Many small offices take pest control for granted until they experience significant damage to their property and documents. As in most charitable institutions, our Care Office in San Jose is operating on a tight budget and pest control is the least of our priorities. Space is another challenge in a small office like ours. Paper works that should have been archived were still stashed in our conference room, which we repurposed as a stock room. We have filing cabinets there, but we do not have enough workforce to do the archiving.
Then, after a few months, we discovered insects lurking in the boxes. We cannot dispose of the files because they contain receipts and other documents that are essential in our operations. We called a recommended pest control company to get some help in removing those pests. The pest control staff identified the pest in our office as Silverfishes. They explained that this pest loves paper and linen. They cleared up the pests, and we were very satisfied with the result. Their service is fast and friendly; we even got a crash course on Silverfishes.
Here are quick facts about Silverfishes.
If you know Plankton from the cartoon Spongebob Squarepants, Silverfishes roughly look like that. It is elongated with two antennas and three long bristles at its rear. Their color varies from white to bluish silver.
Silverfishes prefer high humidity places. They particularly flourish in dark, damp places around your premises such as under the sink and in basements. They feed on cellulose, glue in books, and silk, so you will notice significant damage to paper and clothing where they thrive.
Our makeshift stock room has the perfect condition to harbor Silverfishes. So, we suggest that you always check your document storage area to ensure that it is not infested.
First thing – prevention. You need to remove the things that attract them. Paper stacks are one. If you need to keep files, make sure they are stored properly. Next, you can dehumidify moist areas to minimize humidity, especially in your storage areas.
There are traps that you can set up to catch Silverfishes. However, they are not very effective because it is not enough to capture an entire population of Silverfishes. As such, you will be better off to get professional pest control help to eradicate the pest completely.
Aside from the Silverfish learnings we got, we also found a way to solve our archive backlog. We did not realize that there are volunteers who are willing to help in mundane tasks, such as filing. It only took the volunteer a whole day to sort and file our documents.
The volunteer even offered to scan the records if we wanted to keep an electronic copy instead. Isn’t that great? We are also starting to devise a system to minimize the use of paper to avoid storage problems and pests.
All’s well that ends well. It is an excellent realization that charitable organizations could use a bit of aid, too. Our pest problem somehow serve as a blessing in disguise because it helped solve other underlying problems.