Facts About Silverfish

Are you dealing with silverfish? When these little silver, fish-like bugs start wiggling across the floor of your bathroom or appearing in any room of your home, it can be frustrating for sure. No one likes to share their home with bugs, except maybe an entomologist. But, to be fair, they don't usually have free-roaming bugs, they keep their bugs contained. Entomologists, probably more than anyone, know that bugs don't add anything to the quality of life in a home. Bugs get into things. Bugs damage our belongings and destroy our homes. And they can spread harmful bacteria, diseases, and allergens. Let's take a look a look at silverfish and see how they stack up in these categories.

Do silverfish get into things?

While silverfish are not technically pantry pests, they can be a problem in your pantry or kitchen, especially if your food packages are stored in a moist or humid location. Silverfish feed on the starches found in paper. This will have them nibbling on products stored in cardboard and paper. They also feed on sugar, flour, and any food items that contain these. So, it is not uncommon to find silverfish in food packages.

Do silverfish damage our belongings?

When these little silver bugs get into a home, they can cause a lot of damage. This is because they feed on photos, books, newspapers, old letters, paintings, clothing, upholstered furniture, diaries, stamps, wallpaper, and more. In all of these cases, it is the glue and the ink that they are most interested in nibbling on. This can lead to damaged belongings if this pest problem isn't addressed.

Do silverfish damage our homes?

Though silverfish chew on paper, it isn't the wood they're interested in. They feed on the glue that holds the paper together. The more "glaze" the better. So, these tiny bugs are not going to chew on the wood inside your walls, floors, and ceilings, like termites, carpenter ants, and other wood-damaging pests.

Do silverfish spread harmful bacteria, diseases, or allergens?

There are many bugs that are known to pick up harmful bacteria from trash cans, dumpsters, sewers, compost heaps, toilet rims, and other dirty locations and spread harmful bacteria to your foods, but silverfish are not considered to be in this group. While it is possible to find silverfish feeding on something in your kitchen trash, especially if it is moist, no study has ever linked this behavior to the spread of harmful bacteria in a home.

There are many bugs that can spread diseases or allergens inside your home, like ticks, fleas, mosquitoes, ants, cockroaches, just to name a few. There is currently no link between silverfish and the spread of illness.

The Most Important Fact

When silverfish get into a home, they are usually not the only bug getting in. Since these insects don't chew their way in, they must take advantage of holes that already exist. If those holes let those silverfish in, they could just as easily let other pests in.

What To Do About Silverfish

While silverfish are not known to spread illness, they can be destructive to clothing, tapestries, linen, silk, wallpaper, and other items. They chew on photos, important documents, book bindings, and can put holes in your treasured keepsakes. Their attraction to flour, sugar, coffee, oats, and more will have them exploring your pantry. And their love of dandruff and hair could have them climbing into your bed with you. When these little silver bugs start to appear, it is a good idea to take action. Do an inspection of your home and look for any holes or water damage, and address the issues you find. Consider installing a dehumidifier or a fan in any location in your home that is moist or humid. And contact a professional pest technician to apply a barrier that will seal those bugs out.

No home is better off with bugs in it, especially free-roaming bugs that come and go as they want and feed on whatever they please. If you're seeing silverfish in your home and you're in our Tennessee service area, reach out to All-American Pest Control. We'll help you get that bug problem under control.

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