Pest Exterminator

Silverfish Life Cycle

Life Cycle Stages

The silverfish process from egg to adult usually takes about four months. They are hemimetabolis insects, which means they develop through three stages:

  • Egg
  • Nymph
  • Adult

Reproduction

While silverfish do not reproduce through direct fertilization of the eggs, they do perform a mating dance.

  • The insects touch their antennae together.
  • The female flees.
  • The male and female reunite. They stand side by side while the male vibrates his tail.
  • Males then deposit small packets of sperm into the female ovipositors.

Eggs

Depending upon climate conditions and species, eggs may take between 19 to 60 days to hatch. Humid conditions are preferable, though silverfish can thrive in almost any environment.

Female silverfish produce one to three eggs per day, or clusters of two to twenty. The pests deposit eggs in cracks around the inside of a home or attic, making them difficult to find. Unlike some other insects, silverfish can produce eggs all year.

Nymph

When they emerge from the egg, silverfish nymphs are miniature versions of the adults. They go through a number of molts during development, and continue to molt throughout their lives. Some species may undergo more than 50 molts.

Adults

Typically, silverfish become adults in about three or four months. In cool climates, it may take up to two years to develop into a mature adult.

Encounters & Concerns

The surrounding environment has a major influence on silverfish development and how long silverfish live. In ideal environments of high temperatures and humidly, these insects can live for about three years.

What do silverfish look like?

Silverfish range from 1/4” to 1” in length. Their bodies consist of a head, abdomen, six legs, two compound eyes, two long antennae, and three appendages that resemble tails. The body of the silverfish is flat and narrow and tapers down from the head in the shape of a carrot. It is covered in shiny, silver-grey scales. Two of the tail-like appendages, called cerci, point to the sides of the body, with the filament (or middle appendage) between them pointing backward. Silverfish do not have wings; they move by using their legs in a wiggling motion that resembles a swimming fish. Silverfish can run quickly on horizontal surfaces but are not as fast when moving vertically. However, they are able to jump up to a foot in the air.

Silverfish grow from egg to nymph to adult. The female lays up to three white, oval-shaped eggs in a crack or crevice. When the eggs hatch — which can vary from a period of three to six weeks depending on temperature — pale nymphs emerge. These nymphs continue to grow into adulthood, molting as they do and developing scales that are dark, shiny, and silver-colored.  The normal lifespan of a silverfish is between two and eight years. Silverfish reproduce at all times of the year, with the female laying about 100 eggs over the course of her lifetime.

What are the risks of a silverfish infestation?

Because they are adept at hiding, silverfish can grow in numbers before being discovered, resulting in a significant infestation. These pests do not bite or directly cause harm to humans or pets, but they are destructive to your home. Silverfish can contaminate foods and eat through fabrics, paper, or other items.

Silverfish eat mold, so their presence may also indicate a mold issue in your home. They are also a preferred food of spiders, centipedes, and other insects, so silverfish in your home may attract these pests.

When are They Active?

You and the silverfish likely have very different schedules, so you may not run into them too frequently unless you wake up in the middle of the night.

A common silverfish encounter usually occurs when someone walks into their bathroom at night and turns on their light to find a silverfish in their bathtub. This is somewhat of a prison for silverfish because they struggle to climb out of bathtubs due to their lack of extra appendages. They are poor climbers, but exceptional runners.

Silverfish are very quick, and can outrun the majority of their predators. Seeing a silverfish run in your home is a very unsettling sight that is sure to send shivers up your spine.

They will often scurry off into dark and secluded places. Silverfish are nocturnal, so they prefer to stay hidden during the brighter hours of the day, and will likely only come out when your lights are off.

The perfect conditions for silverfish are dark environments with temperatures around 70 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit, although they can survive in temperatures above 50 degrees.

Silverfish thrive in moist conditions, so they are often found in parts of your home that may be harboring excess moisture. They are often found in bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, garages, cabinets, or near leaks.

Sign of a Silverfish Infestation

Keep an eye out for feeding marks, although they may be irregular whether they are holes, notches along an edge, or surface etchings. Yellow stains, scales and/or feces (tiny black pepper-like pellets) may also be seen on infested materials.

These pests can typically be found in humid, moist areas of the home including basements, attics and bathrooms. People have noticed silverfish when they come down on ceiling soffits and/or drop from skylights and canister light fixtures in the ceiling, likely entering through shake roofs.

What is the Best Way to Kill Silverfish?

