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Silverfish are extremely common, and although they’re annoying, they are actually quite harmless to humans. Silverfish eat carbohydrates, particularly sugars and starches. Because many household items contain these substances, including shampoo, book glue, and linen, silverfish in large quantities can be destructive.
Where Silverfish Are Found
Silverfish like dark, damp areas such as storage sheds, garages, and bathrooms. Because they stay hidden until it’s dark, you often won’t notice them until you flip a light on in a bathroom or until an infestation has begun. You may first notice damage they’ve caused, or their pepper-like droppings.
When Silverfish Cause a Problem
A stray silverfish is no cause for concern, but if you are experiencing an infestation, they can be difficult to deal with. Nymphs grow rapidly in humid areas, and can multiply quickly with little warning. To get rid of an infestation, you have to eliminate adults as well as nymphs and eggs.
How to Prevent a Silverfish Infestation
Silverfish thrive in humidity, so one of the best ways to prevent infestations is to control humidity. Open the vents in your crawl spaces, use caulking around baseboards in your basement, ventilate attics, and keep moisture in bathrooms down. Run the air conditioner, even if you don’t need it from a temperature standpoint.
Also, be sure not to leave out food sources, such as crumbs in the kitchen or household products they could use as food, like shampoos, paper, and linen clothing. Vacuum regularly and tightly seal all food containers.