When we think about allergies and asthma reactions, we do not always associate them with silverfish. Silverfish or Lepisma saccharina as they are scientifically known are common household pests that can be found in damp and cool areas such as basements and underneath bathroom sinks. They feed on starchy and fibrous materials such as wallpaper, books, cereal and even paste. In some cases, the only way for you to identify that you have have a silverfish infestation is when you find items ruined by the excrement left behind. Based on studies, it has been determined that the shed scales of silverfish combines with household dust and this mixture triggers or aggravates allergies and other respiratory conditions in humans.
How Does Silverfish Cause Allergic Reactions?
Allergic reactions to silverfish are triggered in three ways – a bite, ingesting allergens and inhaling the allergens. A significant level of hypersensitivity to silverfish can lead to allergic rhinitis or the inflammation of the nose’s mucous membrane and allergic bronchial asthma. Sadly, children who suffer from respiratory allergies are the most at risk to silverfish allergies due to hypersensitivity. The allergen called tropomyosin associated to silverfish is also found in shellfish, most especially in shrimps. Unfortunately, there is no specific treatment to silverfish allergy, but the symptoms can always be treated. Once you suspect symptoms of silverfish allergies, consult with a medical professional for treatment and take the necessary steps to eliminate silverfish from your home to reduce the levels of allergens.
It is imperative that you apply the necessary pest control treatment in your home to control silverfish because silverfish in any of their life stages can cause allergies. The eggs are usually laid and hidden in cracks and wall boards and even in table counter cracks. The inhalation or consumption of these eggs and their dead body parts can trigger allergy induced asthma and respiratory problems. And when silverfish feces and dead skin mix with the bodies of other dead pests inside your home and household dust, the risk of serious allergic reactions is heightened. Always remember that just because you do not see silverfish does not mean that they are not there.
How To Prevent Allergic Reactions To Silverfish
We never knew that it was possible for us to be allergic to silverfish as these tiny creatures have been known to adapt perfectly in modern environments. They seek shelter and food in dark damp areas in homes and even in workplaces. Silverfish can live for up to eight years and they shed their skin in several occasions within a year. As a matter of fact, based on the study “Current Allergy and Clinical Immunology” of 2005, the shed scales of silverfish mixed with household dust is almost impossible to prevent in any living environment, while a research that was published in “Protein and Peptide Letters” in 2007 states that silverfish allergens can still be found in environments where silverfish have not been actually seen.
The best way to prevent and reduce the risk of allergic reactions to silverfish is to get rid of them from your home. Here are some tips –
- Eliminate excessive dust from your home through frequent dusting and vacuuming using a HEPA vacuum cleaner. When you have plenty of dust in your home, you will have dust mites and this is what silverfish and other pests feed on.
- Remove stack of boxes and piles of rubble where silverfish can live and thrive in
- Store your food items such as cereal and flour in air tight containers to prevent silverfish from laying eggs and leaving behind feces on your food.
- As silverfish need high humidity to live, take steps to lower the humidity indoors
- Eliminate damp areas and any kids of leak in your home
- To be certain that you get rid of silverfish from your home, you can hire the services of a pest control professional to inspect your home, apply the necessary treatments and provide you with the necessary prevention steps that can effectively keep silverfish and other pests out of your home.
Valerie Williams is a freelance writer specializing in health and natural pest control solutions. She offers information about the allergies caused by insects and what can be done to prevent them. She also recommends Preventive Pest Control for any type of infestation problem in homes and offices to prevent health issues.