Do you have silverfish in your home? These tiny six-legged bugs are typically under 3/4 inches, have a teardrop shape, and are silver. Now that you’ve spotted these pests, what should you do? Take a look at the answers to some of the most common questions homeowners have about silverfish.

Are Silverfish Harmful to Humans?

Unlike wasps, bees, fleas, mosquitoes, and ticks, silverfish don’t sting or bite. They don’t need mammal blood to survive and typically don’t want anything to do with humans. In that sense, they aren’t harmful to you or your family.

Even though silverfish won’t directly cause you health issues, some people are allergic to the scales the silverfish shed. If you have an allergic reaction, cleaning the dust and debris these pests leave behind is equally as important as removing the bugs from your home.

Are Silverfish Harmful to Homes?

While silverfish won’t bite or sting, they can cause physical damage to your home. These pests feed on common household objects, including paper, glue, and fabric-based items. They may also eat oats or flour-based human foods as well as their own kind.

A serious silverfish infestation can damage books, upholstery, clothing, carpeting, or other home items. Silverfish can also get into dry pantry items, making them unfit for your family to eat. The potential for household object destruction makes eradicating these pests absolutely necessary. The longer you let them go, the more of them you’ll have and the more damage they’ll cause.

Where Did the Silverfish Come From?

A silverfish infestation doesn’t equal a dirty home. Silverfish can easily sneak in through cracks, gaps, and holes in walls, window frames, doorframes, or any other opening. These pests thrive in moist environments, making damp spaces such as basements, drains, pipes, bathrooms, and kitchens common infestation areas.

Along with moisture, these pests also tend to be near their favorite food sources — most often the kitchen. You may notice them congregating in or near piles of newspaper, books, or magazines. They may sneak in through cracks or crevices that lead to storage spaces — especially if you store paper or fabric products in bulk.

Can Homeowners Prevent a Silverfish Infestation?

While no 100 percent silverfish-proof tactic is available, you can dramatically reduce the likelihood of an infestation. Removing the pests’ food sources makes your home less desirable. Cover and completely seal oat and flour items, such as cereal or bread, in your kitchen or pantry.

Silverfish prevention also requires removing other potential food sources. Don’t allow paper products to build up. Throw away or recycle paper products such as empty cardboard boxes, newspapers, and other similar items. Papers, such as important documents, should go in closed containers or closed filing cabinets.

You can also reduce the silverfish risks by decreasing your home’s humidity. Again, these pests prefer a damp environment. Fix leaky plumbing or wall/foundation leaks to remove the excess moisture that these pests thrive in. Along with solving damp or wet problems, use dehumidifiers to lower the humidity level. This creates an unappealing warm, dry space that isn’t attractive to the insects.

How Can Homeowners Get Rid of Silverfish?

More than a few so-called natural remedies online claim to rid your home of these pests. Silverfish are notoriously challenging to control, making these supposed fixes ineffective in many situations.

Silverfish will steer clear of humans. This means you may only see one or two when you really have a major infestation. The best way to handle this pest problem is to call in the professionals. An exterminator has the expertise and equipment to rid your house of the silverfish you see and the ones you don’t.

Do you have silverfish? Contact Environmental Services Pest Control, LLC , for more information.