Oh Good – This Bathroom Creepy-Crawly Could Be A Sign Of A Bigger Problem In Your Home

They are harmless but not exactly welcome.

Over colder months, we expect more visitors into our homes for, say, Christmas dinner or some cosy movie nights with loved ones. What we don’t expect and didn’t invite, really, are silverfish.

However, with ”#silverfish” gaining a huge 74 million views on TikTok and users sharing videos of the critters entering their homes and university halls, it seems we’re getting a little more familiar with the critters than we’d like to be.

According to data on Google Trends, it’s not just the clock app that’s showing increases in people worrying about them. Over the past month or so, searches around getting rid of silverfish and even what they are have been gaining traction over the past 90 days.

The bad news is that their presence in your home may point to a larger problem of a potential water leak...

But, what are silverfish?

According to Web MD, silverfish are shiny silver insects with scales and antennae. They don’t have wings but they have a soft body covered in fine scales that look like a fish. Yes, I’m squirming too.

These insects like the dark, moist environments and tend to avoid direct sunlight. They lay eggs in crevices and cracks throughout the home which hatch within three weeks. The insects reach adult age within four to six weeks, at which point they’ll be around 3/4 of an inch long.

They’re hungry little mites and feed on flour, rolled oats, dried meat, paper, cardboard, books, glue, vegetables, cereals, and dead insects.

They thankfully do not bring harm to humans directly by biting us but they can chew through your home and contaminate food with their faeces. If you see any bugs near your food, throw the food out.

How to prevent silverfish in the home

As silverfish tend to love bathrooms, HuffPost UK spoke to the experts at Big Bathroom Shop about how to ensure these bizarre fish-looking insects don’t make themselves at home in our homes.

Dry out your bathroom

Because silverfish thrive in damp, moist environments, they tend to take refuge in bathrooms, especially during colder seasons. Bathroom expert John Lawless at Big Bathroom Shop recommends using a dehumidifier to air out the bathroom and keeping it dry by using an extractor fan and opening the window to let in fresh air for 2-3 hours a day.

Fix any leaks

Lawless adds that spotting silverfish in the bathroom or parts of the home could actually be a sign of a leak. He said: “Look to fix any leak as part of your yearly bathroom maintenance ahead of winter and keep creepy crawlies at bay by doing so.”

Seal any cracks or holes

Have you been “getting around” to fixing that crack for a while? Now is the time according to Lawless. These little crevices are ideal for silverfish to snuggle into and should be filled asap. That also goes for your bathroom seal and tile grouting, too!

Clean little and often

Lawless urges that if you’re not on top of your cleaning, this could be inviting silverfish into the home saying, “Silverfish thrive in areas where they can pick up small bits of debris from skin, clothes and any household textile (much like moths), therefore ensuring your bathroom is cleaned everyday will help you eliminate silverfish from your home,” he explains.

He added that they also feed off textures so ensure that your used bath towels are hung up and not left on the bathroom floor.

Control room temperature

We also spoke to heating expert Jess Steele at BestHeating who urges homeowners to get a little more familiar with their thermostat and recommended keeping the heating on a timer in the morning and evening. This will help to regulate the temperature in your bathroom as you use it throughout the day.

Steele also recommends a heated towel rack to keep the room and any towels that are used aired and fresh.

Brb, off to seal some cracks.