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Problems Silverfish Cause In Our Homes

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Problems Silverfish Cause In Our Homes

When it comes to household pests, there are generally four categories. There are pests that are a health threat, like cockroaches and rodents. There are pests that destroy homes, like termites and carpenter ants. There are pests that don't spread illness, but are able to contaminate food, like beetles and weevils. And there are pests that damage our belongings. Now, you're probably thinking we're going to say, "like the silverfish." But, the truth is, those silverfish fit into all but one of these categories. And that is only because no study has found a link between silverfish and illness. Here are the ways silverfish fit those other categories.

Silverfish Destroy Homes

While silverfish don't chew on the wood of a home or affect the structural integrity of a home like termites, carpenter ants, carpenter bees, and other wood borers, they can still destroy a home. These insects feed on the starches found in wallpaper. Over time, they can do enough damage to make you want to reduce a room or two.

Silverfish Contaminate Food

There are many products in your kitchen and pantry that will be appetizing to silverfish. And, since they chew on paper, it is easy for these tiny bugs to get into many of the packages our food comes in. Some of the foods they target are sugar, flour, and rolled oats. If you're seeing silverfish in your home and you'd prefer to not see them in your dinner, it is a good idea to put cardboard and paper packaged items in sealed plastic containers.

Silverfish Damage Our Belongings

This is the big one. There are all kinds of items in your home that a silverfish can make a meal out of. Some you might even find surprising.

  • They can be found nibbling on toothpaste in the bathroom.
  • They chew on books and magazines, especially when these items are stored in a moist room of the house.
  • If you have a home office, you may want to store your important documents in hard plastic sleeves or plastic containers.
  • If you have a wedding dress passed down from generation to generation, you're going to want to put that keepsake in a garment bag.
  • Do you collect baseball cards? Hopefully, you already have them in a protective binder. Silverfish can make those cards hard to read.
  • If you have tapestries, you may begin to find holes.
  • Silverfish nibble on many natural fabrics like silk, linen, and cotton, but the glues used in synthetic fibers and starches used to press clothing can also be attractive. If you're seeing silverfish in closets or dresser drawers, you should definitely move your clothes to a safer location.
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Silverfish Are A Warning Sign Of Other Damage

Now that we've covered the ways that silverfish can cause damage in your home, let's take a look at this problem from another angle. If you're seeing silverfish inside your home, there is a good chance that there is another kind of damage occurring. Silverfish don't chew their way into a house. They exploit holes that begin as water damage.

Excessive water is horrible for a home. That is why we have gutter systems to channel water away. If rainwater runs down the side of a home, or is able to pool up in a shady location next to your foundation, it can lead to wood rot. And wood rot is attractive to a whole host of bugs and wildlife.

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