Silverfish expelled: check the causes and control methods

night visitors
Why is the silverfish in many homes? this is the reason

Silverfish prefer to stay in damp rooms, such as the bathroom

© Leonid Eremeychuk / Getty Images

Silverfish are not a sign of poor hygiene, although they do feed on dander and dust mites. The reason why wingless insects hide in many homes is completely different.

In fact, the correct name for them is “Silberfischchen”, but they are more commonly known as “Silberfische”. Their silver or mother-of-pearl shells speak of the naming, but it is their dietary behavior that gives them the technical term “Lepisma saccharina”: translated, it means “sugar guest” – because they need sugar to survive. They not only feed on organic waste such as hair and dander, but also starchy foods such as flour, cereal or pastries. So it is not surprising that insects especially feel like their home in human homes. Where exactly and why you don’t necessarily have to fight all the silverfish is explained below.

Where does the silverfish live? Causes of injury

In Central Europe, silverfish live mainly in warm living spaces – preferably not only nice and warm, but also damp: in the bathroom, in the kitchen or in the room where you hang wet laundry. The absolute comfort temperature is 25-30 ° C, but if the temperature rises (from 35 ° C), they die. On the other hand, if temperatures drop below ten degrees, insects become inactive. If it is too dry, the silverfish will not be able to reproduce: the female lays up to 20 eggs.

You rarely see silverfish during the day, if at all, because the animals are afraid of light and are only active at night. For this reason, they hide wherever it is dark: in cracks, joints, behind baseboards or wallpaper. If you catch caught insects, scurry across the floor or disappear behind a wall, do not immediately panic – because the fact is that animals are neither harmful to health nor a sign of poor hygiene. On the contrary: the silverfish is actually beneficial.

This is why the silverfish has a practical use

Many infestations, such as food mites, must definitely be fought, because insects contaminate food and their remains can lead to allergies and gastrointestinal diseases. On the other hand, silverfish does not harm our health, but rather has a practical use: apart from the fact that it eats house dust mites and is therefore good for allergy sufferers, a severe infestation can indicate a moisture problem in the home – because silverfish also eat fungal spores. If there are a large number of insects, you should check your four walls for possible mold growth.

You can prevent silverfish by following these tips

Even if the silverfish is harmless in principle, insects cause real disgust for many people. So you can take precautions so that the animals do not feel comfortable in your home and run away:

  1. Since silverfish prefer warm, damp rooms, you should air them regularly – this is especially true of your bathroom. The colder the air and the lower the humidity, the greater the discomfort of insects.

  2. Since organic waste such as hair and dead skin flakes are part of the silverfish’s diet, you should vacuum and wipe all rooms regularly, or wipe them with a damp cloth.

  3. Since timid insects stay in cracks and dark crevices or use them as entrances, it is best to seal them as best as possible – with joint filler or silicone, for example.

  4. Since wingless insects feed on fungal spores, you should check your home for mold and eliminate it as best you can. Not only does this keep the animals away, it’s also better for you.

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