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Answering West Chester's Questions About Silverfish

Do You Have Questions About Silverfish?

If you're seeing tiny, alien-looking creatures in your West Chester home, you probably have questions. Silverfish look weird and very un-bug-like. A spider looks like a bug. An ant looks like a bug. Even a centipede looks like a bug. But silverfish look like slimy little armored robots sent by some superior alien race to keep tabs on us. We assure you, they aren't. They're just bugs. Here are a few questions we get about silverfish in West Chester.

Do Silverfish Bite?

No. These creepy bugs don't bite. They don't consider you to be food—which is actually surprising because they eat so many things. Fortunately, you're not one of them.

silverfish on a book

What Do Silverfish Eat?

Silverfish have quite a selection of food to choose from. They can subsist on some foods found in your pantry, such as cereal, coffee, flour, and other pantry products. But they much prefer things that aren't in your pantry. They eat glue, paste, plaster, carpets, wallpaper, books, cardboard, paper, and some paints. They'll nibble on silk, cotton, rayon, and other fibers your clothes are made from. They'll eat insects, both dead and alive. They'll make a meal of dead skin cells, dandruff, and hair. And, when they have to, they'll even eat their own shed skins. Good luck hiding the food from these insects.

Why Do I Have Silverfish In My Home?

The big reason silverfish get into homes is water damage. When damp conditions allow for wood rot on the outside of a home, carpenter ants, mice, rats, termites and other wood-destroying pests create holes. Silverfish accidentally find these holes because they hang out in areas that are damp. This isn't always how they get in. But it happens enough that it is important to have your home examined for conditions of water damage if you're seeing silverfish indoors.

Do Silverfish Damage Homes?

Yes. Silverfish can damage your West Chester home. But they don't damage the wood of your home. While they are known to digest cellulose, which is found in wood, they don't eat wood. They may eat paper, but they have a preference for paper that has been coated with starch, dextrin, casein, or paste. Silverfish are mostly interested in consuming easy carbohydrates. If silverfish find damp cardboard or paper, they'll consume it, but a dry piece of cardboard and paper that is not coated, are far less appealing. The damage silverfish do in a home is done to items that have easily consumable starches, such as wallpaper or carpets. This is how silverfish present a problem for homeowners in West Chester.

How Do I Get Silverfish Out Of My House?

Since these insects are strongly attracted to being in moist environments, it is possible to drive them out by reducing humidity. There are a few ways you can do this:

  • Add fans and dehumidifiers to rooms and areas that are humid. This will make them too dry for silverfish.

  • When you take a bath or shower, remember to turn the bathroom fan on if you have one. This helps to vent the moisture out of the room.

  • Do an inspection of your exterior and address conditions that cause moisture, such as clogged gutters, dense vegetation, weeds, and leaf litter.

How Do I Keep Silverfish Out Of My House?

Maintain a perimeter that is as dry as possible and seal any entry points in your home. Some common entry points silverfish utilize are:

  • Cracks in foundation walls

  • Damaged screens

  • Gaps in the weatherstripping around doors

  • Missing door sweeps

  • Holes created by wood-damaging pests

  • Gaps around window and door frames

  • Gaps around pipes and wire conduit

The best way to keep silverfish (and a long list of other common household pests) out of your home is to invest in a residential pest control plan. At Moyer, we have three cost-effective service plans that will give you the specific coverage you're looking for. Take a look at Exterior Home Guard, Complete Home Guard, and Platinum Home Guard, or speak with us directly by clicking on the chat button at the bottom right of the page. We're here to help you protect your health and property from the harmful impact of silverfish and other pests

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