Silverfish is no actual fish but a tiny wingless insect with a striking silverish-grey color and an uncanny resemblance to fish both in appearance and in the way it moves. Their dimensions vary from 13 to 25 mm in abdominal length which is tapered at the end thus their fish-like appearance. They have long sensitive antennae and a pair of compound eyes, while they move in continuous wiggle motion like that of a fish in water. “Do silverfish bite?” And “Are they dangerous?” are some of the questions we will answer in this article.
Below are best silverfish killers based on average user ratings.
Diet and Habitat
Silverfish are night creatures and you rarely ever see them during the day, but once night falls they emerge in search for food which is mostly in the form of sugars and starchy materials. They love highly moist areas with a relative humidity of up to 95 percent, and their most suspect habitats are bathtubs and kitchen sinks. They mostly concentrate themselves around the cold dark places of the house and can sometimes be found in numbers occupying old books.
Silverfish is an extremely agile insect and it regularly uses its speed to outrun predators such as spiders and centipedes. They love eating starches and dextin that can be found in adhesives that are used in binding books, and laying carpets. They are also voracious consumers of sugar, glue, hair, damp clothing and sometimes dead insects. Silverfish is a very resilient insect as it can live for long periods without eating
Silverfish has a peculiar mating habit, in that the male drops its sperm capsule on the ground where the female picks it and inserts it in her body via the ovipositor which then fertilizes the eggs that are already inside her. She then lays the fertilized eggs which are white in color with oval shapes, in nooks and crevices as they take anything from 2 to 8 weeks to hatch. The nymphs after hatching are whitish in color distinctly resembling their adult parents in all but color. They have quite a long lifespan for an insect, and they are among the few insects that molt continuously even after reaching adulthood.
Do Silverfish Bite?
This is the big question for most people that are interested in knowing about these curious insects. To settle the matter we can safely say that due to silverfish’s inherently weak jaws they are not suited and as such they don’t bite people at all. Nonetheless they are still a big nuisance to humans as they are keen destroyers of property and can spoil our foods, although they don’t transmit any diseases.
So the answer to the question “Do silverfish bite?” is “no, they don’t” but even so, you still want to get rid of them as they can cause damage to your house.
How to Get Rid of Silverfish Naturally
The best methods to control and get rid of any insects and silverfish in particular is by the use of natural means. Some of the simple methods that can prove effective against silverfish include:
Keep Your House Clean
- Improve the ventilation in your homes especially places that are usually left unused for long periods or those that are the major suspect breeding grounds for silverfish
- Deploy a dehumidifier to suck up the moist air which will make the habitat untenable for silverfish survival
- Always make sure you remove any uneaten food that might attract their swarms to your place
- Make sure your sinks and bathtubs are always clean and hygienic
- Vacuum under carpets and other major places that has silverfish living in them, and never leave waste papers lying around
- Eliminate their entry ports such as holes in doors and windows to curtail their invasion
- Keep your books properly stored in preferably enclosed spaces such as plastic containers.
- Food stuffs must always be stored and sealed to prevent silverfish from spotting them
- Setting up traps for insects might sound curious but it is often highly effective especially with non-winged insects like silverfish. Set up a hard and flat surface and pour on it sticky glue that doesn’t dry on exposure to air, and then place your traps at the right places you suspect the silverfish to pass through. Once they step on these traps they get stuck for you to come and eliminate them later.
- Cedar Vinegar here is also very effective in killing silverfish as it is on most other insects. It is harmless to us but very toxic to insects as it easily eliminates them
- Alcohol is another effective silverfish control agent. It repels them easily on application at their infested zones.
- Neem oil too is very efficient against silverfish. It is a pervasive agent that enters directly into the insect’s body and disrupts their hormonal balance, killing it in a short span.
- Diatomaceous earth is excruciating to silverfish as its scorches and dries their body fluids when it gets sprinkled on them.
- Lavender oil is one of the strongest repellents against silverfish, as they cannot stand its smell, which forces them to abandon your house and look for alternative lodging.
- Cucumber peels are nauseating to silverfish, and they cannot stay in the same where cucumber peels are placed.
- Naphthalene balls when placed inside your book box or shelves can effectively keep silverfish away from destroying your library.
- Cinnamon sticks when placed at the dwelling places of silverfish and other insects are extremely effective in destabilizing them and chasing them completely away from your home.
- Silica Gel dries up the waxy coat on the silverfish and effectively suffocates them of any humidity they need to survive.
- Boric acid when sprinkled on the crossing paths of silverfish or their infestation areas effectively eliminates them, not even their eggs are spared when it is used.
I do not recommend the following Dekko Silverfish Packs. I tried and they did not work at all. Save your money and get a spray but you need to be patient. Every time you see a silverfish, spray it. Do not let the silverfish go even if the spray is not handy. Make the bottle easily-accessible and grab it every time you see a silverfish. These insects multiple quickly so kill any at your sight and go hunt for them at night.