July 11, 2023

Silverfish vs. Earwig: Creepy Indoor Pests!

What’s that creepy pest crawling across your floors? Of all common occasional invaders, silverfish and earwigs frighten homeowners the most! 

While neither looks similar, these pests are often mistaken for the other solely because of their unique appearances! 

Keep reading to learn more about what you can expect from a silverfish vs. earwig infestation! Plus, remember that Zunex Pest Control has your back regarding pest problems, no matter what!

Silverfish and Earwig Appearances

If you’ve never seen one of these pests creep by, you may be confused about what’s in your home! Both insects are unlike most common indoor pests and have highly distinct looks. 

Silver in color, silverfish are often regarded as alien pests because of their unique and strange appearance. While no larger than half an inch, these little bugs can have an imposing presence if you find a few indoors!

Silverfish on cardboard

Known for their shiny silver appearance, silverfish gained their name from the scales covering their body. Silverfish have a larger upper body that tapers down to the bottom of their abdomen. 

Donning two long antennae and three large bristles on its backside, a silverfish is full of many odd appendages. Like most insects, these pests typically have around six legs with a segmented body.

Earwigs look much different, but they’re still a freaky sight! Earwigs may come in different colors but are usually shades of brown, black, or reddish brown with lighter-colored legs. 

These pests are primarily known for their signature pincers located on their backside. Depending on the insect’s sex, these pincers can look different. Male earwigs have curved pincers, or cerci, while females have straight pincers, according to the University of Florida.

Silverfish vs. Earwig Infestations 

So, what should you expect whenever you find either insect inside? While both pests may scare you, they have differing reasons for invading your home. 

Silverfish Inside

Like most pests, silverfish overrun homes in search of food.

When you have a silverfish infestation, they won’t always turn toward the food items in your pantry or even head toward the other insects in your home. Instead, silverfish typically feast on your possessions for the next meal. 

Like clothing moths, carpet beetles, and house crickets, silverfish can cause significant home damage, specifically to your clothing, books, wallpaper, glues, or soap. They can even snack on older photographs.

Don’t be surprised if you spot a few tiny insects pilfering through your pantry, though! Still, many homeowners report spotting silverfish combing through the books on their bookshelves or even essential papers in their study. 

Here are some other items silverfish may consume when they infest your home:

  • Cereal 
  • Oats
  • Pet food
  • Cardboard
  • Collectible antiques 
  • Dead insects

Silverfish aren’t too picky when it comes to a meal and may consume many fabrics and textiles, unlike other fabric and clothing pests. 

They can create superficial damage and seriously harm important or treasured collectible items you may have stored away. You can spot these damages from tears or bite marks on pages or clothing. 

Earwig Infestations

Unlike silverfish, earwigs won’t cause damage unless you have houseplants or flowers. These insects are traditionally only visual nuisances that accidentally end up indoors or enter your home for food and shelter. 

One of the top signs of an earwig infestation is the actual presence of pests. Because earwigs can’t cause damage indoors to your home, family, or pets, you may not notice an earwig problem until you spot one. 

Between a silverfish vs. earwig infestation, it’s unlikely you’ll have lingering issues whenever earwigs come indoors. Your chief concern about indoor earwigs is instead an existing insect infestation or the possibility of other pests coming indoors. 

However, household and outdoor plants could suffer from damage. If you suspect earwigs have targeted your precious greenery, keep an eye out for holes in your plants' leaves, fruit, buds, or petals. 

Typically, the deterioration isn’t severe enough to warrant interior intervention, but outdoors you may want to consider utilizing different pest control alternatives to ensure your plants will survive. 

Combatting Pest Infestations

Because earwigs and silverfish have different reasons for coming inside, you may need to rely on other pest control alternatives to combat each infestation.

Borax can eliminate both silverfish and earwigs. It is a typical ingredient for many commercial pest control options on store shelves. 

Spread the powder in areas where the insects travel through or create a simple paste with water and honey. Leave the mixture out for the bugs to consume. 

Diatomaceous earth works similarly to eliminate both insects. Whenever pests walk through the gritty white powder, it creates minor cuts on their exoskeletons, destroying their ability to retain water and slowly dehydrating the pests.

While food-grade diatomaceous earth is safe for your family and pets, we don’t recommend using borax in any area readily accessible to children, cats, or dogs. The powder is toxic and could make your family members very sick. 

To prevent silverfish, consider boxing up your precious collectibles, clothing, and books away from their reach. If your items aren’t used, try to place them in rigid plastic containers or bags to keep them safe. Check out this article for more information!

Eliminating other bugs and properly storing the food in your pantry and kitchen is another excellent way to keep silverfish at bay! They’re less likely to infest your home if they have nothing to eat. 

Commercial pest control methods work well to curtail their populations. But what about earwig-specific methods? In a silverfish vs. earwig infestation, earwigs are typically less destructive and easier to combat. 

You can also create handy earwig traps when they populate your yard or garden! Check out this video below to learn how to create your own!

If you want to avoid the hassle of DIY pest control, consider relying on Zunex Pest Control to lend a hand for severe pest infestations! We cover earwigs in our general pest control services and want to help you eliminate any insect or pest invading your home. 

Contact us today to schedule an appointment!

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