Are Silverfish Harmful to Dogs? Do Silverfish Bite Dogs?

Are silverfish harmful to dogs? Do silverfish bite dogs? In this article, we’ll answer everything you need to know about both of these questions. That includes the exact commands and other steps you should take to ensure your dog stays safe.

We’ll also cover other important subjects you’re probably interested in, such as how to get rid of silverfish naturally, where do silverfish come from, and what do silverfish look like, allowing you to be sure you know what you’re dealing with. Keep reading!

Are Silverfish Harmful to Dogs?

Are Silverfish Harmful to Dogs?

Silverfish are not harmful to dogs. They do not bite or carry diseases. If your dog were to ingest a silverfish, it’s likely no harm would come to them. However, because silverfish are typically found in moist, potentially moldy or unclean areas, there is a risk of secondary ingestion of harmful substances.

Therefore, it’s a good idea to train your dog to keep back or stay away from areas where these pests may be found.

Are Silverfish Dangerous to Dogs?

Silverfish are not dangerous to dogs. They are often found in areas that can pose risks to dogs, however. Basements, bathrooms, kitchens, and other damp areas where silverfish thrive can also be home to mold, mildew, or harmful chemicals that can cause illness in dogs if ingested.

Moreover, silverfish could potentially lead to an infestation of other insects that might be harmful to your pet. It’s also worth noting that some dogs may have allergic reactions to insects, including silverfish. This could result in skin irritation, itching, or other allergic responses.

Therefore, while silverfish themselves aren’t inherently harmful to dogs, the circumstances surrounding them can potentially pose health risks.

Can Dogs Eat Silverfish?

While silverfish are not toxic to dogs, it’s not a good idea for your dog to eat them. Silverfish may have been in contact with pesticides or could carry germs from unclean areas, which could cause upset stomachs or other health issues in your dog. It’s best to discourage this behavior, not just with silverfish but with any insects your dog might encounter.

How to Train the “Stay” Command

  1. Choose a quiet place free from distractions.
  2. Hold a treat in your hand and let your dog see it.
  3. Say “Stay” in a calm and firm voice.
  4. Wait for a few seconds. If your dog stays put, reward them with the treat and praise.
  5. Gradually increase the distance and the duration, rewarding your dog each time they successfully stay.
  6. Repeat the exercise regularly until your dog can reliably respond to the stay command.

How to Train the “Leave It” Command

  1. Start by holding a treat in both hands.
  2. Show your dog one closed fist with the treat inside and say, “leave it”.
  3. Ignore the behaviors your dog shows to try and get the treat, and once they stop trying, give them the treat from the other hand.
  4. Repeat until your dog moves away from the first fist when you say “leave it”.
  5. Next, only give the treat when your dog looks up at you after moving away from your first fist.
  6. Once your dog consistently responds to the command, you can practice with different items and in varying environments.

These steps will get your dog to stay away from silverfish, but it’s important to remember that the underlying behavioral issues (prey drive, curiosity, overexcitement, etc.) that were causing all of this to begin with will still be present. And until you address those, any positive changes you see are only going to be temporary.

“Well, how do I make these changes last?”

By getting your dog to truly choose to follow your direction, that’s how. I tried many times to write out how you can do that before deciding it made more sense to just link you to the free video series that explains it better than I’d ever be able to.

The series is by a man named Dan who is one of the world’s leading dog obedience trainers. In it, he teaches you how to put an end to things like when your dog won’t stay away from silverfish and all other misbehavior using his fast and easy-to-follow methods.

In the first video, Dan will reveal to you why the two most common methods of dog training only doom you to failure. You can watch the video now by clicking here. Follow the proven system he’ll show you in his series and you’ll never have to spend another second worrying about your dog around silverfish ever again!

Do Silverfish Bite Dogs?

Do Silverfish Bite Dogs?

Silverfish do not bite dogs. Silverfish are scavengers that feed primarily on carbohydrates and proteins, not blood or tissue. However, while silverfish pose little direct threat to your dog, their presence could indicate an environment that may be less than ideal for your pet’s health.

Understanding Silverfish

Silverfish are small, wingless insects known for their silvery-blue color and fish-like movement. They are nocturnal creatures and prefer dark, damp environments like bathrooms, basements, or kitchens. Their diet consists mainly of carbohydrates and proteins such as sugars, starches, dead skin cells, hair, and even book bindings.

Do Silverfish Bite?

Silverfish are not equipped to bite dogs, humans, or other pets. They lack the necessary mouthparts to bite and are not blood-feeders. Silverfish are more of a nuisance than a threat. They are not known to transmit diseases, but some dogs are allergic and will have irritation if they come into contact with one. Learn to keep your dog away from silverfish in the first section.

Potential Indirect Risks to Dogs

While silverfish themselves pose little threat to dogs, the environments in which they thrive can be a concern. Moist, damp areas can foster the growth of mold and mildew, which could cause health issues if ingested or inhaled by your dog.

Furthermore, if your home is treated with pesticides to control a silverfish infestation, your dog could come into contact with these potentially harmful chemicals. Thus, while silverfish don’t bite or harm dogs directly, their presence could indicate a need to improve the overall cleanliness and safety of your dog’s environment.

Controlling Silverfish in Your Home

To prevent potential indirect risks to your dog, it’s important to control any silverfish infestation promptly. This often involves reducing humidity, sealing food sources, and regular house cleaning. If you choose to use pesticides, ensure they are safe for use around pets and follow all safety instructions. Professional pest control services may also be an option if the infestation is extensive or difficult to manage.

