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20/10/2021

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

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 in the period from November to December when compared to previous years.

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

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.

They are silver or grey in colour, and are teardrop shaped, with tiny scales and two antennae. Silverfish can lay up to 60 eggs per day, so a small outbreak can quickly become a large one. Their eggs are usually difficult to locate, as they are often hidden in tiny cracks or crevices.

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. They have a tapered, tail-like appearance.

Pest control company Rentokil is now warning of a serious increase in these prehistoric insects. It attributes this to the cold winter conditions, which cause these insects to seek warmth and shelter indoors

The company has experienced a 32% increase in the number of callouts for silverfish over the period of November – December 2020, when compared to the previous year. The company attributes this to the cold winter conditions, which cause these insects to seek warmth and shelter indoors.

The top four counties that have accounted for silverfish callouts are Dublin (which accounted for 42% of total callouts), Kildare (16%), Limerick (8%), and Cork (6%).

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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