If you have damp areas in your home, whether obvious or concealed, there are certain pests that will find your living environment attractive, and you could find yourself with an infestation on your hands. Slaters and silverfish are common pests, and when you notice them in your home, it's a warning sign that there are areas of high moisture, which can lead to wood rot and even structural damage. Here's an overview of these two pests:
Slaters are distinctive in appearance, with flat, oval-shaped bodies and segmented shells. They will curl into a ball when they feel threatened and are commonly found outside in damp areas, such as under a log or beneath rotting vegetation. When you notice slaters in your home, you may only see a few, but spotting them often means there's a larger population lurking somewhere that you either can't see or haven't noticed yet. They don't feed on healthy wood, but they can quickly devour damp, rotting wood. This can lead to structural damage over time. Common areas found to house slaters are subfloors and roof cavities, but you should also check for leaking pipes and cracked masonry.
Silverfish are hardy insects that wiggle along the floors rather than walk. They have a teardrop shape and three long tail filaments. They are nocturnal, and you may only see them at night if you get up and put a light on. Silverfish will instinctively scuttle away from light and tend to congregate in dark, damp areas, such as basements, subfloors and kitchen and bathroom cupboards. They can be quite destructive and will eat wallpaper paste, books and carpets. You may see their droppings around your home, which resemble small black peppercorns.
Eradicating slaters and silverfish may include the use of insecticidal sprays or dust, and in some cases, the entire house may need to be dusted. Thermal treatment may also be suggested, which involves raising the temperature in your home to around 50 degrees centigrade and holding it there for a set period of time. Such a high temperature creates an environment that many insects cannot survive in, and it can be an effective option for those who would like to avoid chemical-based treatment measures.
If you notice either of these pests in your home, contact your local pest control specialist and have a survey carried out. They can determine the extent of the problem and recommend a treatment plan.