If you have been looking through a dusty box filled with old family photos, the chances are that the pictures will be eaten around the edges.
In most cases, you can hold silverfish responsible for the damage. These are tiny insects that eat through old documents and images, and we know how annoying it can be. We were very disappointed with the damage that they caused, and hence, decided to look into the matter.
After studying in detail about the insect, we decided to write a comprehensive guide about it. Here you will find information about the damage caused by silverfish and how to prevent them from causing it. We hope it’ll help you control the spread of silverfish to a certain level.
So, grab a cup of your favourite beverage and read on.
Are Silverfish Harmful?
According to the current scientific evidence, silverfish are not harmful to humans, and they are not known to bite or cause rashes. However, many people think they can cause harm, considering the way they look. To date, these insects are not known to carry pathogens that can transfer and transmit diseases.
But be wary of them if you are prone to allergies, as silverfish are known to trigger them. They have scales that they keep shedding over time. This can lead to the creation of dust, which can then lead to allergic reactions.
Moving on to damages, silverfish can be destructive to books, wallpapers, clothes, and old boxes stored in places. Their diet consists of sugar and carbohydrates, and as a result, they keep feeding on clothes and paper. They can also eat hair that has been disposed of or fallen on the floor.
Now you might not be too worried about these insects making holes in old paper. But you will absolutely not like it if you find holes in clothes that have not been worn for some time. Therefore, we will talk about how to prevent silverfish from causing such issues and damaging property in the next section.
Some people believe that silverfish can walk into the ears and cause internal damage. This is not at all true as they generally try to stay away from humans. If a silverfish has ever entered your ears, know that it was by mistake, and there is very little chance of it happening again.
If you are worried that silverfish are harmful to pets, then let us tell you that is another misconception. The insect does not harm humans or animals under any condition. Even if your pet eats them, they will not be poisoned.
How To Get Rid Of Silverfish?
Silverfish is an insect you will find everywhere, and consequently, it is difficult to get rid of them. However, you can try making a few adjustments to the way you live, which could help get rid of these creatures.
1. Use Airtight Containers
Dry food like cereals, beans, pasta, and food for pets is what silverfish feed on. These need to be kept in airtight spaces. You can use airtight containers and sealed pouches to store all of these items. That way, silverfish will neither be attracted nor enter the cupboard.
Dehumidifiers are needed in places that stay very damp. High moisture content makes any place ideal for the growth of silverfish. Therefore, use this device in basements to reduce the breeding of silverfish.
3. Clean Often
Whether we are eating on the sofa or in the bed, the chances are there will be crumbs on the floor and the carpet. It is best if you can vacuum and clean the entire area well every time this happens.
The crumbs should not be allowed to stay on the rug for long as that would lure silverfish in. They can make holes in the carpet while feeding on the food bits. Also, it is best to use a vacuum cleaner to clean this up as food crumbs get stuck to rugs and are difficult to clean otherwise.
4. Seal All The Cracks
Ensure that all the gaps around window frames are well-sealed and caulked. Paint areas that have been neglected for ages and keep them clean. If there are any cracks in the wall or open spaces, then seal them well. Also, check behind baseboards to see if they are well-protected against silverfish.
5. Maintain The Gutters
Accumulation of water in or around pipelines and drains is another major reason why the number of silverfish keeps growing. Clean your drains properly and ensure that there is no water accumulating. This would protect your homes from silverfish.
6. Lining Basements
If you have a basement that is under construction or there are crawl spaces in the house, then it is important that you line them properly. Use plastic sheets to cover the entire area, reducing the moisture in such spaces. Line up walls if necessary and use a dehumidifier once in a while. This should reduce the infestation to a great extent.
How To Take Care Of Existing Silverfish?
You might be facing issues with silverfish already, and you might be looking for solutions. Now, this can typically occur if you have a wooden roof. Silverfish are attracted to wood, and they tend to eat through it. Plus, they take shelter in these wooden parts, and their flat bodies can hide very well.
To deal with this problem, it is best to call up trained professionals who can do the job for you. They will know how to find the silverfish, and then they will use the correct methods to get them out. Also, they will provide you with tips that will help in keeping the silverfish out of the house.
Should You Be Concerned About Silverfish
Silverfish have been around for almost 400 million years, and they are known to be one of the oldest species to date. Considering that they have survived for so long, they are pretty intelligent and can adapt to different surroundings.
Additionally, they work mostly at night and will usually come out after the lights have been switched off. But you can rest assured that they will not do any harm to your body, as we have already discussed.
On this note, we will be wrapping up, and you can let us know about any further problems you may be facing with these insects. We will try to address it in our next guide.
Take care and stay safe!