Do Silverfish Bite?

How to get rid of silverfish in Miami

You may have heard of or dealt with the silverfish, a pesky silver bug that squirms kind of like a fish. But you might wonder, do I need to worry about silverfish, or, do silverfish bite?

The short answer to both questions is: Not really.

Keep reading as we answer these questions further. We'll deep dive into the nuisances of silverfish, from silverfish bites, to the damage they can cause to your belongings.

What Are Silverfish Really?

If you see a silverfish in your home without ever seeing one before, it can be a bit alarming. They look very different from most bugs and they're on the ickier side.

Silverfish are insects in the order Zygentoma. Some characteristics of silverfish include relatively flat bodies covered in scales, long thread-like antennae, and an abdomen with ten segments.

Silverfish are very shy and prefer dark and damp places to hide. If you catch them at the right time, you might see them near drains, under furniture, in your attic, or in any cracks and crevices.

Silverfish are known for being able to live in small spaces and surviving on very little. They can feed on almost anything, including paper, glue, and even book bindings. In fact, silverfish are sometimes called "bookworms" because of their ability to consume paper. It's a good idea to keep an eye out for them if you have any valuable books or documents in your home.

Do Silverfish Bite?

While a silverfish infestation can be unsettling, it isn't a danger to your health.

Similar to roaches, silverfish usually don't bite. They have the ability to bite, but they have very weak jaws. They don't like human blood and they can only chew soft foods.

Silverfish don't even carry any diseases. So, while there's no need to go to a doctor regarding a silverfish bite, it can be useful to identify the source of an insect bite.

Symptoms of a Silverfish Bite:

  • Itchiness on the bite area
  • Pain similar to an ant bite
  • Red marks on the skin
  • Heightened allergy symptoms

It's normal for a silverfish infestation to trigger allergy or asthma symptoms, even without silverfish bites involved. Just being around them can heighten the effects of dust mites and cause coughing, sneezing, itchy throat, and mucus buildup.

Why Are Silverfish in My Home?

Silverfish are in your home because it has all of their favorite foods: cardboard, newspaper, and glue!

That's right, silverfish are a bit unconventional when it comes to diet. They're after a few particular ingredients, including starches and proteins typically found in household items.

However, they also like grains and cereal, so to them, your pantry is up for grabs as well as the rest of your home.

How to Identify a Silverfish Infestation

You might be wondering, if silverfish are nocturnal and hide from humans, how do I identify a silverfish infestation?

There are a few ways to tell whether silverfish are in your home. The first is finding their droppings. Silverfish droppings are very small and look kind of like peppercorns.

Silverfish will also leave behind yellow stains, but they aren't urine stains; these yellow stains are remnants of molting. Similarly, you might notice metallic scales from silverfish shedding skin.

It's also helpful to keep in mind that silverfish are solitary animals and don't live in groups. Seeing one silverfish typically means one silverfish, until you start seeing multiple. When you start seeing multiple silverfish, that's when you might have an infestation.

Can Silverfish Fly?

Thankfully, silverfish can't fly. Flying silverfish would be a nightmare. However, they can move very fast. One second you see one in your shower and then poof! It's gone.

Using their abdomen, Silverfish can jump up to two feet vertically, which you might want to keep in mind.

How to Get Rid of Silverfish

  1. Traps: Create homemade silverfish traps using common household items. For example, you can roll up a damp newspaper and place it in a plastic bag overnight. Silverfish are attracted to the dampness and darkness of the newspaper, making it an effective trap.
  2. Seal Entry Points: Prevent silverfish from entering your home by sealing gaps and cracks around windows, doors, and utility pipes. This not only helps with silverfish control but also keeps other pests out.
  3. Reduce Clutter: Declutter your home to eliminate potential hiding spots for silverfish. The fewer places they have to hide, the less likely they are to establish themselves in your living spaces.
  4. Diatomaceous Earth: Diatomaceous earth is a natural, abrasive powder made from fossilized remains of diatoms. It's harmless to humans and pets but will dry up insects like silverfish. Sprinkle diatomaceous earth in areas where silverfish are likely to hide, such as cracks, crevices, and dark corners, and remember to only use food-grade diatomaceous earth.
  5. Boric Acid: Boric acid is another natural substance that's effective against silverfish. It disrupts their digestive system, leading to dehydration and death. Mix boric acid with a food attractant, like powdered sugar or flour, and place it in areas where silverfish are active. Make sure that this mixture is kept away from pets and children.
  6. Essential Oils: Certain essential oils have insect-repelling properties that can deter silverfish. Peppermint, lavender, cedarwood, and citrus oils are known to be effective in keeping these pests at bay. Dilute a few drops of the essential oil in water and spray it in areas prone to silverfish infestation.
  7. Cinnamon: Silverfish dislike the strong smell of cinnamon. Sprinkle ground cinnamon in areas where you suspect silverfish activity, such as near baseboards, windowsills, and in closets.

Silverfish Control in Miami

While you don't need to worry about silverfish, they can be annoying and uncomfortable to deal with. Leave it to Native Pest Management. Our professional silverfish control involves pet friendly and eco-friendly strategies.

And while we get rid of silverfish, we'll also get rid of any ants, American roaches, millipedes, centipedes, spiders, pantry pests, drain flies and earwigs.

We service the entire Miami area as well as all of Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach Port St. Lucie, and Tallahassee.

Our team of experts is on-hand and ready to help you with any pest problems you may have. We can provide you with a free inspection and offer you a customized plan that best meets your needs and budget. Our services are designed to be cost-effective and minimize the need for recurrent treatments. We use only the most reliable, effective products and techniques to get rid of your silverfish infestation for good.

We have over 3,000 five star reviews across Google, Yelp, Facebook, Nextdoor, and Thumbtack. Our silverfish professionals are ready to tackle any issue, from a few solitary silverfish in your home to a large infestation.

To schedule an appointment, reach about to our office today! 

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