1. Are Silverfish Dangerous?

FEBRUARY 04 2022 /

Are Silverfish Dangerous?

It looks like something out of a Ridley Scott horror film, so naturally you would think that silverfish are dangerous. Well, you would only be partly right. These alien looking silver bugs do pose a threat but not in the way you might think.

Do silverfish bite? Yes! - But not humans.

Silverfish eat paper, photos, book bindings, wallpaper, draperies, glue, carpet, clothing, sugar, coffee, hair, dandruff, and several other unsavory things. Here are some of the ways this may affect you.


What Are Silverfish?

Silverfish, also known as “fishmoths”, “urban silverfish” and “carpet sharks”, are long, thin, and flat insects that measure from 1/2 inch to 1 inch long.

They get their name from their light grey-blue coloring, which can look like shimmering silver as they move across surfaces in a fish-like manner. Silverfish are just as much of a nuisance as they are creepy.

These pests are attracted to anything containing starch or polysaccharide, as this is their primary source of food.

Common household items that contain these substances are sugar, human hair, dandruff, photos, paper, toothpaste residue, shaving cream, glue (especially wallpaper paste), and book bindings.

As you can imagine, they can become destructive once their source of food is found. The damage can be costly and can be a great loss if they get into photo memories or other precious items.


Are Silverfish Dangerous to Dogs?

If you have a furry friend, then you are all too familiar with how important they are to the entire family.

To most folks, dogs are not just an animal that happens to live with them, they are part of the family. And, as beloved friends, we will do everything we can to keep them healthy and happy.

We feed them good nutritious meals, walk and groom them regularly, and make sure their medical needs are cared for. Like all family members, dogs are an investment.

So, it is important to look at all aspects of their care.

It is important to consider the impact that household pests have on our friends. We all know that mites, ticks, and fleas are bad news for pets.

But have you ever thought about silverfish? Are these pests harmful to dogs? The short answer is no. Silverfish do not pose any direct threat to animals.

However, if you have treasured photos of your precious puppy when you first brought him, or her, home, those may be at risk if silverfish have invaded your home.



Why You Should Get Rid of Silverfish 

⭐ If you have important documents, silverfish can ruin your day. There is nothing worse than pulling a birth certificate out of the filing cabinet and finding half the words missing.


⭐ If you store photos in the attic or basement, your memories could be in danger. Silverfish like humid places and they are known to deface photos--quite literally.


⭐ If you don't like waking up with bugs in your hair or crawling around on your hairbrush in the bathroom, you probably don't want silverfish in your home.

Not only do silverfish eat hair and dandruff, they are also drawn to the moisture of your bathroom.


⭐ If you have wallpaper in your home, you may wake up with large surface patches chewed away.

Not only do silverfish like paper and glue, these are nocturnal creatures that can do quite a bit of damage in the time it takes you to get your beauty sleep.


⭐ If you have clothing stored in a closet or attic space, those silverfish could leave your favorite shirt or pants looking like Swiss cheese, and if you think those cardboard storage boxes are going to keep them out, you might want to think again. Silverfish love cardboard as well.


⭐ Do you collect books? It can be quite a disheartening experience to pull a book out of the bookcase and realize that half the cover image is gone or the pages are coming out because the binding has been chewed.


⭐ If creepy, alien-looking bugs freak you out, you probably don't want silverfish running around your home. These bugs move very quickly and their ghastly, shiny appearance can be quite disturbing to some.


⭐ If silverfish get into your food storage areas, they can present a contamination danger.

These bugs are not known to carry diseases, but like many insect pests they can walk around in areas of harmful bacteria, like your trash, and then carry those bacteria to food prep surfaces, silverware drawers, or food storage areas.

The pantry is a particular threat because this is a bug that chews through paper and cardboard.


Silverfish Prevention Tips

Examine your exterior and fill in any gaps, cracks, or holes you find. These insects are tiny and can squeeze through the tiniest of gaps.

Replace mulch (which can remain moist) with another, dryer material such as crushed rock. Silverfish are drawn to moisture. If you can't part with your mulch, consider a pest control company putting down a chemical barrier between your mulch and your home.

Check all of your screens and door sweeps to make sure they are present and in good condition.


What Should I Do If I Found Silverfish in My Home?

If you need silverfish removed from your home, take note that they can be an indication of bigger problems, such as water damage to your home.

If water damage has occurred, you may be dealing with many more unwanted pests which can be dangerous to your furry friends, and other family members

These bugs are hard to exclude without knowledge and experience. If you live in Montgomery County, Howard County or elsewhere in our Maryland, Northern Virginia and  Washington D.C. service area, contact American Pest for help getting rid of silverfish.

We've been protecting homes, businesses, and government property since 1925. We'd love to help you protect yours.