Toronto is a fairly young city, built as a gridded metropolis rather than a tangle of winding streets and alleys. While space isn’t really an issue in most of Canada, the port-side cities and other focal locations prefer to build up, rather than out – fitting more into the same space and reducing the time and distance people need to commute. Because of this, you’ll often find apartment blocks, skyscrapers and other tall buildings clustered closely together. The taller ones are mostly limited to Toronto itself, but they can be found scattered throughout the Greater Toronto Area.
Now, buildings such as apartment blocks come with their own challenges when it comes to pest control. The main issues come from the fact that with multiple residencies in one building, it’s very hard to coordinate efforts and come together to fight any problems that might arise – and as you know, when a problem isn’t eliminated completely it just comes back!
There’s also the issue of access, as while a lot of places might have custodians whose job it is to see to the maintenance, they won’t have access to the residential areas on demand. If there isn’t a custodian, residents themselves are forced to tackle the problem but they might not have access to areas that they need – basement, attics, boiler rooms, all key areas that pests love to nest inside and then spread out from.
A great example of this is silverfish, who love the damp and the dark, and like to leave their larvae in tiny spaces that you don’t have much luck getting to inspect. They live inside attics, basements, the areas around pipes and boilers, all places that you might have trouble reaching to get rid of them. Fortunately, these creepy crawlies don’t bite or carry disease, but they are dangerous in their own way.
The main thing you should be concerned with when dealing with silverfish is that they are often a sign of property damage. These critters love to eat mold and can eventually tear through any moist wall covering or wallpaper that they get their mouthpieces on. Spiders, centipedes, and other larger pests feed on silverfish, so one problem can lead to another if not tackled quickly. They sometimes get inside your pipes and damage them too, which causes the problem to escalate as more water damage = more pest problems!
Obviously you want to get rid of silverfish that appear in your property as quickly as possible, but the ideal thing is to never have them appear in the first place. Here are a few things you can do to stop them getting in, or to discourage their entry:
- Seal and cover
Silverfish don’t have a way of eating through a good, solid seal which is something that applies to a lot of bugs. If you make sure your walls, window fittings, door fittings etc. are properly sealed, they’ll have a hard time getting in. They can also get through cracks in the foundation or skirting boards, gaps in the roof and so on – be sure to check these regularly for general wear and tear.
One of the places a lot of people don’t think about is the gaps in the wall where the electrical wires come in, but these pests are small and persistent so make sure your wires are properly sealed up.
- Fix and dry
Silverfish love water, so be on the lookout for any leaks from your pipes or water coming through the foundations – Toronto is a coastal city so this can be a major problem! Check your roof for leaks too, as it’s the place that gets affected by rain more than anywhere else.
While it obviously isn’t feasible to get rid of all of the water in the air, you can target a few key areas with dehumidifiers to reduce humidity in places where it’s likely to be high. Basements, under the roof, laundry rooms, etc. all can have high humidity especially for somewhere as close to the water as Toronto, so it’s worth an investment to keep these areas dry.
If you do end up getting silverfish inside your buildings it causes a lot of problems, from structural to ruining your building’s reputation. You want them to be gone quickly and preferably quietly, so here’s a few things you can do to get rid of them yourself.
- Dry, dry, dry
A dehumidifier is the best choice for getting rid of moisture in the air, and it can help against an infestation by encouraging them to leave. If you have these devices already, great! If not, there are some other, less costly methods that you can try. Ventilation will help to an extent, but what you really need is to get something concentrated to deal with the silverfish outbreak.
Salt is your friend here, with both the ability to suck up moisture and dehydrate any bug that comes across it. It’s also fairly cheap and safe around pets/children, so don’t hesitate to sprinkle great big handfuls of it in problem areas.
Another option is diatomaceous earth – it’s a special substance you can buy from a lot of places that destroys the wax coating that many bugs have to retain water, killing them. While more effective, it can also be harmful to humans and animals so be aware of who might be in the area when picking this method.
- Commercial baits
Silverfish do like to go after human food, so leaving some traps out laced with boric acid or another insect-killer will do nicely for removing them. They can be bought over the counter but are highly toxic, so keep any pets or children away from them.
There’s also sticky traps which could work for a small problem – as the name suggests they catch bugs and stick them in place. But this will only work with hatched silverfish and not their cocoons or eggs.
Of course, the best way to deal with any pest problem is to call your local pest control service, for a professional and safe pest exterminating job with no fuss and no excess fees.
Contact Provincial Pest Control for a free pest control inspection in the Toronto Area!