There are numerous ways to kill silverfish, including the use of boric acid and diatomaceous earth. Silverfish can be captured and killed using glasses wrapped in masking tape and filled with sugar water as bait. Another way to get rid of silverfish is to spray a mixture of bleach and water in the areas where they live or points where they access a home. The best way to control silverfish is to make one’s home inhospitable to these insects.

Boric acid is an effective means of silverfish extermination, though it’s a low-grade toxin. Children and pets must be kept away from areas in which boric acid is used. The powder should be sprinkled where silverfish have been noticed. Particular attention should be paid to areas where silverfish like to hide, such as under sinks and in cracks and crevices. More boric acid can be sprinkled every two weeks as needed to kill silverfish.

How To Get Rid Of Sugar Ants

How Much Do Ant Exterminators Cost? (A Simple Guide)

Outdoors, ants are a friend to us humans and to the environment. Inside our homes, however, ants are among the worst pests you’ll ever encounter.

So if you’re thinking about calling an ant exterminator, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll tell you everything there is to know about contacting an ant control company—from when you should make the call to how to what to tell your neighbors, and everything in between.

Should You Call for Professional Ant Control?

Ants have been classified as social insects, meaning that they live in large nests or in clustered groups known as super colonies. They don’t stray too far from their home, so if you see a few ants scouting across your kitchen area, chances are that they’ve already established a colony inside your home’s structure.

Why Make the Call?

​Ants move in trails and they don’t shy away from human presence. Although they may seem like a snap to deal with on your own, an ant infestation is something that needs immediate professional attention.

When to Call for an Ant Exterminator

​The presence of ants inside your home doesn’t pose an immediate and serious threat to you and your family’s health.

HOW DO I MAKE MY HOME ANTS PROOF?

Although tiny and defenceless, ants do need to be controlled and removed when your home or business has an ant nest housing an army of ants. The army will usually consist of an ant that reproduces other ants, and also the common worker ants that find food to support the reproducing ant. Ants are crafty creatures and enjoy being together. You will rarely see an ant alone as they usually trail behind each other in single file.

You might think that killing a few ants that you see will solve the problem. Despite short-term gratification, however, ants are clever and leave behind pheromones which provide other ants with guidance as to where to travel. This means that ants can spread far in a short amount of time. Even if you break up the pack, they will be able to find their friends within their colony.

CAN ANTS CAUSE HARM?

Certain types of ants can cause harm to humans should they sting the person. However, common household ants are usually attracted to odours that emanate from food items, rotting food and dead plant matter, animals and insects. Household ants are unlikely to be attracted to humans and will not crawl after you.

HOW TO PREVENT ANTS IN HOUSE?

Keeping your property inside and outside clean is essential. Although ants are small and seemingly vulnerable, they can penetrate the home from any location with the slightest opening. It is important that you seal your home or business completely and ensure that no rubbish, food, or plant matter is left lying around the property. Ensure that your property has no odours and areas of dampness.

BEST WAY TO GET RID OF ANTS

It is wise to call a professional to get rid of ants. Ants are crafty creatures. Even if you sight a trail of ants and try to kill them with household means, such as soapy water, you will rarely target the nest which houses the colony. Professional ant controllers have the experience, tools and knowledge to be able to locate ant nests and terminate the breeding process with special treatment products that are proven to work effectively

Get Your House Back From Ants With Our $25 Off Ant Control Offer

PCI Pest Control has been around for over twenty years! That is twenty years of helping families protect their homes, and get rid of creepy crawlies. We understand how important protecting your family is, since we are a family company ourselves. The home is a special place for families to gather together and create memories, not pests. Let us help protect your home from pests for good.

Ant Inspections: There are many ant species in Western Washington – do you know which one you are dealing with? Make an appointment to have on of our trained technicians come out, so you know exactly which ant species is infesting your home. Different ants require different programs to control and prevent activity, so we want to provide the most specific treatment possible to make your home ant-free.

Ant Prevention Treatments: Ants are the #1 nuisance pest in the Pacific Northwest and you should expect activity at your home! But with the help of PCI Pest Control, you can get rid of these annoying ants because we offer preventative programs that will protect your home year round. PCI Pest Control exterminators will come to your home quarterly, bi-monthly, or even monthly if you desire to make sure your ant issues are taken care of.

Ant Infestation Treatments: If the ants have taken over your home, our infestation treatments will do the trick.  The ants will get kicked out of your home, for good.

Why Choose PCI Pest Control?

Here at PCI, we care about all of your pest control needs. Not every company cares about their clients, but at PCI Pest Control, we will treat you like family. As a family-owned company, family is a priority to us, so automatically, you are a priority as well.

