Are Silverfish Dangerous?


silverfishNashville, Murfreesboro, Knoxville and Chattanooga TN

You are in your basement or attic and then it happens: a silverfish darts by. Certainly, this could be cause for consternation. Drawn to warm, moist areas, silverfish are a common household pest in Nashville… but do they pose a health or safety risk? We answer that question in this article, which explores whether or not silverfish are dangerous.

Get the facts on silverfish

A silverfish (an insect of the Zygentoma order) is a small, wingless centipede-eque crawler. Silverfish get their name because they are silver or light gray in color. As mentioned, silverfish are drawn to warmth and moisture. Their ideal environment has 75 to 95% relative humidity. The more humid the environment, the longer they can remain active. They seek moisture due to their inability to regulate their body temperature and moisture, given they are a cold-blooded species.

So, are silverfish dangerous?

Now for the good news… silverfish are generally harmless. They do not bite and do not carry any diseases. In very rare cases, they may cause an allergic reaction.

Silverfish may not be dangerous, but they are a nuisance. Once they infiltrate your home, they can contaminate food, stain fabric and damage paper goods.

What happens during a silverfish infestation?

Because of their proclivity for warmth and moisture, silverfish are most often seen in basements and crawl spaces. They find their way into most homes through foundational cracks, torn screens or holes surrounding entryways. They can also enter a living area via items brought into a house, such as boxes or stored goods.

We mentioned the possible damage to fabrics. Closets with high humidity also are vulnerable to silverfish infestation, as they will consume clothing and bedding for the nutrients present on the material, other than the material itself. If you see a yellowish color on any clothing, it is a sign that silverfish are likely present wherever those items are being stored.

Silverfish also rapidly reproduce. Females of the species can lay up to one hundred eggs in their lifespan. Meanwhile, due to their nocturnal nature, finding a silverfish infestation can be a challenge. It helps to know the signs of silverfish.

These include:

  • Silverfish droppings, which have a size and shape that resemble whole peppercorns
  • Markings, holes or notching along the edge of boxes or paper
  • Yellow stains on garments
  • Yellow dust, which is what’s left when silverfish molt

Pest control for silverfish in Nashville and Murfreesboro in Tennessee

If you’re seeing signs of a silverfish infestation in your home, contact a trusted professional pest control company like Ameri Care Services as soon as possible. And remember, being proactive is your best defense against any type of pest infestation. Our program of pest control includes a yearly inspection, performed in combination with treatments by one of our highly trained technicians. These treatments not only provide protection against silverfish, but other common pests, such as ants, roaches and more.

Ready to find out more? Schedule your free evaluation today by calling (615) 893-7111 or visit us online.