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Do Silverfish Bite Humans? What Are the Damages They Cause?

Silverfish isolated on the white.

Do silverfish bite humans?

Silverfish has a creepy appearance which resembles the venomous centipedes. They are considered the most cursed insects after Cockroaches. Silverfish has alternative names as well which include Paramites, Fish moths, Lepisma saccharina and carpet sharks. Silverfish is a type of wingless insect; they are carrot-shaped with small bodies covered with gray scales and silver overall color. They have a fast, fish-like movement and possess tail with three pongs. They have antennas in a tone which protrude out. Silverfish is considered as cosmopolitan insect found on all the continents except Antarctica.

Silverfish are neither the carrier of diseases nor do they bite humans. Silverfish when disturbed flies towards safety areas. They can cover short distances quickly. It has an ability to hide within crevices or cracks which are inaccessible by humans. They escape at night time and disappear at day time. They create their nests near the food resources.

Silverfish do not cause harm to humans, but white silverfish may cause destruction to papers, books, clothing, walls, and leftover food. Silverfish when bites on stuff make holes in them and cause yellowish stains. They are usually found in damp and dark areas such as garages, under sinks and bathrooms. They may dwell within linen piles, plumbing or clothing. Silverfish multiplies rapidly, so its control rate is difficult to achieve. Silverfish are harmless, they do not bite humans neither do they carry or transmit diseases. Their mandible is fragile, so they can only chew their food and remove skin cells which may be dead. They may cause allergies in humans such as allergic bronchial asthma or allergic rhinitis.Silverfish feeding on the paper.

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Do silverfish bite your pet?

Silverfish like centipedes may appear to be poisonous to humans as well as pets.Silverfish have mouth parts which have the capability of chewing, but rarely they bite household pets and prefer to eat starchy food. They have zero threat to our pets. Silverfish never uses its biting ability for feeding pets or biting humans they even do not use it for the sake of self-defense.

What do silverfish bite look like?

Silverfish bite into the household items. They leave traces by scraping fabrics, wallpaper, book bindings and paper items. They present with irregular, small holes within the material. They cause yellow discoloration due to the fungi growth which spreads through similar surfaces or books pages. Discoloration may also appear due to the fecal matter of silverfish.

Ware the damages they cause to home?

Silverfish feed upon polysaccharides. They consume leather, clothes, old card boxes, wallpaper, carpet, sugar, photos, starches, cosmetics, and coffee. They consume wallpapers and book bindings primarily to feed on the glue which binds them. They possess mouthparts with weak mandible which allow them to feed upon tiny insects and scrape off food. They cause holes in products they consume. After consumption, yellow stains are found on those products. They feed on a variety of plants and leads to rotting of leaves. Silverfish eat the books by layers and avoid burrowing themselves within the pages. They consume food containing starch, protein, and sugar i.e. flour and cereals. They feed upon cotton and starched linens. Silverfish contaminate the stored food so you should throw such stuff if you see any signs of infestation as it may lead to illness. They are also known as urban bugs as they chew floor and walls. They may appear in sinks, bathtubs, and windows. Silverfish infestation is usually seen in bathrooms, attics, laundry rooms, kitchens, and basement. Leaking pipes are the favorite residing places for Silverfish as they prefer moisture.

Are silverfish aggressive?

Silverfish are said to be nocturnal by nature, so they will not be found during the daytime unless their hiding places have been disturbed. Silverfish are not aggressive by nature as they do not bite rather they fly to nearby sources gliding through small holes and crevices.

How to prevent silverfish bite

Silverfish infestation in house.Silverfish are nuisance creatures; they are highly destructive to your household items. Following are the ways to avoid silverfish bite:

1. Don’t leave piles of mail or newspaper around

Try to keep your floor as clean as possible because this helps in getting rid of silverfish. If you leave clutter of things lying around your room, it may serve as the best hiding place for Silverfish. Avoid leaving piles of newspaper or mail around. Store your paper or mails on the shelves, cupboards, closets or storage containers because if you leave it on the floor, they have high chances of being damaged by the Silverfish.

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2. Store off-season clothing in sealed bins

Avoid storing your clothes in dark closet or basement areas as silverfish prefer inhabiting dark areas and will destroy your clothing stuff. Try placing them in plastic bags or sealed bins with tight lids and keep them out of reach of Silverfish.

3. Vacuum regularly

Food sources or eggs can be quickly sucked out by cleaning the baseboards and carpets. Vacuum at least twice or thrice a week. Sprinkle baking soda and keep your carpets dry for at least few hours and then vacuum it.This will help in sucking all the eggs laid by silverfish. Try to clean food crumbs properly, and kitchen counters should be wiped thoroughly.

4. Use dehumidifier

Dehumidifier isolated on the white.Silverfish prefers to live in damp places, so you can get rid of humidity in your surroundings by using a dehumidifier which reduces the humidity level in your houses. If you do not have access to the dehumidifier, you can keep the air conditioner or fans on. Control moisture in the basement, crawl spaces and open vents by caulking and sealing the holes.

Humidity should be controlled by sealing cracks with a caulking material.

5. Install a beteer bathroom fan for showers

Bathroom fans are a must to avoid humidity in your bathrooms because moisture may lead to the infestation by silverfish. To prevent their habitat in your bathrooms install a better bathroom fan or you can open the windows for proper ventilation.

How to trap silverfish and get rid of them using repellents and insecticides?

Silverfish can be caught by identifying the places where they wander. Glass container or Mason jar may be utilized which have taped all around with a piece of bread at the bottom. Put it near locations where you find silverfish more often at night time to trap them inside. You can also use newspaper traps by rolling them with elastics at ends and catch silverfish in them. Burn them or `throw these newspaper away. Readily available traps in the market can also be used to catch silverfish.

Diatomaceous Earth made up of fossilized material can be sprinkled along baseboards and cabinets. This powder helps in killing insects. Boric Acid is a natural substance which is easily available. Sprinkle some boric acid in cupboards, bathtubs, and baseboards. Try to be careful when using Boric acid and Diatomaceous Earth as they can be toxic to your lungs if inhaled.Pyrethrin containing sprays can be used to kill these insects. They should be kept out of reach from children and away from pets. Cedar and other spices have a strong smell which is repelled by Silverfish. So you can sprinkle some cedar shavings in areas where you find signs of Silverfish infestation.

Take some lavender or citrus essential oils mix it with water and use it for spraying against insects. This mixture is a non-toxic form of deterrent against Silverfish.

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