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Your Silverfish Questions Answered

In March 2021, Daily Echo, a UK newspaper ran a story of Silverfish infestation in homes in Southampton. It painted a scary picture of tenants getting holes in their clothes and curtains. One resident shared how he raised his sofa only to see them running away.

As a homeowner, you should be careful when it comes to pests. A few might do no harm but wait until they multiply. To help you get armed with the necessary information, here are the top three Silverfish questions answered for you:

How do Silverfish look like

Silverfish got their name out of their silver-ish appearance. They are not so appealing anyway. However, they are pests with a body that narrows more and more as you move from the head to the rear part. They have this scary tail with three bristles. But it doesn’t sting just in case you were wondering.

A silverfish has an elongated and fairly flat body that tapers at the end. It has a segmented surface and is covered with shiny, silvery-grey scales. There are two long antennae at the tip of its head and three long bristles at the end of its body. The bristles are responsible for the alternate name “bristletail”, which is used for both the silverfish and its relatives.

Like other insects, a silverfish has three pairs of legs. Adults are a quarter inch to half an inch long. As silverfish wriggle and move rapidly along the ground, it’s sometimes hard to see their thin, light-colored legs and appendages. This creates the illusion of little silver fish swimming on land and makes their common name very appropriate. The insects tend to move for a short interval, pause, and then move again. Read more from Dengarden…

What do Silverfish feed on?

Indoor Pest Control

The most truthful answer is that they feed on anything. Read that again ANYTHING; from your old books to curtains. Silverfish are known for their non-discriminatory eating habits. and this is what makes them even more dangerous for homes.

Silverfish consume matter that contains polysaccharides, such as starches and dextrin in adhesives. These include book bindings, carpet, clothing, coffee, dandruff, glue, hair, some paints, paper, photos, plaster, and sugar. They will damage wallpaper in order to consume the paste. Silverfish can also cause damage to tapestries. Other substances they may eat include cotton, dead insects, linen, silk, leftover crumbs, or even their own exuvia (moulted exoskeleton). During famine, a silverfish may even consume leatherware and synthetic fabrics. Silverfish can live for a year or more without eating if water is available.

Silverfish are considered household pests, due to their consumption and destruction of property. Read more from Kiddle…

Do Silverfish bite?


You may be wondering whether you are at risk of getting a silverfish bite from them since they eat anything. No. You are very safe. But your property isn’t. Silverfish don’t bite human beings. This also means that they don’t transmit diseases to human beings.

On the positive side of dangers and harm to silverfish, they are not biting pests that seek blood meal like the mosquitoes and bed bugs, nor carry disease-causing pathogens. However, one of the frustrating damages they create is destroying and damaging home items around us. This includes the nice wallpaper finishing around the home, the clothing that we like or spend some money on, particularly the precious silk ones or our beautiful photo memories in those photo albums. In addition, there are incidences of triggering allergies through their shed skins and scales generated during the molting process. Read more from Rentokil

So, how do you protect your home? By getting professional help. There’s a lot of DIY information on the web but most times it skips on the basics. So if you are suspecting you have silverfish in your Maryland home, contact Backyard Bug Patrol. We are pest control experts using environmentally friendly products. Reach out to us today.

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