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Is It Dangerous To Have Silverfish In My Long Island Home?


When we think of pests, the truly hazardous ones often come to mind — termites that damage structures or cockroaches that carry dangerous diseases. But there are many more harmless pests that are plenty common, like silverfish, that can still cause a lot of damage and be a nuisance in your home. Learning how to prevent and control silverfish populations in Long Island is just as important as keeping the other well-known pests out.

What Are Silverfish & Where Do You Find Them?

Silverfish aren’t very well named. Not only are they not fish, but they also aren’t always silver. While they are a common nuisance pest, many people don’t know what they look like or what silverfish mean for their homes. In the interest of arming you with the best information possible, here are some key silverfish traits:

  • Shape: Silverfish are teardrop-shaped insects that move in a pattern similar to how fish swim. Rather than using fins to get through the water, they crawl around like other bugs, using their many legs to skitter along floors and walls.
  • Color: Silverfish are often gray and shiny in color, though they can also be yellow or tan, or even transparent.
  • Size: They aren’t very big, typically only a few centimeters in length. They are more imposing because of their large numbers, and can squeeze through small cracks or holes.
  • Behavior: Silverfish prefer dark, damp places. People often find them in basements, underneath sinks or near toilets.

What Harm Can Silverfish Cause?

While silverfish aren’t harmful to people since they don’t bite or spread diseases, they do pose some bigger problems than your run-of-the-mill nuisance bugs. Some of the issues that silverfish can introduce to your home include:

  • Contamination: Silverfish forage for food crumbs or traces left behind. As such, they can contaminate food items or the surfaces where we prepare meals. 
  • Damage: Aside from the sustenance they can find in your pantry, silverfish will also eat fibrous materials in some fabrics, leading to holes in upholstery, curtains, and clothing items.
  • Population: Once silverfish make it inside, they can quickly thrive. Like most bugs, they spawn hordes of offspring, which mature quickly.

How To Prevent Silverfish

Silverfish come into your home for the same reasons other pests do — food, water, and shelter. Addressing these factors and protecting your property from an infestation can be accomplished through these simple steps:

  • Food storage: Foraging pests of all kinds will raid cupboards for scraps or chew through weak plastic and paper in order to get at your items. Store food in sturdy containers, plus be sure to store trash in pest-proof bags and bins.
  • Moisture Control: Silverfish are specifically attracted to moist areas. Limit moisture buildup in your home by installing proper ventilation in rooms like the bathroom and kitchen. Be sure to keep up on adequate pipe maintenance and address leaks quickly.
  • Crack sealing: Bugs of all kinds, including silverfish, can squeeze into tiny cracks or holes in the exterior of your home. Regularly check your walls and foundation and make repairs if needed.

Proper Services From Parkway Pest

While prevention methods can give you a fighting chance at avoiding pest populations, no at-home method is ever fool-proof. Even responsible, proactive property owners can find themselves with a silverfish population. These pests are hardy and invasive, so it’s best to turn to the professionals to address the problem immediately. Here at Parkway Pest Services, our friendly staff can provide you with routine inspections of your home, preventative treatments, or full-blown elimination solutions. No matter your needs, you can count on us to deal with it.
Don’t let silverfish become a problem for your home, turn to Parkway to get started on control today.