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#1 of 14 Old 10-26-2009, 01:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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OK, three and a half weeks ago we moved into a really cute little 80-some odd year old house in a cute neighbourhood with a cute little back yard with a cute little playhouse, across the street from a cute little playground. Cute cute cute. Everything is cute except the silverfish. We moved into an infested house and as a result I have pretty much had a complete mental breakdown. Seriously. I have never experienced this kind of anxiety in my entire life. I have spread diamotaceous earth throughout the house along all the baseboards and in any of the cracks and crevices that I could reach. I run the dehumidifier 24/7 set to 40%, which I'm sure helps, but not enough. It's an old house and I know they come in from the outside. I feel like it's a losing battle.

The owners of the house are out of the country and claim that they were never a big problem before (this is their family home, not a long-term rental property), although they were present. I am meticulous about dishes and leftover food and vacuuming and keeping the bathroom clean and leaving nothing on the floor. And when I say meticulous, I mean obsessive in a not-so-healthy sort of way. I am afraid to move from room to room at night, and I have full-blown panic attacks when I see them.

Recently I've found them in the kitchen under a wooden backsplash that is impossible to keep dry. Who installs a wood backsplash for heaven's sake? And in my cupboards. All my food is now in plastic or glass containers but still it icks me out. They are also in my bedroom. The owners have offered to hire a pest control company, but I don't know what sort of success they would have without addressing the way these devil-bugs are getting into the house in the first place. My big fear is that we will be taking them with us when we move in a couple of years (we plan to build or buy a new house).

Does anybody have any success stories they could share with me? Should I continue trying to manage it naturally or should I go with the pest control company? I actually start counseling next week for the anxiety (I am hanging on by a thread, actually). If it were just me I would break the lease, pay the penalty and get the hell out of here, but the move was pretty tough on the kids and I wouldn't do that to them again after just a few weeks. I feel trapped.

Diane, SAHM to DD (June 05) and DS (April 07).
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#2 of 14 Old 10-26-2009, 04:56 PM
 
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i have no solutions but i can understand why this is bothering you so much...i would feel the same way!

if you pack up and move, you may end up with another problem at the next place...and it could be worse...so moving really may not even help...there is always something to deal with. i have lived places with those crazy jumping spiders (they call them sprickets--like a cross between spiders and crickets) and they were really, really bad....and where i am now we have moths really bad.

i just hope that you can find a solution that will give you some peace.

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#3 of 14 Old 10-26-2009, 05:02 PM
 
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DO you have any ideas about where they may be getting in? Maybe if you spread diatomaceous earth around the outside of the windows and if you have a basement...? Maybe the pest control company can do a consultation with you and tell you whether they can help or not.

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#4 of 14 Old 10-27-2009, 01:34 AM
 
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Urgh- we have them too. And I experience(d) so much anxiety too.

We bought a townhome and a week into it we saw the first one. I researched google like a mad woman staying up till late hours reading the same advice from different sites on how to get rid of them. We have no excessive moisture or any leaks. I spoke with the people who live around me and 3 out of the 4 units around us have them too. The guys beside us went through 3 cans of Raid in one night and even that didn't work long term-within a week or two he saw them again. Because of the toxic grossness of raid we went the D. earth and borax route. I read that it takes up to 14 days for them to die from the DE and borax but I've never seen dead ones. We called 4 different pest control companies (even one that advertised as "green") and the suggestions were to either fumigate our place or treat everything, ie walls, floors, ect with a spray similiar to raid. They did say though that unless all the units around us got the same treatment that the silverfish would eventually come back. So that was not an option for us, both because of the toxic nature of it (I was 37-28 weeks pregnant!) and because it was admittedly a short term solution.
After I saw one crawling on the countertop while I was preparing food I freaked out. Then I saw one on my couch and I lost it. During the last few weeks of pregnancy I would not go pee alone for fear of seeing one. DH would go into the bathroom first, kill any he saw (about 2?) and then I would go in. Then I started seeing them everywhere-not real ones-but I would think I saw one. So frustrating- I thought I was losing my sanity because of these gross little bugs. So I hear you.
We ended up buying several sticky traps from Canadian Tire that are meant for small bugs and placing them around the house. I don't look in them, Dh only tells me about it if I ask. But I can tell you that the traps have cut down on how many we see skidding around (I get the heebie jeebies just typing that). Also we now know where in the house they are the most/least and can monitor somewhat if the number of them is more/less. Some things that have helped me tremendously with the anxiety part is to remember that 1. They don't bite-they won't hurt me or my babies. 2. They don't spread disease. 3. It could be way worse- we could have mice or rats. Or cockroaches or spiders. For all it's worth I read somewhere that there are less in winter, don't know if it's true but I'll take it. Sorry, I know my post is more me comiserating as opposed to helping but at least your not alone.

Loving mama to M. 09/2007 and K. 10/2009. Married to my soul mate :
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#5 of 14 Old 10-27-2009, 11:31 AM
 
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We got them about 7 years ago. I seriously regret buying used books, but I went to a booksale with mom and she bought a few books and one of them had them in there. Books are a real hot spot for them, apparently they live on the binding gel.