You’ll want to get any issues your dog has taken care of now so that they’ll also be prepared for any interactions with other critters. You then won’t have to worry about things like moths being poisonous to dogs, stink bugs being poisonous to dogs, or your dog chasing and eating flies.

How to Get Rid of Silverfish Naturally

To get rid of silverfish naturally from your home, you need to make your environment inhospitable to them by reducing humidity, removing food sources, and using natural deterrents and traps. However, remember that getting rid of silverfish may take time and consistent effort.

Controlling Humidity

Silverfish thrive in high-humidity environments. To deter these pests naturally, strive to keep your home’s humidity level below 50%. Use dehumidifiers, fans, or open windows to improve ventilation in damp areas like basements, kitchens, and bathrooms. Fixing any leaks promptly can also help keep the area dry and less attractive to silverfish.

Removing Food Sources

Silverfish feed on carbohydrates and proteins commonly found in pantry items, books, and even wallpaper glue. Store food in airtight containers, regularly vacuum and clean your home, especially areas where food particles may accumulate. Keeping your space clean and clutter-free can limit available food sources and hiding places for silverfish.

Using Natural Deterrents

Certain natural substances can deter silverfish. These include diatomaceous earth, a non-toxic powder made from fossilized aquatic organisms. Sprinkle this in areas where you’ve seen silverfish. It’s safe for pets but kills silverfish and other small insects by dehydrating them.

Essential oils like lavender, citronella, and tea tree also repel silverfish. You can make a repellent spray by adding a few drops of essential oil to water and spraying it in silverfish-prone areas.

Creating Natural Traps

You can make a simple, natural silverfish trap with a glass jar. Cover the outside with masking tape to allow the silverfish to climb, and place a small piece of bread or starch at the bottom. Silverfish will climb in for the food but won’t be able to get back out. Check the trap daily and dispose of any trapped silverfish far away from your home.

Encouraging Natural Predators

Encouraging natural predators can be another strategy for controlling silverfish. Common predators include spiders, centipedes, and some types of beetles. However, it’s essential to ensure these predators do not become a separate issue in your home.

While all of these strategies are safe for use around pets, always keep an eye on your dog to ensure they don’t ingest anything not intended for them. If you notice an extensive infestation or these methods do not work, consider consulting a professional pest control service.

Where Do Silverfish Come From?

Silverfish are common household pests that usually originate from dark, damp, and humid areas like basements, attics, bathrooms, and kitchens. They can also find their way into homes through cracks, crevices, vents, and openings around doors and windows.

  1. Natural Habitats: In nature, silverfish typically inhabit dark, damp places such as under rocks, bark, or leaf mold. They thrive in humid environments, which is why they tend to proliferate in certain areas of the home such as bathrooms, basements, and kitchens.
  2. Entry Points: Silverfish can enter your home through various means. They can sneak in through cracks and crevices in the walls, floors, and foundations, or they can come in through vents, pipes, and openings around doors and windows. They can also be inadvertently brought in on items like boxes, books, and old papers.
  3. Attractions: Silverfish are attracted to homes due to the availability of food and ideal living conditions. They feed on carbohydrates, particularly sugars and starches. In homes, this includes book bindings, paper, photos, sugar, hair, dandruff, and even glue. The combination of food sources and damp conditions makes homes an ideal habitat for them.
  4. Reproduction: Once silverfish find a suitable habitat in your home, they can reproduce quickly. Female silverfish can lay a few eggs a day and up to two hundred over their lifetime, which can lead to a full-blown infestation if not addressed quickly.

In summary, silverfish originate from damp, dark areas and can enter homes through various entry points. Once inside, they find homes attractive due to the availability of food and ideal living conditions, and their ability to reproduce quickly can lead to an infestation. Learn to keep your dog away in the first section.

What Do Silverfish Look Like?

Silverfish are small, wingless insects known for their silvery light grey and blue color, flattened bodies, and their fish-like movement. They possess two long antennae on their heads and three bristle-like appendages on their rear ends.

  1. Size and Shape: Adult silverfish are typically 1/2 to 3/4 inch long, with a teardrop-shaped body. Their bodies taper from head to tail, giving them a fish-like appearance, hence the name “silverfish.”
  2. Color: Silverfish are known for their silver or light gray and blue color. This color, combined with the tiny scales on their bodies, gives them a metallic sheen that contributes to their name.
  3. Appendages: Silverfish have two long, thin antennae on their heads, which they use for navigation and sensing their environment. At their rear ends, they possess three long, thin, bristle-like appendages. These three appendages, called cerci, are roughly the same length as their bodies and are arranged in a triangular pattern.
  4. Movement: The movement of a silverfish is quite distinctive. They move in a wiggling motion that resembles the movement of a fish—hence the name. This wiggling movement is generally a good giveaway that you’re dealing with silverfish and not other pests.

Silverfish are small, wingless insects with a distinct silvery light grey and blue color, a flattened teardrop-shaped body, and distinctive, fish-like movement. They are characterized by two long antennae on their heads and three long bristle-like appendages on their rears.

I’m sure you’re ready to put this frustrating problem behind you, so I’ll let you get started on everything now. Good luck with all of this, and thanks for reading our article “Are Silverfish Harmful to Dogs? Do Silverfish Bite Dogs?”

The Author

KB Williams

KB Williams

Hey there! I'm a dog behavior expert and lover of travel. Since 2016, I've been sharing my knowledge of dog training and behavior while exploring the Pacific Northwest with my two rescues.