ANT CONTROL

WE’LL SHUT DOWN ANTS BEFORE THEY COME MARCHING IN

Ants are highly social creatures — seeing one ant likely means more are nearby. And killing some ants won’t take care of the problem. Effective ant control often requires finding and treating the colony.

YOU NEED THE STRONGEST PEST PROTECTION YOU CAN GET

Pests never stop trying to get into your home. Terminix® never stops working to keep them out. With more than 90 years of experience killing termites and pests, we are America’s leading provider of termite and pest control services.

Ant indentification

With more than 700 species in the United States, ant identification can be quite a challenge. Start by looking for trails. Ants very rarely travel alone and are usually spotted when they’re hunting as a colony along paths that have been well established. When you’ve found a trail, look at the sizes of the ants. Are they identical or do they vary in size? Also observe when the ants are active—during the day or at night? Look for nests at the end of trails—especially in areas with soil. Soil nests have distinct shapes or patterns depending on the ant species.

Ant facts

Ant infestations tend to happen fast. Regardless of whether your ant problem is an annoyance or an all-out infestation, you may be surprised to learn how fascinating these little creatures actually are

Ant behavior

Ants are social insects that live in colonies and have several different types or castes of individuals. Each caste has a different function or job in the colony.

HOW TO GET RID OF CARPENTER ANTS

Getting rid of carpenter ants isn’t easy without an experienced service technician on your side, but there are some steps you can take on your own. Just be aware that even with a pest management professional, killing carpenter ants is a difficult task, and often requires quite a few attempts, due to the manner in which carpenter ants nest. So how do you get rid of carpenter ants? Here’s a helpful checklist.

HOW DO YOU FIND CARPENTER ANT NESTS?

Carpenter ant nests come in two forms: parent nests and satellite nests. The parent nest is where the queen resides. When resources in the parent nest become limited, satellite nests are settled and the colony expands. Nests can be indoors or out, so finding them is the key to getting rid of carpenter ants. These ants follow scented trails to travel back and forth between food and the nests. You can use this trailing behavior to your advantage to find the nests. Since they are most active late at night, place a few drops of honey or jelly on the backside of masking tape each night. When the ants feed on the honey, don’t spray or kill them. Instead, follow them back to their nest. This takes some patience.

WHERE SHOULD YOU LOOK FOR CARPENTER ANTS IN HOMES AND OUTSIDE?

Indoors, carpenter ant nests are usually located in areas where there is moisture-damaged wood. Prime nesting locations include wall voids, behind dishwashers, near sinks and tubs or other areas with high levels of moisture. The ants often access their nests via baseboards, electrical outlets, door casings or cracks in the walls. If the ants are just foraging in your home and their nest is outside, you will often find colonies in tree stumps, dead or dying trees, and other wood with a lot of moisture damage

HOW DO YOU DESTROY THE NEST?

While it’s highly recommended that a reliable pest management professional destroy carpenter ant nests, some homeowners attempt carpenter ant treatment themselves. For nests indoors, carefully drill one-eighth of an inch wide holes in the wall, every 6 inches or so. Do this 3 to 6 feet on either side of the suspected nest location. Carpenter ants love to travel on pipes and wires. As such, their nests are often located near wiring and piping, so be careful when drilling. When the holes are drilled, puff boric acid powder into them. The powder will disperse inside the wall voids and kill the ants right in their nest. Don’t seal the holes right away – you will likely have to repeat the treatment a few times since killing carpenter ants isn’t easy. If the nest is outdoors, it can be drenched in an insecticide such as carbaryl, diazinon or chlorpyrifos (these may not be legal in every state, so be sure to check first). However, this can be dangerous to children and pets, so it’s highly recommended that all treatments are handled and performed by a pest management technician.

WHAT’S THE BEST FORM OF CARPENTER ANT CONTROL AND PREVENTION?

to avoid having another one develop. Fix all leaks, including plumbing, roofs and drainage systems. Areas with high moisture levels should be evaluated and corrected to reduce moisture. If possible, eliminate any places where wood meets the soil outdoors. Clip tree limbs and brush that touches or overhangs the house as these are bridges for carpenter ants to enter your home. Seal all cracks in the foundation, including where wiring and utility pipes enter the structure. Get rid of any wood lying around the house. If you have a firewood pile, store it away from your home, elevated off of the ground.

