Lepisma saccharina, also known on different names such as the silverfish, urban silverfish, fishmoth and carpet shark, is a tiny insect that has a long, flattened and slender body. Are silverfish dangerous? We will answer that in a minute. First, let us understand their nature in order to get a proper conclusion to the matter.
Silverfishes or fishmoths measure only from .5 to an inch in length. The name it is most known for which is the silverfish, got its title because of its blue and light gray color that shimmers and looks like silver as it glides its body unto the floors and on any surface. It also moves on a fish-like manner, hence its name! They can sometimes look like a bed bug but shouldn’t be confused with this insect.
The silverfish could go through a life cycle of three stages which is pretty rare for most insects. Up until its maturity, the young silverfish maintains its white color. As it ages and becomes an adult, it grows silver scales that can reflect light. The development of a silverfish egg to an adult would take around three or four months. A female silverfish is capable of laying eggs at no specific time of the year, which means it can proliferate regardless of the season.
What causes Silverfishes?:
The silverfish likes areas that are humid and of moderate temperature. They usually hang around the cupboards, kitchen corners, laundry rooms, attics, basements, and on or under the bathroom sink. Silverfishes prefer dark places to linger on and they are most active during night time or in dark nooks and crooks during the day. A lot of people ask: are silverfish dangerous? One factor why people think they are terrifying is because they creep all over your floors all year long and they actually do NOT hibernate!
So, do silverfish bit and are they dangerous or harmful to humans?
Silverfishes are more of a nuisance than danger. Although they do not themselves bring about diseases with them, they can destroy and cause damage to your property. A silverfish’s source of food is mainly polysaccharides. Basically, anything that contains and is made of starch. Polysaccharides can be found on many substances and you may not know about it.
They are: HUMAN HAIR, sugar, photos, dandruff, glue, paper and book bindings. They also consume the paste you used to stick your wallpaper on the wall and they do this just by poking a hole unto the wallpaper. Silverfish are unlikely to bite humans, but they are sometimes known to eat clothes.
If you are still asking if silverfishes are dangerous, then the answer is no. They don’t bring apparent and immediate threats but there are instances wherein these insects are contaminated because they have been living in the dark and dirty corners of your bathrooms. Why is that a bad thing, you may ask.
Well, silverfishes actually consume cellulose as well which means they target showers, bath and sinks. They linger on these areas because they are attracted to your personal products that contain cellulose. Shaving foams and shampoos are just a few of the things that contain cellulose in them.
If by chance they have infested on the items mentioned above, you are at a high risk of coming in contact with them and digesting any of the germs or virus they may carry.
How do i get rid of them?
We wont sugarcoat it – getting rid of them is actually a difficult task. They are nocturnal insects and they are so little they can just move about your entire property unseen as they search for places to nest. There are a lot of professionals that are highly trained in pest control you can hire to take care of the problem for you.
They can conduct a thorough inspection on your property and after which they would create a solution designed specifically on the gravity of the problem. These professionals possess the knowledge of the quickest and most effective ways in eliminating pests.
Is it possible to do it myself?
There are a lot of DIY methods for the control of this type of pests but they have a low success rate. It would take a trained eye to successfully get rid of them because they are slippery and fast and minute! Pesticides and chemicals are to be dealt with great care as well because they are harmful to pets and humans alike. It may get mixed or used in the wrong way which could be extremely dangerous!
How to find the right professional to do the job:
A competent pest control professional should have all the license the regulatory board requires. A license is a proof that they have been thoroughly checked for records and their background. This is also an indication that they have been equipped with the proper knowledge and skills in eliminating and giving a solution to the problem at hand. They are your hope for redemption from the silverfish infestation, so call one now if you are in dire need of help!