If you've ever seen one squirm around on your floor, you may have shrieked.
Whether by the way they move, the way they look, or a combination of both, silverfish tend to gross people out. They are small critters and aren't harmful to humans, however.
The pests consume starchy materials and are mostly active at night. You might spot them inside of books, stored food, or inside of clothing (yikes!).
According to Section 32 of the Residential Tenancy Act (RTA), landlords are responsible for providing and maintaining their residential properties in a state that complies with the health, safety and housing standards required by law. In other words, they need to keep your pad pest-free or deal with pest issues as they arise.
Tenants also bear a responsibility to uphold the cleanliness of their rental units, too.
The RTA stipulates that a "tenant must maintain reasonable health, cleanliness and sanitary standards throughout the rental unit."
The BC Residential Tenancy Branch (RTB) sees a range of complaints from landlords and tenants regarding cleanliness and pest issues — but it may surprise you how many of the files involve silverfish.
Here are just a few of the multiple decisions involving silverfish-related issues in past years in British Columbia.
The second time is not a charm for the silverfish issue
The tenant in this dispute was seeking an order for her landlord to spray her unit for silverfish. She claimed that she'd had the pests in her unit every year, and has also reported them in her unit annually. She also noted that the landlord had already treated the unit twice.
The RTB stated that both parties had an ongoing issue with the insects and that the landlord will need to spray the unit again.
Silverfish and fleas and bug bites
In this dispute, the tenant said that their unit was infested with fleas and silverfish. They even submitted evidence of silverfish they'd caught as well as a doctor's note that "attested to the fact that the tenant had suffered bug bites." However, the RTB found that the landlord had made a reasonable attempt to deal with the pest issue.
The tenant in this dispute said she had to throw away $80 worth of dry food due to a silverfish infestation. Additionally, she told the RTB that she feared turning on her heat because she believed the insects were in the heating vents. While the tenant wanted to be compensated for not having her heat on, the RTB sided with the landlord.