Though their shiny silver appearance may creep you out, silverfish are among the oldest insects in the world. Some scientists believe they have survived for about 400 million years and are a species that predate even the dinosaurs. Unlike other insects, silverfish have no wings and continue to shed their skin throughout their adult lives.
Today, silverfish like to find a warm place to live and food to eat by invading your home. They are most active at night, and they are known for destructive eating habits—and their unsettling appearance.
They feed on sugars and starches, which can be found in anything from the glue in books to dead insects and even shampoo. Silverfish aren’t nearly as destructive as termites or dangerous to humans like ticks or bed bugs, but they are a nuisance pest and can cause some property damage. Because they have an appetite for adhesives and glues, silverfish in houses in Illinois can ruin book bindings, clothing, wallpaper, and other papers.
Silverfish can also trigger allergies in some people and may result in infestations of other kinds of pests as well.