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books with silverfish pests

Silverfish Pests: The Curse of Book Lovers

If you have a large book collection, then you may have books that are quite old. And you may have noticed that, over the years, your books are yellowing and becoming worn. This damage can simply be the natural process of ageing paper. However, if you see damage that takes the form of large holes that seem to have been eaten into the book, the culprit could be silverfish pests.

What can book lovers do about silverfish?

Silverfish pests are the curse of book lovers. This is simply because they can completely destroy books and even make them unreadable. These insects have existed for millennia. In fact, scientists believe they date all the way back to the age of the dinosaur. The reason why they have this unusual name is simply because of their appearance. They basically look like small silver-coloured fish that invade anywhere from bathrooms to bookshelves.

ong tailed silverfish pest

These insects usually only come out at night, although they can sometimes be spotted by day. After emerging from their hiding places, they begin to search for food. They mainly feed on anything that contains cellulose, which includes paper, but also love to eat starches and dextrin. In case you don’t know, dextrin is the main component found in adhesives, which is why they eat book bindings. In addition to this, these silverfish pests also go after carpets, clothing, paint, paper and will occasionally eat coffee.

How much damage can silver fish pests do?

If these pests find your bookshelf, it will cause a serious headache. They hide amongst the pages of books and gorge themselves on the paper. They also breed fast, meaning their offspring give rise to further damage. Over time, a silverfish infestation can cause serious degradation to books. Not only will they eat holes in the book, but they have been known to completely consume pages.

book shop

Identifying silverfish is easy. First of all, there is their distinctive fish-like appearance. Also look out for droppings, which appear as black grains of sand. If you believe there are silverfish in your home, the first step is to keep the environment dry. These pests love moisture and need it to breed. As well as bookshelves, silverfish are one of the more common bathroom pests.

At what point should a pest control specialist be hired? Basically, if you feel the problem is out of control, then you may want to get professional help and advice. This is usually the case if large amounts of damage is being done to books, paper documents, wallpaper and when they have overridden areas of your household. Also, if you’re a book seller, then you should definitely call Diamond Pest Control right away.


Sally has been writing on the subject of pest control for 4 years. She always carries out extensive and in depth research and always tries to bring you the most up to date, interesting topics.

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