Danger! There’s silverfish in your home! Although silverfish are not likely to hurt you, they will damage your belongings and furniture.
These little creatures are the last thing you want in your home, as they can destroy your costly collections in a couple of days. One of the most annoying activities is to look for signs of silverfish in your house, yet that’s something you should keep a keen eye on if you want to make sure your home stays a silverfish-free zone.
What Are Silverfish?
Silverfish are silver-gray nocturnal insects that have a body like fish, hence the name ‘silverfish.’ These insects have been around for millions of years, known by several names in this time, including parasites, carpet-sharks, and paper-destroyers. They can survive in more or less all kinds of environments but mostly prefer warm and damp areas.
What Do Silverfish Feed On?
The silverfish are amazingly fast crawlers, which gives them the benefit of hiding in a split second on any sudden movement. Here are some of the materials these small yet disastrous insects like to feed on:
Because of such miscellaneous likeness of appetite, the silverfish are hard to get rid of once they infest your house.
Can Silverfish Spread Diseases?
Silverfish don’t bite humans, but even if they do, the bites can’t be dangerous as they don’t contain any venom inside their bodies.
Professional pest control agencies propose that the existence of silverfish in your home will not harm you. However, when they chew through your food, there is a strong chance of you getting infected with different diseases or allergies. That’s because these nuisance pests crawl around harmful bacteria in trash cans and bathrooms,then nibble through your food in the next moment.
Another concerning fact about their presence is that they tend to attract other pests like carpet beetles. As long as silverfish are infesting your home, they can cause severe threats and damages to your furniture and, more importantly, your health.
What Initially Attracts the Silverfish to Your House?
The silverfish are considered as moisture pests generally. These tiny bugs incline towards objects rotten with excessive moisture, finding their way inside your home through those means. Silverfish also need high levels of humidity to survive. Here are some of the areas where these pests start to grow in the first place:
- Rotten wood
- Open or damaged gutters
- Warm and dark places (between 70 to 90 degrees)
- Rotten carpets
- Carbohydrates (flour, oats, starch, cardboard, etc.)
Silverfish are small, fast crawling insects with diverse appetites that allow them to hurt your equity without you noticing.
How to Know If You Have a Silverfish Infestation
If it is just the start of an infestation, you may not notice the signs before it’s too late. That’s why you must check on your things regularly, even when you think your house is well-protected.
The problem is how to know if you have a silverfish infestation? The solution is straightforward. You should look for signs that indicate if you are dealing with silverfish in your home.
Here is what you will have to do:
1. Explore the Damage
The most prominent tell-tale sign for a silverfish infestation is the damage they cause to your possessions and home furniture. They chew close to everything because of their diverse diet. If you are noticing that your paper documents, clothes, furniture, wallpaper, or food items are chewed through, there is a huge possibility your home is infested with silverfish.
2. Spotting the Silverfish
This is a quintessential clue that there are silverfish in your home. However, spotting one silverfish does not necessarily mean that your house is crawling with them. If you find one in your apartment, you need to up your game and check all nooks and corners for confirmation. Even if you don’t find more than one, you should still act upon it to prevent an actual infestation.
3. Hunt For the Cracks and Crevices
Silverfish like to squeeze into cracks and crevices. That’s why it is necessary to check all the nooks and gaps in your house with torches to locate the silverfish nests. Sometimes the gaps are so small you wouldn’t be able to spot them with your naked eyes.
If there is an infestation, you will also observe new cracks in your house that were not present before. Once the silverfish start taking root, they dig their holes to reside in during the daytime.
4. Look Out For the Yellow Stains
This sign may be a little challenging to find. However, they are of the most certifiable signs of a silverfish infestation. If you start seeing yellow spots on your clothes, books, and wallpapers, you have more than enough proof to take action against these pests.
The yellow signs are always left behind where silverfish have been frolicking. You can check your cupboards and corners of the room to spot these yellow stains more easily.
5. Find the Signs For Disposed Skin
The silverfish shed their skin throughout their lifecycle, primarily through the ‘nymph’ stage. If you want to discover their disposed skin, you should check the areas where they might live as they will likely shed their skin near their hole-homes.
6. Droppings of Silverfish
Although it is one of the most disgusting things to devote your time to, it is essential to look for this clue. You can usually find their droppings inside food boxes and cardboard and paper items. The silverfish’s dropping resembles small black pellets, which makes it easier to locate them.
While you are looking for the droppings inside a book, make sure to check the middle part. In many cases, silverfish make that bounded part of the book their home, cunningly hiding in the middle.
Now that you know how to check if you have a silverfish infestation let’s look at some of the severe damages these insects can cause.
Potential Damages Caused By Silverfish
You can encounter several damages from a silverfish infestation. These moisture pests don’t only vandalize your home equipment and furnishings, but they can also affect you in the most horrible of ways.
Following is a list of some of the most significant damages caused by the silverfish:
Bugs In Your Hair
Waking up with bugs in your hair and eyebrows is one of the scariest things to endure with a silverfish infestation. These bugs eat hair and dandruff, so you will normally find them hiding in your hairbrush.
The silverfish digest your happy memories in a matter of minutes. These tiny pests love chewing through your photographs.
If you have silverfish in your home, you better protect your important documents. These insects can demolish your paper goods in just a few minutes.
It may happen one day that you wake up in the morning only to find out that the wallpaper you adore in the living room is wholly gnawed through. Wallpapers are one of the first things silverfish target in your home.
The silverfish can also cause severe harm to your upholstery items as they are exposed to these pests at all times.
Once the silverfish enter your wardrobe, it is nearly impossible to protect your clothes from them.
Many food items appeal to silverfish in your pantry, including oats, flour, and starch. These pests can chew through your entire pantry if you leave your house unattended for a couple of days.
Ignoring the silverfish in your home can lead you to several bacterial diseases. The small bugs crawl through garbage and chew your food, transferring bacteria to it.
Now that you are informed about the many damages these beastly insects can cause, you should know how to prevent them from getting inside your home.
How to Get Rid Of the Silverfish Infestation
There are some actions you can take to rid your home of silverfish. Apply these techniques to keep your space free of these annoying pests:
- Vacuum your home thoroughly to clean all the silverfish from your carpet, upholstery, and even crevices. Repeat the process every day.
- Seal all the gaps and crevices in your home to make sure silverfish don’t have a place to reside in your walls.
- Set many sticky traps throughout your home to catch the silverfish.
- Sprinkle diatomaceous earth in areas where you spot the silverfish.
- Remove the food sources from where you can. Use tightly sealed containers to pack your food before putting them in the cupboard.
- Repair your leaky faucets and pipes, and dehumidify the damp areas to reduce moisture.
- Pack your off-season clothing in a sealed container or bin. Make sure you wash your clothes before doing that.
- Clear the area around your house of damp debris and fallen leaves.
Now that you understand how to know if you have a silverfish infestation and how to get rid of them, you can take immediate action against these pests.