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All About Silverfish

All About Silverfish

Most Raleigh-area homeowners are familiar with silverfish. Let’s learn more about these common house guests, including how they got their silly name!

What are silverfish?

Silverfish are extremely primitive insects. Like all insects, they have six legs. Their overall body plan and appearance is very different from most other common insects, however, due to their primitive nature. You have likely noticed the three long bristles at the end of the silverfish’s body. These are primarily sensory in function. 

Why are they called silverfish if they’re insects?

Good question! If you were to look at a silverfish under a magnifying glass or dissecting microscope, you would see that it has tiny silver scales covering its body. This fish-like appearance is what has earned these organisms their unusual name. Scales are not uncommon in the insect world. Moths and butterflies are covered with tiny, colorful scales. Have you ever squished a moth and discovered it leaves behind a powdery residue? Those are scales!

Are they pests?

This depends on how you define the word “pest.” Silverfish do not bite, sting, or transmit disease, but they are considered by many to be unwelcome house guests. The presence of silverfish often indicates a moisture problem in the home. You’ll often see them in the bathroom, laundry room, or other areas prone to excess moisture. If you are finding them in other rooms of the house, this could indicate a larger moisture problem. Additionally, silverfish feed on polysaccharides present in many adhesives, so they may damage the binding of books as well as the pages themselves. 

Give us a call if you are finding large numbers of silverfish in your home. Our professionals are well-trained in moisture problems and are equipped with all the tools needed to take recordings in your home. Together, we can help restore the moisture balance in your home and keep silverfish away!