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Getting Rid of Silverfish and Centipedes (and How to Know Which You’ve Got)

Silverfish and centipedes are both arthropods responsible for many calls to pest control companies in Vancouver. These home invaders both have segmented bodies with many appendages, which cause a lot of confusion among homeowners experiencing these pests’ presence for the first time. Before you can understand how to prevent and remove them, here’s how to identify which you’ve got.

Differences Between Silverfish & Centipedes

One of the most obvious differences between silverfish and centipedes is their appearance. Centipedes are elongated and flattened, with a single pair of legs on each body segment. They can range in color from yellow to brown to red, and can have anywhere from 15 to 177 pairs of legs. In contrast, silverfish are silver or gray in color, and have a fish-like appearance, with a tapered body and three long tail-like appendages at the rear. They have only six legs.

Another key difference is their habitat. Centipedes are usually found outdoors, in damp environments such as leaf litter and mulch, or in the soil. Silverfish, on the other hand, are typically found indoors, in damp, dark places such as basements and crawl spaces.

Centipedes and silverfish also have different diets. Centipedes are predatory, and feed on a variety of insects and other small arthropods. Silverfish, on the other hand, are scavengers and feed on organic matter, including carbohydrates and proteins.

Overall, while centipedes and silverfish are both arthropods, they have different appearances, habitats, and diets, which makes them easy to tell apart.

Are Silverfish & Centipedes Dangerous?

Centipedes are capable of biting people, although they generally only do so in self-defense. Centipedes are predatory animals, and their bites are venomous, which they use to kill their prey. While a centipede bite is not typically dangerous to humans, it can be painful and may cause swelling, redness, and itching at the bite site. In rare cases, a centipede bite can cause an allergic reaction, so it is best to avoid being bitten if possible. If you are bitten by a centipede, you can wash the bite site with soap and water and apply an over-the-counter antiseptic cream to help prevent infection. If you experience any severe symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, swelling of the face or throat, or dizziness, seek medical attention immediately.

Silverfish, on the other hand, are not known to bite people. As scavengers, they are not equipped with the necessary mouthparts to bite, and they do not have venom like some other insects. While they may crawl on people, they are not known to cause any harm.

How Can I Keep Silverfish & Centipedes Out?

For Centipedes prevention:

  1. Keep the outside of your home clean and free of debris. Centipedes often live in leaf litter and other organic debris, so removing this material from around the perimeter of your home can help deter them from coming inside.
  2. Seal any cracks or gaps in your home’s exterior. Centipedes can enter through very small openings, so it is important to seal any gaps or cracks in your foundation, walls, or doors. Use caulk or weatherstripping to seal these openings and prevent centipedes from getting in.

For Silverfish control:

  1. Store food properly. Silverfish are attracted to food sources, especially starchy or sugary foods. To help keep them out of your home, store food in airtight containers and regularly clean up any crumbs or spills.
  2. Remove sources of cellulose. Silverfish feed on materials that contain cellulose, such as paper, cardboard, and fabric. To help control silverfish proliferation and keep them from entering your home, remove any unnecessary sources of cellulose, such as old newspapers or cardboard boxes.

For Both:

  1. Reduce moisture levels in your home. Centipedes & silverfish prefer damp environments, so reducing moisture levels in your home can help make it less attractive to them. Fix any leaks, use a dehumidifier in damp areas, and ventilate your home to help reduce moisture levels.
  2. Use a natural insect repellent. There are several natural ingredients that can repel silverfish and centipedes, such as peppermint oil, cloves, and cinnamon. You can make a natural insect repellent by mixing these ingredients with water and spraying it around the perimeter of your home.
  3. Call a professional. The experts at All Green Pest Control can help identify, remove, and prevent silverfish and centipedes from your home, restoring your peace of mind and keeping your family safe.

All Green Pest Control provides pest control Vancouver families have trusted for years. Contact us to put a plan in place for your winter pest control and save 10% on seasonal pest management services.

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