Do silverfish bite? No, silverfish cannot bite humans. Many people are afraid of silverfish because they think these bugs can bite. However, silverfish are not capable of biting humans. They do have mouthparts that they use to puncture and suck on food, but these mouthparts are not strong enough to puncture human skin. Even though silverfish cannot bite, they can still be a nuisance.
Attracted to damp and dark areas, so they can often be found in basements, laundry rooms, and bathrooms. Silverfish can also damage clothing, books, and other items in your home. If you have silverfish, you may want to contact a pest control company to get rid of them.
What are silverfish?
The silverfish is a small insect belonging to the Zygentoma order. It’s quite old and doesn’t have any wings. The insect’s common name is derived from its silvery, light gray color and the way it moves, which resembles that of a fish. The silverfish’s scientific name, L. saccharinum, indicates that it eats carbohydrates such as sugar and starches. While the term silverfish is commonly used to refer to a variety of Zygentoma species around the world, the Entomological Society of America only uses it to refer to Lepisma saccharinum.
What does a silverfish look like?
All over the world, including in the United States, you’ll find silverfish, a type of insect that lacks wings. The best places to find them are in the gutters, under piles of leaves, or in the nooks and crannies of trees. Silverfish can enter a person’s home through gaps, cracks, and holes in the exterior of the building. They are capable of causing harm to the structure as well as the personal property of the occupants.
The silvery or metallic brown color of their scales gave rise to the name “silverfish.” They have a body length of 12–19 millimeters and resemble a fish. Insects have six legs, as well as two antennae. Bristletails are another name for silverfish, which get their name from the three long bristles on the end of their bodies.
Where do silverfish come from?
Silverfish can be found in leaf litter and other natural crevices like under rocks and logs in their natural habitat. Drawn to dark, moist areas, which explains how they get into your home. If they find food once they’re inside, they’re likely to stay. Because silverfish are excellent hiders and can live for a long time, it’s easy for their population to grow inside your home without your knowledge.
It is common for silverfish to invade homes through containers or books that have been kept in dark, damp places like attics or basements. Crawl spaces, attics, and basements are perfect for these pests because of their dark, damp, and secluded conditions.
Tiny crevices in the foundation, open windows and doors, and spaces around pipes are all possible entry points for these pests.
What attracts silverfish?
Because of their sensitivity to water and the need for constant moisture, silverfish thrive in damp, humid environments. Silverfish are common in Hollywood FL in damp, dark places like basements, kitchens, laundries, garages, and storage spaces like cabinets. While they can hold out for a while in low-humidity conditions, they really thrive in the stuffier conditions that are more common.
Silverfish like to stay out of the light and in cool, dark places (between 70 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit).
Silverfish consume starchy foods like flour, rolled oats, cardboard, book bindings, paper, glue, and insulation. They also supplement their diet with protein-rich dried beef and preserved bugs.
Are Silverfish Harmful?
The majority of the time, these insects are a bother. They won’t harm you, but they can contaminate your food. Silverfish leave their droppings in your food, so keep an eye out for them. Throw away anything that has bugs in it.
Silverfish do not cause illness or bites, but they can cause significant damage to your home. Because they are chewing insects, they can eat through your belongings. Additionally, their feces will leave stains.
Silverfish vs Earwig
Silverfish are compared to earwigs. Both require water and are most active at night. Small insects and other ground-dwelling creatures are eaten by some earwigs.
Earwigs, unlike silverfish, have wings. Therefore, some earwigs can fly, unlike silverfish . Silverfish prefer to live in humid areas like basements and attics. Wet mulch or rotting leaves are preferred by earwigs, since they prefer even more humid environments.
Opposite of their antennae, earwigs have protruding parts (out of their abdomen). These pincers appear to be dangerous. On the contrary, these forceps aren’t dangerous to humans, but they can pinch. There is no need to worry since earwigs are not poisonous.
Earwigs and silverfish are in different orders (Dermaptera and Thysanura, rescpetively) despite being in the same taxonomic class. Earwigs have two straight legs, while silverfish have three. These parts are soft and resemble hair. Silverfish have scales, whereas earwigs have chitin. Silverfish scales, like moth scales, leave marks on paper. They are also softer than earwigs.
Earwigs eat a variety of plants, both alive and dead, but some also hunt insects and arthropods. Silverfish consume both carbohydrates and proteins. Dried beef, rolled oats, paper, fabric, and other dry foods are eaten by silverfish.
Below is an image of a silverfish (left) and an earwig (right).
What Are The Signs of a Silverfish Infestation?
The following are signs of a silverfish infestation, according to the National Pest Management Association (NPMA):
- feeding marks on a surface, such as holes, notches, or etches
- yellow stains or scales in the affected area
- feces, which appear as small black pellets
How to Get Rid of Silverfish in Hollywood FL
Here are some ways to get rid of silverfish using items found around the house as well as tools available at most home improvement stores.
- Tape the outside of a glass and fill it with something starchy. Silverfish can get into the jar by climbing up the rough surface of the tape, but they can’t get out because their feet won’t stick to the smooth glass inside.
- Use rolled up wet paper. Wet paper will encourage silverfish to settle in and stay. To get rid of the silverfish that have been living in the paper, throw it away or burn it after a few days.
- Place Glue Traps. Silverfish can get stuck if they crawl on them.
- Place small pieces of silverfish poison. Do not use this method if you have pets or children who may eat or touch the poison.
- Diffuse cedar oil. You can use the oil in a diffuser or in a spray bottle with water. They don’t like the strong smell cedar produces.
- Try dried bay leaves placed throughout your home. Silverfish and other bugs are kept at bay by the oils in it.
- Remove excess moisture from your home. Get a dehumidifier, which will dry out the air. If you need a quick fix, you can pick up some inexpensive moisture absorbers, but if you’re looking for a long-term solution, an electronic dehumidifier is your best bet.
- Diatomaceous earth. Use diatomaceous earth as an alternative method of pest control. The powder kills insects that crawl over because of the powder’s razor-sharp particles. A slightly messy approach, but useful as a last resort and very safe
You can also find silverfish traps for purchase online.
Silverfish in small numbers do not pose a significant threat to your home or health.
They are food for spiders and other insects that eat other bugs, so they can help keep the insect ecosystem in your home in check, which is beneficial to the overall environment.
However, over time, they may cause damage to some of your belongings or form into a large infestation.
Get Help from On Demand Pest Control
On Demand Pest Control is a locally owned and operated company in Hollywood, FL and provides pest control and prevention solutions for both residential and commercial properties in the area. Our Florida certified expert technicians provide safe and effective barrier spray treatments throughout Southeast and Southwest Florida. Click Here to learn more about how our pest treatments work.