How to get rid of long-tailed silverfish
Long-tailed silverfish (Ctenolepisma longicaudatum) is a pest that does not carry any disease or makes any harm to buildings like many other types of pests, but when they settle in our homes, they tend to get really annoying and after some time they start to appear in large numbers and cause stress and mental discomfort for people.
In 2018 the problem with Long-tailed silverfish was so severe in Norway, that the pest control department at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, with sponsorship from a large insurance company, started a science project, to find a solution to the problem. The main goal was to discover how we effectively could deal with infestations in homes and workplaces.
Norway had the first discoveries of long-tailed silverfish in 2013. Since this insect, not was found natural in Norway before, it was an imported insect that spread through homes and workplaces like a disease. In less than 5 years this was considered to be the most common pest in Norway, that needed pest control service.
Since the normal procedure at this time was to baseboard treatments through the whole home to reduce the population, the main goal of the project was to find more effective treatments that used less or even no chemicals to deal with infestations. After a short time of research, they found a chemical that was far superior to every other compound used. This insecticide was indoxacarb in poisonous bait form. When this chemical first was tested in field trials, they saw that the trials from the laboratory, easily transferred to real-life trials. So, the next goal was to find the best technique, on how to apply this. The method of laying small micro-points with poisoned bait was incredibly much more effective than all the other control methods that were tried. Different ways to layout the bait was tried, to see if different techniques gave the same results. Here they found that how the poisoned bait was laid out was incredibly important for the result.
How to do the treatment
The way the poisoned bait is to be laid out is like micro-points every 50-100cm throughout the whole building. All floor lists are to be treated with small dots of this bait with the preferred distance between. The dots can be as small as 10-20mg. These are very small dots and will not be very much noticed in homes after treatment. This method needs to be applied to each room, in the whole building for the best effect. The total amount of poisoned bait does not have to be large.
After experiencing this treatment method for some years, we now have really good statistics on how this works, and what kind of a result we can expect.
After 1 thorough treatment, the population in homes is reduced by a minimum of 90%. The treatment reaches this number after roughly 8-12 weeks. When the researchers used glue traps to collect data after treatment, they found that the reducing effect was also continuing after this amount of time. And reaching maximum effects of up to 98% after 6 months.
How can this treatment have this long-term effect?
When studying the effect of the treatment, the researchers found the main reason for this effect was that Indoxacarb was highly effective on primary effect (direct consumption) but since the long-tailed silverfish is cannibals, the secondary poisonous effect was also very clear. A very high percentage of the insects that consumed other insects also died. This also happened with a significant number of the insects consuming these insects again. This proved that the tertiary effect also played a significant role in the good results of these treatments.
The long-tailed silverfish can effectively be controlled with poisonous bait. The most secure method will be to apply this compound with micro-dots every 50-100cm throughout the whole building, the effect on 1 treatment is very high, but for the best result, it is recommended that the treatment is repeated after 6-9 months.
That we effectively should get rid of 100% of these insects in our homes is not likely, since they hide deep inside the construction of buildings, and feed of everything organic they can find. But the research and our experience show us that a severe infestation that is causing high levels of discomfort in our homes can effectively be controlled. The population will be put down to a number that we do not feel or see in our homes.