Are Silverfish Dangerous?

silverfish in maryland homeIf you begin seeing these creepy, science-fiction-alien-looking creatures lurking around your home, you are sure to wonder if, perhaps, they could be dangerous. Do they bite? Are they poisonous? Do they crawl into people's ears and burrow into brains--as earwigs have been rumored to do? This article will focus on answering the question, "Are silverfish dangerous?" and then we will give you some ways to keep these disturbing, disgusting insects out of your home.

Silverfish are dangerous to homes: While they will not damage the wood of your home, like carpenter ants or termites, they do eat wallpaper glue, which will cause your wallpaper to come off the walls and become an eyesore.

Silverfish are dangerous to books: These insects are drawn to the glue found inside book bindings and on book covers. Because of this, they can do significant damage to books that are stored in your home. If you have expensive books, or books that are of great sentimental value to you, you may want to make sure they are stored inside well-sealed containers to prevent silverfish from damaging them.

Silverfish are dangerous to photos: Photos are another item you will want to make sure are secure inside sealed containers, if you are seeing silverfish around your home. Silverfish love making a meal out of old photos. And losing photos can mean losing precious memories.

Silverfish are dangerous to fabrics: Whether it is drapes, bedding, or clothing, silverfish love nibbling on materials such as cotton, linen and silk. They have even been known to devour certain synthetic fibers and even leather items. In clothing, silverfish are especially drawn to starches and adhesives. And clothing that has food stains or spills on them are even more attractive to silverfish.

Silverfish are dangerous to pantry items: Some favorite foods of silverfish include coffee, sugar, and foods that are high in carbohydrates. They are also drawn to chew through paper or cardboard packaging. While actually eating food contaminated with silverfish won't hurt you, it is probably something we can all do without.

Silverfish are not dangerous to humans: Silverfish do not crawl into people's ears and burrow into their brains, or lay eggs, or anything else. Incidentally, earwigs don't do this either. However, silverfish do sometimes crawl on people. These creepy little insects enjoy eating dandruff so, if you have silverfish in your home, you may wake to find one or more crawling around in your hair. But rest easy, because silverfish are not blood-eating insects, so they are not inclined to bite. And they are not known to cause or carry disease.

Now that you know whether or not silverfish are dangerous, you may be wondering how you can keep these creepy critters out of your home. The following is a list of DIY steps you can take to try to keep them out.

  • Thoroughly check your foundation and walls and seal up any gaps or cracks you find by using a caulking gun or liquid cement.

  • Check around windows and doors--as well as areas where wires, pipes, and other items that go through your exterior walls--for gaps or holes, and fill them in.

  • Remove wet materials near your home, like mulch, that retain moisture. Consider replacing mulch with crushed rock.

  • Make sure all of your door sweeps are intact and in good working order. It only takes a tiny gap for silverfish to squeeze inside.

  • Check inside and outside your home for any water damaged areas. Where there is wood rot, there are areas where silverfish and other pests can make their way in. Be aware that broken or clogged gutters can be the cause of water damage, and have these fixed or maintained.

  • Partner with a pest control company to eradicate and seal out silverfish, and a whole host of other household pests.

If you need help with getting, or keeping, silverfish out of your home, don't hesitate to contact the pest professionals here at American Pest. Our experienced, well-trained staff will be more than happy to help you. Reach out to us today for immediate assistance.


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