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Silverfish: An Original Bookworm

Silverfish: An Original Bookworm

Silverfish: An Original Bookworm

Posted February 28, 2022

You can’t catch this “fish” with a worm . . . It’s not a fish at all, in fact, it is the worm! 

A bookworm to be exact. Silverfish are one of the pests that the term “Bookworm” originated from. And they aren’t worms either. Silverfish are creepy little insects that have flattened, long, slender, brown-silvery bodies. They eat carbohydrates and love the starches in paper, and especially the glue in book bindings.


The term “Bookworm” is an idiom that is used to describe a person who loves to read. It has been in use since the 1500’s, but Silverfish have been around for, oh, about 400 million years! In fact, they’re tied with springtails for the Oldest Insect Fossil recognition.

Although it started as an insult, today, being called a bookworm is a good thing. Studies have found that bookworms live longer, have a bigger vocabulary, and have more empathy. In fact, if you’re a man who lists reading on your dating profile, you’re likely to get 19% more messages these days. So don’t be offended if someone calls you a bookworm.

Silverfish, on the other hand, are known to be a nuisance. This kind of bookworm is offensive to most of us. It should ease your mind to know that Silverfish don’t bite, and don’t spread disease that we know of. They are considered pests because of the damage they can do to the wallpaper and clothing and fabrics in your home, and the yellowish stains they can leave behind. They also contaminate food, and let’s face it, they are downright creepy!

If you are a bookworm like me, you can devour a whole book in one lazy winter day. Although Silverfish are not that fast at eating books, they are quick little bugs. If you see one scurry across your floor when you go to use the bathroom at night, it means there are likely hundreds more in your walls. They are nocturnal creatures who love dark, humid environments. They will crawl through your wall voids towards attic and crawl spaces to invade the moist, dark areas of your home where insulation and cardboard boxes might be found to munch on. 

But help is just a click away! Our Fox Home Protection Plan will treat pests like Silverfish that want to devour your wallpaper and maybe eat some carpet where you spilled your Coke last week! 

Click here to get your home treated and protected. Get rid of the bad kind of bookworms so you can get cozy on your couch and be the good kind this Spring!



We asked around the office here at Fox Pest Control, and according to our bookworms, these books about bugs ranked among the favorites:
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
by Eric Carle
Charlotte’s Web
by E.B. White
The Secret Life of Bees
by Sue Monk Kidd
James and the Giant Peach
by Roald Dahl
The Beekeeper’s Apprentice
by Laurie R. King

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