A PEST control expert has told how Brits often mistake silverfish for cockroaches – but the damage they do is MUCH worse.
Homeowners are being warned about silverfish sneaking into their houses for winter – with the pests known to munch through wallpaper, books, curtains and cereal boxes.
And Stuart Halliday, 42, owner of Kill and Cure Pest Control, has revealed that silverfish in your house could mean you’ll have to fork out hundreds of pounds in repairs.
The wingless creepy crawlies thrive in damp conditions and survive by eating pretty much everything – but prefer to feed on dead skin cells and hair.
They can jump up to two feet high and live for eight years.
As the fish-like bugs are able to lay up to 60 eggs a day, infestations can quickly wreak havoc.
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A silverfish is a small, wingless insect that is light grey in colour that imitates fish-like movements.
And they are a sign there are major problems in the homes they live in.
Stuart told The Sun: “As soon as you see silverfish you know that there is a water leak in the home.
"People sometimes call up because they think they’re cockroaches because they’re really fast.
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“Although silverfish are completely harmless they’re actually worse than cockroaches because it means there's a much bigger problem in the house.
“When people see these bugs, it’s not the insects they should be worrying about.
“They should be worried about sorting out – or getting the landlord to sort out – the leaking roof or shower or whatever is causing the damp and mould.”
Mould is a tiny fungus that grows in damp places. Its spores can grow on walls growing fuzzy black, white or green patches.
People living with mould are more likely to suffer from respiratory illnesses, infections, allergies or asthma.
Another way to spot the critters is peppercorn-like droppings or found holes or yellow stains on wallpaper.
But silverfish can’t do any damage to our health, according to Stuart.
He explained: “They’re harmless. They’re not dangerous, they’re just creepy.
“They people give people the heebie geebies because they run around peoples feet really fast while they’re in the shower or what have you.”
“The way to get rid of them is to resolve the problem with the home – which can of course be pricey.
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“Then you need to improve the ventilation in the room where they’ve set up shop. Dehumidifiers can work perfectly.
“Then finally spray the area with fly spray.”
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