They are harmless. They don’t fly, they don’t bite, and they don’t carry any type of disease. So they are no danger to you, your family, or your pets. Even so, you probably don’t want them crawling around your home.
Silverfish normally live outside in piles of decomposing leaves or in crevices, such as under logs and rocks. You might wonder if these small bugs live outside, why and what are silverfish doing in my house.
Silverfish like damp and dark places, which is why you usually first find them around sinks, toilets, and dark corners. You will most likely see them in the bathroom, kitchen, and garage.
Like any bug, they are looking for food. And when they find food in your home, they will stay, making them harder to get rid of.
Silverfish likes to eat starch like flour, whole grains, or oats. Open containers of these foods will attract silverfish into your home. You should always keep these food products in tightly sealed containers. They also like to eat paper, fabric, cardboard and can chew through plastic.
They are not like termites and won’t damage your home’s structure. But they can cause damage to your clothing and books.
If you start to see tiny holes in your clothing or yellow stains, it could be damage done by silverfish. They will eat fabrics like cotton, wool, silk, and clothes made with rayon.
Since they also like to eat paper, silverfish can also damage books and papers. I’m not sure the IRS would believe your tax papers were eaten by silverfish, so it is probably best if you store your books and important papers off of the floor in sealed containers.
Silverfish might be hard to get rid of if you can’t find where they’re coming in from. To get rid of the problem quickly, you should call a professional pest company. But there are some things you can try yourself to prevent silverfish and possibly get rid of them. A few DIY ways you can try include:
Silverfish love damp paper. Roll up some newspaper and secure both ends tightly with rubber bands. Wet the middle of the newspaper roll and leave the silverfish trap overnight in places where you have seen silverfish. The next morning throw the trap away, outside.
You can also try using boric acid. Sprinkle boric acid on a cracker and leave it out. Or make a solution of 5% boric acid in water and spray crevices where you suspect they are entering your home.
Using boric acid is dangerous though because it is toxic to people and your pets. If you have a silverfish problem, the best thing to do is call a professional pest control company.