How To Get Rid Of Cockroaches In Your Home

How To Choose The Right Cockroach Control Products

If you have cockroaches in your house, the last thing you want is for them to set up home in your kitchen. You want to make sure that you get rid of them as quickly as possible through pest control products so they can’t continue to reproduce—otherwise you’ll have a full-blown infestation on your hands in no time.

But what exactly can you do? Well, the truth is, there are a number of different products that you can choose from to take care of cockroaches and the most important thing is making sure that you look at your options to choose the right one for your needs and ensure workable pest management.

Checking Out The Options

There are different types of insecticide that you can choose from and they tend to come in a variety of different forms. A whole host of pest control products for effective pest management, such as boric acid, gel baits, glue traps, powders, liquid sprays, bait stations, and active ingredients that work like food poisoning to put in things they will be attracted to which can destroy the adults, nymphs, and their egg cases.

The key is making sure you know which ones work for the type of insects you’re trying to exterminate, where you want to put them and the animals or children that you have in your home. After all, you want to make sure that your family is protected in every way possible and insecticides can definitely be dangerous if not treated in the right way.

Liquid Insecticides

One thing they have in common is that they need to be sprayed close to the foundation but not right at the foundation because this helps to create an actual barrier rather than just the wall of your house. They should also be sprayed along windows or other edges to improve the strength of the barrier itself.

Cockroaches

Cockroaches are not only undesirable pests but a threat to human health by consuming our food and contaminating the indoor environment.

Cockroaches are known to transfer disease pathogens, such as the various bacteria that produce “food poisoning” in humans, by contaminating food, food preparation surfaces, dishes and eating utensils. How many human gastrointestinal disorders are attributed to the mechanical transmission of pathogens by cockroaches has not been fully assessed, but remains a valid health concern. However, the roach’s greatest impact on human health may be its ability to trigger asthma. Cockroach nymphs grow by periodically shedding their “skin” (the exoskeleton). Fragments of their exoskeletons, along with bits of cockroach feces, serve as antigens (foreign protein) that, when inhaled, cause allergic and asthmatic reactions.

Several species of cockroaches live inside structures. Most domestic cockroaches are of tropical origin and the German cockroach, for one, cannot survive temperate winters outdoors. All are primarily nocturnal. All prefer warm, moist places where they can feed on human and pet foods, decaying and fermenting matter, and a variety of other items

GERMAN COCKROACH

The German cockroach (Blatella germanica) is by far the most common roach found in kitchens. It is a half-inch long, bronze-colored insect that avoids light and hides in cracks and crevices. Adults and older nymphs have two black stripes on the back just behind the head.

ORIENTAL COCKROACH

The Oriental cockroach (Blatta orientalis) is the so-called “waterbug” of basements, crawlspaces and garages. It lives in cooler habitats with plenty of moisture – even outdoors around foundations in leaves and mulch where it can survive temperate winters. As a result, the Oriental cockroach’s development is slower. They require an average of 18 months to progress from egg to adult, while the German cockroach averages only two months to adulthood. In addition, the Oriental’s egg case contains 16 eggs, compared to the German’s 30 to 48 eggs per case. After being detached from the female, eggs inside the Oriental roach’s egg case require an average of two months to hatch

HOW TO DETERMINE WHAT TYPES OF COCKROACHES ARE IN YOUR HOME

There are more than 4,500 different types of cockroaches, but only 69 species are found in the U.S. Learn how to spot signs of cockroaches in your home

There are more than 4,500 types of roaches in the world, of which only around 69 species are found in the United States. And while that number is still pretty high, the good news is you really only have to worry about five or six different roach species, depending on which state you call home. Most species of roaches rarely invade homes, including the western wood cockroach and the brown-hooded cockroach (which prefers to live outside in the Pacific Northwest)

But the news isn’t all good. These handful of troublesome roach species that want to move in with you can easily become a nightmare for any homeowner. Consider that for every roach you can see, there’s a good chance there are dozens, even hundreds, in your home that you can’t see. And while all roaches might look the same as they scatter when you turn on the lights, knowing how to tell the difference between the most common types of roaches in your home will help you choose the most effective pest control methods to stop the infestation dead in its tracks

General appearance of all types of roaches

First, be certain you are actually dealing with cockroaches. Roaches can be mistaken for other insects such as grasshoppers, beetles or crickets. Cockroaches have flattened, broad bodies with long antennae and long hind legs. Each of their six legs has tiny sensory hairs. Adult roaches have wings that fold flat on their backs, but not every cockroach can fly. Most roaches are brown or black and can range anywhere from 0.07 inches to 3 inches in length, depending on the species.

