Silverfish are small, carrot-shaped, silver insects covered in gray scales and known for their rapid, fish-like movement. Although they look a bit menacing, especially with their three-prong tails, silverfish actually do not bite or sting humans. Instead, silverfish have small mouths that are just big enough for chewing on household items—usually those that are plant-based, such as the glue inside book spines. Given their small mouth parts, silverfish bites are an almost impossible occurrence. If you believe you have silverfish bites on your body, you may be mistaking silverfish bites for other common bug bites. These include bed bug bites, mosquito bites and flea bites. Cockroach bites and cricket bites are much rarer and are usually not a proper diagnosis.
Silverfish are most active at night, spending the day in dark and moist hideouts. They prefer libraries, schools, homes, and apartment buildings where food sources and crevices are plentiful. You can reduce a silverfish population by eliminating areas of moisture, improving air circulation, and storing important papers and books inside of plastic containers. However, pesticide treatments are often necessary to completely eradicate an infestation of silverfish and to maintain long-term silverfish control.
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