They're very difficult to kill too.

http://www.domyownpestcontrol.com/de...cks-p-204.html

This is what you can get--it's boric acid saturated cardboard squares. You can throw them in drawers, etc. where you've seen them. They LOVE the paper bait, will eat it up, dehydrate and die.

However, likely the guys have made it into the attic, or they may have even come up from the attic. Apparently they like to live off of some of the stuff up there (insulation I believe). So, likely they would have to have stuff blown in there. They generally blow boric acid up in the attic over here, which takes care of a lot of pests!

Perpetually breastfeeding or pregnant ENFP mom to a lot of kids...wife to a midwestern nice guy...living in tropical paradise...pink cats and homebirths rock!

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#6 of 14 Old 10-27-2009, 01:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Orangatan - thank you so much. I'm really happy to hear that I am not alone in my insanity. Although I'm getting so tired of scanning every flat surface of every room I walk into. I have dreams, hallucinations and obsessive thoughts constantly and I'm so sick of feeling like I've lost it. I'm beginning to think of Burnaby as the land of silverfish and dead skunks.

Diane, SAHM to DD (June 05) and DS (April 07).
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#7 of 14 Old 10-27-2009, 01:58 PM
 
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We had a lot silverfish when we first moved into our current home - in fact we still see an occasional one, though I only see one in a great while (fortunately, not a sense of phobia for me, though I can imagine how you feel) The one thing we did that helped immensely was to get rid of ALL cardboard boxes - all of them, even in the attic - we now use rubbermaid instead. They make their homes in the cardboard.
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#8 of 14 Old 10-27-2009, 03:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by texmama View Post
We had a lot silverfish when we first moved into our current home - in fact we still see an occasional one, though I only see one in a great while (fortunately, not a sense of phobia for me, though I can imagine how you feel) The one thing we did that helped immensely was to get rid of ALL cardboard boxes - all of them, even in the attic - we now use rubbermaid instead. They make their homes in the cardboard.
Yeah, that's my next goal. Unfortunately my dh has about 30+ boxes of books in the basement. We need to do another book cull and then find a plastic storage solution. I was thinking about enclosing the boxes in heavy duty plastic bags, but I'm not sure that would work. They are all on shelves off the ground and away from the wall, encircled with a ring of d. earth. It's like a bizarre little fortress down there.

Diane, SAHM to DD (June 05) and DS (April 07).
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#9 of 14 Old 11-01-2009, 07:54 PM
 
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I'm sort of curious what you are calling an infestation. In the last week I've seen maybe 3 or 4 silverfish in my house. I even stepped on one in barefoot (noticed something tickling my foot--ick!) In a normal week I don't see any. It's been raining a lot here, so I chalk it up to that. But I'm wondering how many you're seeing that it's giving you anxiety?
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#10 of 14 Old 11-01-2009, 08:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I was killing about five a day. It's down to one or two a day now, so I'm hoping the d. earth is having an effect. In my mind, there's millions of them, but my mind is a pretty scary place right now.

Diane, SAHM to DD (June 05) and DS (April 07).
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#11 of 14 Old 11-02-2009, 02:10 AM
 
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i am wondering why people are freaking out about silverfish? we have them around our house and they cause us no grief or harm.
i mean, they do very little damage, dont bite, dont make noise and are totally afraid of people, so why worry about them? especially just a few?

i dont know, i guess i'm just weird, my father was a pest control agent for many years so i take issue with destructive insects but silverfish are pretty minor in the grand scheme, you know?
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#12 of 14 Old 11-02-2009, 02:40 AM
 
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i am wondering why people are freaking out about silverfish? we have them around our house and they cause us no grief or harm.
i mean, they do very little damage, dont bite, dont make noise and are totally afraid of people, so why worry about them? especially just a few?

i dont know, i guess i'm just weird, my father was a pest control agent for many years so i take issue with destructive insects but silverfish are pretty minor in the grand scheme, you know?
Yeah, but see...they're UGLY little beasties. They oog me out more than almost ant other bug (except ants...shudder...).

ETA: Hah, freudian slip!
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#13 of 14 Old 11-02-2009, 03:54 PM
 
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i also agree with the creepiness of silverfish.

i don't mind many insects but silverfish do freak me out.

i have killed maybe one per year in the place where i live now and that was enough for me.

i would be really freaked out if i was seeing 3 or 5 a day.

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#14 of 14 Old 11-03-2009, 07:36 PM
 
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oh ok, i guess i just have a different level of freak out.
maybe i can equivalate it to my strange fear of mosquito hawks, which are also totally harmless, but i totally freak when i see them.

if its like that then yeah, good luck, silverfish are pretty much impossible to get rid of unless you want to get rid of all of your paper, clothing, cardboard, fiberglass insulation, water, wood and dirt.

those guys can live off of anything, which i personally think is pretty cool, but i dont find them gross.
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