German cockroaches

The German cockroach is the most common of all cockroach types found in America. Their high-speed capacity for breeding makes them a direct threat to your family and home. All it takes is one single female to get into your home. Between her and her offspring, more than 30,000 cockroaches can be produced in one year, though many of them won’t live very long. The ones that do survive are more than enough to cause disease and disgust. Each German cockroach egg case (ootheca) can hatch between 20 and 40 baby roaches, and unlike other types of cockroaches, the adult female carries the eggs with her until they are ready to hatch. This makes them extremely persistent and difficult to get rid of.

A How-To Guide on Controlling Cockroaches at Home

Have you ever wandered into the kitchen for a late-night snack, only to scream in horror as you glimpse a cockroach stealing away into another room? If so, you’ll probably want to know what you can do to make sure this doesn’t happen again. We interviewed Steve Durham, founder and co-owner of EnviroCon Termite & Pest, Inc., in Houston, Texas, to learn more about these ancient nuisances and how to keep them out of your home.

What Do I Need to Know About Cockroaches?

Why are cockroaches so ubiquitous? What is unique about them?

Cockroaches are omnivorous. Their ability to eat any food source makes almost any locale a potential feeding site. Although members of the order Blattodea (the scientific name for cockroaches) are found worldwide, individual families within this order are segregated into different regions that they’re best suited for. Other insect orders are similar in nature. Take Diptera for instance—flies and mosquitoes are just as widespread.

How prevalent are different types of cockroaches in the North versus the South?

German cockroaches are found in both regions because they prefer indoor habitats. American cockroaches are found in both regions because they prefer the warm, moist conditions found in storm drains and utility tunnels. Exterior-dwelling roaches, like the Surinam or Australian cockroaches, are more prevalent in southern regions due to the warmer habitats.

How can a homeowner tell the difference between a rogue cockroach here or there and a legitimate problem that requires further action?

Population density and the specific species will determine the best and most economical form of treatment. It’s normal for one or two American or Smokybrown cockroaches to enter a structure now and then and not be a problem. They prefer to live outside the home environment, so if you see one or two of them, it’s normally an accidental invasion into the home.

How Do You Get Rid of Cockroaches?

What preventative measures/practices can a homeowner employ to help a cockroach-free home stay that way?

Sanitation is the key! A breadcrumb dropped behind a stove can feed roaches for weeks. Add to this grease splatter from frying, other tiny bits of food that children drop, and the availability of water in a kitchen, and you have a perfect habitat for roach rearing.

Cockroaches: The insect we’re programmed to fear

Why are we so revolted by roaches? Rachel Nuwer visits her own personal insect hell to find out, and discovers a disturbing truth about our future with these creatures

what’s your earliest memory? For me, the answer is not pleasant.

I’m about four years old, and I’m sitting in the green-carpeted hallway of our family’s first home in Biloxi, Mississippi. The bathroom door stands open in front of me, and my mother is emerging from the shower. As she pulls a towel from the rack, I notice a dark stain marring that clean, fluffy pink material. It’s a cockroach. I see it before she does. As she wraps the towel around her body, however, it quickly makes itself known. She shrieks, flailing and stomping, suddenly naked and vulnerable and afraid. I begin to cry

I recently asked my mother about this event, and she had no idea what I was talking about. Perhaps I dreamed it, or my early memory is flawed. Or perhaps it was just business-as-usual in our Southern US home, where – no matter what chemical barriers were erected – cockroaches inevitably found their way inside

Real or imaginary, this incident triggered an intense dislike of cockroaches that would only intensify as years passed and encounters with those creatures multiplied. For me, a roach is not just an insect. It is a psychological gateway into a lengthy laundry list of traumatic experiences: digging through a box of supplies in my outdoor playhouse when a roach zips out and scuttles up my leg, its spiky appendages pricking at my skin. Watching my first cat, Salty, as he traps a roach, dismembers it with his claws and mouth, and then eats the succulent, writhing remains. Finding a small dead cockroach tangled in my wet hair after a trip to the beach, and thereafter suffering recurring nightmares of picking roaches out of my hair.

Roaches invade our homes and make those intimate spaces their own. As physical embodiments of filth and germs, they show that for all of our fortifications against dirt and disease, those efforts are ultimately futile. “They’ve really figured out how to exploit the opportunities we create, and in doing so, developed behaviours and life histories that prevent us from controlling them,” says Jeff Lockwood, a professor of natural sciences and humanities at the University of Wyoming. “In a sense, we loathe that which we foster.” Our very existence enables them to thrive