What in the world was that little, silver bug that you just saw wiggling across the floor? It could of been a silverfish! Silverfish can be a range of shades based on how old they are. They have a strange movement that looks like the shimmering back and forth of fish. Appropriately named silverfish, these pests start out a whitish color and then eventually become a silvery color. The older silverfish may be even be more of a blue or brown color. They are a small insect; only measuring around one half to an inch long. Silverfish have an elongated, oval body. Silverfish are nocturnal and don’t have wings. Since they are more active at night, they aren’t always seen by humans. When silverfish are spotted, they generally scurry very quickly to get out of the way.
Silverfish prefer humid environments with a humidity level between 75% and 95%. They can be found in Africa, North and South America, Asia, Australia and some places in the Pacific. Amazingly, silverfish can live for a year or more without food. Since they need a humid place to live, areas like bathrooms, attics, crawl spaces and basements is where you are most likely to find a silverfish.
Silverfish eat sugar and starchy things. They commonly will feast on book bindings, glue, human hair, dandruff, photos, paper and sugar. They have even been known to eat tapestry, cotton, linen silk and the shed exoskeletons of other silverfish.
Silverfish do not bite or sting. They are considered a nuisance pest. Since they are attracted to sugary starchy things, they can do a lot of damage to books, pictures and other related items. They may even feast on wallpaper. If they get into your kitchen, they can contaminate food products. However, it is comforting to know that silverfish are not known to transmit disease.
If you suspect silverfish in your home, you will want to contact a pest control professional. This pest is elusive by nature and for this reason it makes it very difficult to locate and get rid of them on your own. An exterminator can identify the degree of infestation and address all the stages of silverfish on your property. However, you can take a few steps to make your home less attractive to these pests. By using a dehumidifier in your home, you can lower the humidity levels to a range that silverfish would not find conducive.
Just as with other household pests, blocking their entrance to your home is the best step. Using door sweeps, sealing cracks in the foundation and keeping your window screens in good shape will help reduce the chance of silverfish and other pests entering your home.