How do I get rid of centipedes and silverfish?

Question: Do you treat for silverfish and centipedes?

What is the usual source of these in a home? What chemicals does Orkin use, and where are they applied? Are the MSDSs available for the chemicals?

Question: I just noticed a silverfish in my bathroom.

How do I get rid of them and prevent them from coming back? I have an Orkin Man come around and spray primarily the exterior of my house once a month. Will this take care of most of my insect problems?

ANSWER: The household silverfish (Lepisma saccharina) is often found only indoors. It gets into houses in packaging material, furniture and perhaps stored clothing. Silverfish can live in a variety of places, including kitchens, bathrooms, basements and attics. They feed on starchy materials, but can usually find food wherever they are in the house.

They can damage clothing and paper products. They can be a nuisance and annoy people by their presence. They don't carry any disease organisms, don't bite and generally stay out of the way.

House centipedes (Scutigera coleoptrata) are long, slender creatures. Their bodies are elongated and rather flat. Most body segments have one pair of legs. Centipedes are predators of insects and spiders. They are usually active at night.

They do not gather in nests, but they spend the daytime hiding in dark areas. Centipedes prefer areas that are high in humidity, like basements. As predators, their food sources are other insects, including silverfish, so if you are seeing centipedes you may have issues with other insects and spiders.

Orkin Pest Control does treat for both of these pests. Call us and a highly trained Orkin Pest Specialist will inspect your home and develop a customized solution that best fits your needs. The Orkin Man will provide you with label and MSDS information for the treatment materials at your request.

Related Questions:

The Orkin Man used the information above to also answer the following questions submitted by users:

  • Question: I live in a six-unit brick apartment building. My middle floor apartment and the one below me have water damage from a plumbing problem. I am also above a laundry room and boiler room. I have recently noticed silverfish crawling on my walls and out of a crack in my bedroom window. So far I have only seen them in my room, not in the kitchen or bathroom. I am VERY CONCERNED. I can't deal with bugs. I have been sleeping in the living room out of extreme paranoia. My main concern is that I am moving into a new apartment, and I DO NOT want to transport these disgusting bugs with me! I have two small children, so I am afraid to use home pesticides. But, like I said, I am moving and I can't stomach the idea of taking these things with me. What should I do? Should I have this professionally taken care of? What can I do to prevent the spread?
  • Question: We live in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Spring is just approaching; lots of snow on the ground, but it is starting to melt. We have noticed about 3 to 5 centipedes and silverfish every couple of days. We vacuum them up and then more show up. We have two dogs, and so we are worried about spraying chemicals. How do these creatures get into our house, and can you tell me more about your process for getting rid of these things in our basement without causing any problems for our dogs?
  • Question: Help, my apartment has silverfish. I had maintenance spray five times and I still have them. I am terrified of these bugs. What should I do, and what would be the pricing on extermination on a 800-sq-ft apartment?
  • Question: Can you get rid of silverfish?
  • Question: I have been having problems with silverfish. Our house is bright and clean. It looks like nothing works. Any suggestions?
  • Question: I have a problem with silverfish bugs. I have sprayed a bug killer along all the baseboards in the house, but they still keep appearing. Is there anything else that can be done to eliminate and prevent them from coming back? Also, what attracts them, so I can clean up around the house to keep them away?

large illustration of silverfish Silverfish illustration


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