If you have ever encountered a silverfish in your home, we don't have to tell you how creepy they are. These nocturnal insects typically grow to be between 13 and 25 mm long, and their abdomens taper at the end. They are eyeless and wingless and have long antennae. Silverfish move in a wiggling motion which, to some, resembles the movements of a fish. This, paired with their shape and silvery scales, is where they get their name.
Silverfish in your home is nothing you should simply shrug off. Not only do they directly cause problems, especially if they are allowed to increase in numbers, but they can also be an indication of bigger problems.
How Silverfish Are Problematic
Silverfish love to nibble. Not only can silverfish nibble on dandruff and shed skin while you are sleeping, but they will also be happy to nibble on sheets and other bedding, especially if the bedding is made out of natural fibers.
Silverfish will eat paper products. This may not be such a problem is they are only eating away at old throw-away newspapers, but when they get into areas that contain important documents, this could become a real problem.
Silverfish love old photos. No, they don't like looking at them (they have no eyes) but they do love to eat them. They will consume the starches on the old photos. When this happens, you may end up discovering a box of irreplaceable photos that have become, literally, defaced.
Silverfish also love a good book. Again, not to read, but to eat. They will eat away at the glue in the bindings and cause pages to pull free. They will also chew on the cellulose in the paper, causing holes and tattered edges. If you have antique books or other books that are important to you, this could be devastating.
Silverfish consume wallpaper. Well, not actually the paper itself, but the glue that holds the paper on the walls. This means that wallpaper will begin to bulge or peel away from the walls at the edges. Eventually, this will lead to a need to remove the paper and re-paper, or paint, a task that can be both time consuming and costly.
Silverfish also eat clothing. They typically will nibble away at clothing that is made of natural fibers but will chew on other materials as well, especially if the material has sweat, dead skin, or spilled food on it.
Finally, silverfish will eat food. Human food, that is. Not only do they eat books, photos, and clothing, they can get into pantry foods, preferring starchy foods. However, they will also be happy to eat the packaging itself.
Silverfish Can Be Indicative Of Bigger Problem
If you are discovering silverfish inside your home, you may have more to worry about than just a few chew holes in treasured items. Silverfish are a moisture pest and may be an indication that your home has sustained water damage. If you have broken or obstructed gutters, or leaky pipes within your walls, water may be collecting inside your wall voids, or running down the sides of your home and softening the wood. Silverfish and other moisture-loving pests are drawn to softwood. And once wood becomes soft, it is easier for pests to chew their way in. At first, only small insects will be able to enter but, over time, those holes may be chewed larger by rodents and, soon, you could have a whole other set of pest problems on your hands.
How American Pest Can Help
While we may not be able to fix plumbing issues or do reconstruction work on your home, we do know how to eliminate silverfish, and a whole host of other damaging pests, inside your home. Reach out to us today with further questions or to schedule service.