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Silverfish Identification & Prevention

What are silverfish?

Silverfish look a little like tiny, silvery shrimp or swimming fish thanks to their tapered appearance, segmented bodies, and silver color. However, silverfish are actually insects. If you look at them closely, you can see that they have three body parts and six legs. These features hide behind their segmented exoskeletons.

Are silverfish dangerous?

Silverfish are not known to carry any dangerous pathogens, and the only way they could theoretically spread a disease is by contaminating your foods when they crawl through them. They are much less hazardous to your health than cockroaches or rodents.

However, silverfish do pose a threat to your property, and this is all thanks to the silverfish diet. Silverfish will eat anything with starch in it. A starch diet doesn't just mean the flour or cornmeal in your kitchen; it can also mean your prized book collection, your favorite natural fabric curtains or clothing, or even your wallpaper! If left alone, a silverfish infestation can do hundreds or even thousands of dollars of damage to the things inside your home. 

Why do I have a silverfish problem?

Usually, you wind up with the silverfish problem because you have uncovered items that they could eat or uncontrolled moisture problems. Silverfish need a lot of moisture, which is why you'll commonly find them in damp basements or bathrooms, and if they're not getting the moisture or food they need outside, they'll find it in your home. Often, your house just turns out to be the most convenient source of food and water for silverfish, regardless of whether they're getting their needs met outside.

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