to eat through wallpaper, books, curtains and cereal boxes.
Leading property maintenance expert Ranjen Gohri, from 24|7 Home Rescue, said: "Silverfish are actually the oldest known pests on earth.
"And if you’re spotting tiny holes in your clothes or curtains, you might have an infestation without even realising it.
"They’ll eat anything. But skin cells are a delicacy to silverfish.
"And they like to leave their calling card – in the shape of tiny yellow stains wherever they’ve been."
As we don’t tend to open windows and doors during the colder months, moisture from cooking, showering and drying clothes indoors can’t escape.
But thankfully the team at 24|7 Home Rescue have some advice on how to keep them away from your home.
How to spot them
There are a few easy to spot signs that you might have silverfish in your homw.
Ranjen says: "They’re quite secretive, but you may see them scurrying away in the middle of the night when you’re making a loo visit. Keep your eyes peeled.
"You might also see droppings that look like smell pepper corns or pellets, or holes in your wallpaper, books or clothes.
"You might also find their shedded skin. Yes, throughout their long life they shed their skin – especially when going through adolescence."
How to avoid getting them
There are a few things you can do to keep your home free of the little bugs.
Keep a clean home
"Ensure there are no food residues.
"Daily cleaning to keep on top of things and then a weekly good going over means silverfish won’t have a good reason to stick around.
"Keep dust off books, and keep the bathroom floor mopped so there’s no dead skins cells around.
"Chuck out your old newspapers/mags so you’re not leaving them things to chomp at."
Make your own repellent
"You can make a homemade cleaner using equal parts of vinegar and water, plus a squirt of washing up liquid, then add 10 drops of peppermint oil and eucalyptus oil.
"That should have them turning away."
Make a honey trap or use salt
"You can make a mixture using equal parts of baking soda and honey.
"Place the mixture on a piece of cardboard and put the cardboard in places you’ve seen silverfish."
The creatures also love salt but it causes dehydration so will kill them. Sprinkle it in areas where you have spotted them.
Try garlic and essential oils
They hate the smell of garlic, lemon, lavender, basic and oranges.
Fix leaky pipes and taps
"They’re not called silverfish for nothing.
"Leaks are magnets to them so do regular checks on taps and pipping throughout your home."
Get a dehumidifier
"If you house is damp, a dehumidifier can keep the moisture down.
"But you should also have a damp house thoroughly checked as damp can cause a number of health issues."
Have food on lockdown
"Keep everything in sealed containers.
"Silverfish have a penchant for pastas and cereals especially. Put cinnamon in your draws and cupboards too, it acts as a deterrent."
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