Last Updated on February 7, 2022 by Grow with Bovees
Silverfish are aptly named because of their silvery, metallic appearance and fish-like shape and movements.
Also referred to as “bristletails”, these insects are generally found in humid, moist environments of your home such as attics, basements, and bathrooms, and even though they aren’t dangerous to humans, they can cause damage to homes, and can trigger allergies in some people.
If you have LED lights and a silverfish infestation, you’re probably wondering do LED lights attract silverfish. Silverfish live a nocturnal lifestyle, meaning they only prefer dark spaces.
Silverfish aren’t attracted to LED lights, but you will only find them in moisture-prone spaces, and areas of your home with high levels of humidity.
What are Silverfish?
Silverfish may hide in dark spaces in different areas of your home including bathroom cracks, and spaces with humid temperatures. These nuisance insects go by different names in different countries including paper fish and feature a curved shape that resembles a fish.
The bodies of these silver insects measure between 12 millimeters to 19 millimeters and have six legs and two antennae. They are classified as nocturnal insects, therefore are most active at night, so you won’t find them around light bulbs, warm-colored LED lights or other types of LED lights.
Silverfish do feed on dead insects, and also like to snack on items that have sugar and starch like books, documents, photographs, and wallpaper.
Other preferred foods for silverfish are hair, dandruff, soap, glue, clothing, silk, cotton, linen, beef products, and even other silverfish.
Silverfish however are shy wingless insects and usually hide from people, hence aren’t a threat to humans. These insects breed rapidly, so small infestations can quickly spiral out of control.
Are Silverfish Attracted to LED Lights?
Even though silverfish are nocturnal insects, they may be attracted to LED lights due to the heat emitted by these types of lights in colder climates, similar to how a UV light or LED lights attract bugs.
In colder months, silverfish crawl down shake roofs through the insulation to hunt for cellulose, and dead insects. Silverfish can be attracted to smaller wavelengths of light such as UV light or LED light for the warmth LED lights produce.
Since silverfish prefer to hide out in dark spaces including ceiling cracks and wall cracks, installing LED lights in these areas may actually be a good way to keep silverfish away.
It’s also worth mentioning that if you see one or two silverfish near LED lights, incandescent bulbs, light strips, ultraviolet light, white light, or UV light, then great chances are that there are hundreds more that you don’t see.
How do Silverfish Damage My Property?
Similar to most bugs, silverfish can damage your house in many different ways including material damage and property damage.
These pesky insects bite into their food sources, and that’s how the damage happens. Silverfish scrape their teeth against things like fabric, books, paper wallpaper, and also leave fecal matter (yellow residue) on these items.
If you notice these yellow markings or damage to these items, then there’s a good reason that you have a silverfish infestation mostly in high humidity locations such as heated bathrooms, and dark and warm places.
Can Silverfish Harm Humans?
As mentioned earlier, silverfish aren’t harmful to humans, but can be a threat to people who suffer from allergies, and here’s why!
A 2015 study into different types of indoor allergens indicated that a person who is allergic to silverfish might experience respiratory symptoms.
As they age, silverfish leave behind skin – a process called molting. When these leftover skins collect and attract dust, they can trigger allergic reactions in some people.
But that’s not all, silverfish can also contaminate food products such as unsealed pasta, oat, cereal packets, sugar, flour, meat, or some of your favorite snacks. Contrary to popular myth, silverfish don’t crawl in your ears or any other parts of your body but are ideally trying to avoid you at all costs.
However, silverfish can bite household pets and can give them a nasty stomach ache. On a brighter note, silverfish won’t poison your pet if it eats them.
Adding to this, a single silverfish can produce up to 60 eggs that become mature adults in less than four months, so if you ignore a silverfish infestation, you’ll have more than 2000 in your home in no time.
How to Get Rid of Silverfish?
Silverfish aren’t necessarily attracted to LED bug lights, and there’s no evidence of them being attracted to ultraviolet light, white light, or any shade of light, but can wreak havoc in your home especially in warm bathrooms and other similar areas.
There are several methods you can employ to kill silverfish for good including natural and chemical solutions.
How to Get Rid of Silverfish Naturally?
Before getting into the chemical methods to get rid of silverfish, it’s recommended that you try any of the below natural home remedies.
Cedar oil and shavings emit a woody smell that repels silverfish. You can place cedar shavings or oil in your bathroom after bathing and in other humid spaces where silverfish exist.
But remember, cedar shavings and oil are a bit of a messy natural insecticide, but you can vacuum it and replace it every week or so.
Cucumber peels are great natural enemies for crawling insects such as silverfish, and the more bitter the cucumber, the more effective it will be against these insects, so you can probably use cucumber from food scraps as well. Silverfish don’t like the scent of cucumber peels, owing to the chemical content in them.
Essential oils and other natural repellants
Essential oils such as lavender and citrus will repel silverfish, thanks to their overwhelming aroma. You can also crush bay leaves into a powder, and place them in the paths of the silverfish.
Step up your fight against moisture
Silverfish flock to areas that receive a lot of moisture, so if you want to keep silverfish at bay, it makes sense to reduce the sources of moisture in your home or buy a dehumidifier.
Sticky paper traps
You can pick up some sticky traps from your local hardware store or buy them online, and lay them out in places where you’ve noticed silverfish activity such as a moist environment, dark environment, or even a gloomy environment. You can even put packets of silica gel in bookcases, but in areas out of kids’ reach.
Chemical Solutions to Get Rid of Silverfish?
Chemical solutions are a practical way of bringing infestations of silverfish under control. However, you should use them cautiously, especially if you have kids and pets around.
Boric acid is a widely used, and versatile poison for silverfish and other insects in your home, and can be sprinkled below air vents or other entryways into your home.
Before using boric acid, you have to first determine where the silverfish reside in your home. Next, you can either sprinkle the boric acid as a powder or mix it with water and spray directly into cracks, crevices and holes, and other areas silverfish lay in.
The Harris silverfish boric acid silverfish killer offers long – lasting results, and kills silverfish and other insects within 24 hours after initial application. It comes with an extended straw to get in hard to reach areas and is EPA certified for use in homes with people and pets.
Diatomaceous Earth is yet another proven way to kill silverfish, and is regarded as a non-toxic form of silverfish control. This all-natural powder is made from the fossilized remnants of a type of algae, and kills silverfish almost instantly.
Getting back to the big question – do LED lights attract silverfish? The answer is No! You may find silverfish near a shade of light, shorter wavelengths, warmer color temperatures or warm wavelengths of light when they’re looking to get cozy in colder temperatures, but they usually love to hide out in your bathroom or other humid dark environments of your home.
Silverfish can become a serious problem after frequent cleaning and even in the cleanest homes and can be found hanging around hot ventilation system components too.
Silverfish don’t cause mosquito bites and do not like being in the presence of humans, but you can also use most of the same solutions to get rid of mosquitoes to remove silverfish from your home.