Group of books showing signs of silverfish damage

Meet the silverfish, tiny yet tenacious creatures that can insidiously impact your possessions and living spaces. Paper, fabric, and adhesives are their vices, meaning your prized possessions can easily fall victim to these hungry pests.

Silverfish damage varies in severity, ranging from small holes to the destruction of books or photographs. These pests aren’t the only indoor insects that can impact your home’s items, so it’s good to understand the signs of a silverfish infestation. 

Keep reading to learn more about silverfish damage!

Silverfish in Raleigh, NC

Silverfish are small, wingless insects with silver-gray, elongated bodies that taper at both ends. Commonly found in many parts of the United States, they’re an unfortunate addition to the North Carolina landscape. 

Silverfish prefer dark, damp environments. In Raleigh and much of North Carolina, they inhabit basements, bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms within hard-to-reach cracks and crevices. 

As nocturnal insects, silverfish don’t often appear during the day. Instead, they prefer to feed on starchy substances like paper, glue, book bindings, wallpaper paste, and fabrics under the cover of night. You may spot them in old books, cardboard boxes, or closest, trying to grab a bite. 

Some insects and arachnids, like spiders and centipedes, may feed on silverfish. However, their natural predators alone are often insufficient to control a silverfish infestation.

Silverfish Damage

Silverfish damage is no joke! Many homeowners across the United States and even in North Carolina often lose their items at the hands (or legs, rather) of silverfish. Here’s what you need to know about silverfish damage to stay on top of an infestation!

Sever silverfish damage and water damage on a brown book

Books and Paper

Silverfish are avid consumers of paper products, particularly those rich in cellulose, such as books, magazines, newspapers, and important documents. Their attraction to the adhesive used in bookbindings can lead to the gradual deterioration of book spines and covers.

In some rare and unfortunate cases, silverfish have permanently damaged valuable and irreplaceable books and manuscripts. As they feed on paper, they create irregular holes and tunnels, rendering printed material unreadable and aesthetically ruined.

Furthermore, historical documents and cherished photographs stored in areas infested by silverfish face significant risks of damage. The ongoing feasting on cellulose-rich materials highlights the importance of implementing proactive pest control measures to protect precious artifacts and heritage items.

Fabric and Textiles

Silverfish can be particularly troublesome when it comes to interior surfaces. They can consume the adhesive paste used in wallpaper, which often results in the gradual loosening or peeling of wallpaper from walls. 

Their presence is often betrayed by the appearance of small, irregular holes in the affected wallpaper, adding to the aesthetic damage.

Silverfish may leave behind tiny holes or tracks in spaces with painted walls and ceilings, primarily if they feed on the paint’s binding agents. Over time, this ongoing damage can accumulate, leading to an unsightly appearance that may necessitate repainting or repairs. 

Food Damage

Though silverfish are not commonly linked to food contamination, they can infiltrate pantries and cupboards where dry food items like cereal, flour, and pasta, rich in starches, can pique their interest.

The concern arises when their presence introduces the potential for food contamination through their droppings, discarded scales, and cast-off body parts. While consuming food that has come into contact with these elements is typically not harmful to human health, we recommend you toss the affected items. 

Glue and Adhesives 

Silverfish have a knack for zeroing in on glues and adhesives, frequently found on labels, bookbindings, and cardboard boxes. 

One immediate consequence of silverfish damage is the peeling and detachment of labels, which can result in confusion or misidentification of stored items. This issue becomes particularly problematic when organizing household or office supplies.

Moreover, when dealing with cardboard boxes, the structural integrity of the packaging is at risk. As the adhesive deteriorates, the cardboard weakens, making it vulnerable to external pressure or moisture damage. 

Precious collectibles and cherished memorabilia, frequently stored within cardboard boxes, face a significant threat when silverfish infestations are left unattended. These pests can cause irreversible harm to items that hold both sentimental and monetary value.

Insulation and Wall Cavities 

In environments with elevated humidity levels, silverfish often find refuge within wall voids and insulation, attracted by the moisture-retaining properties of these concealed spaces.

Silverfish can damage insulation material, potentially compromising its ability to effectively regulate temperature and sound within the structure. Consequently, reduced insulation efficiency may lead to higher energy costs, gradually making the living environment less energy-efficient and comfortable.

The gradual degradation of the insulation’s thermal and acoustic properties can significantly impact the overall quality of life within a space. Diminished insulation effectiveness may result in temperature fluctuations and increased sound transmission.

Additionally, silverfish accumulating excrement within wall cavities can inadvertently create an attractive environment for other pests. This, in turn, worsens the structural and hygiene issues that the silverfish infestation already presents.

The accumulation of excrement can lead to unpleasant odors, making affected areas less habitable. This requires additional deodorization and remediation efforts.

Eliminate Silverfish in Raleigh, NC, with Innovative!

Silverfish damage can ruin precious items around your home. These pests don’t discriminate when it comes to a good meal! However, you don’t have to deal with these pests alone.

Ready to bid farewell to silverfish and protect your Raleigh home? Contact Innovative Pest Solutions today for expert, hassle-free removal and prevention! Say goodbye to these pests; contact us to schedule your appointment now!

Innovative pest solutions CTA for general pest control services