Silverfish Vs House Centipede: Features & Problems

This article seeks to discuss silverfish and house centipedes by making comparisons. If you have difficulties making the distinction between silverfish and centipedes, you’ll find this article very useful.

There’s always a mix-up when trying to tell silverfish apart from house centipedes. This is rightly so because there are similarities between the two. Also, these two (silverfish and centipedes) can be scary for most people.

A lot of people will cringe at the sight of these two.

Silverfish Vs House Centipede: Problems Caused

Both silverfish and house centipedes are known to cause problems for people. However, these problems differ between the two. Silverfish are easily considered pests with lots of damage being left in their wake.

For house centipedes, their stings are what a lot of people will rather avoid.

These can all be classified as pest problems as long as you don’t want them around. Now, it will be necessary to give a rundown of problems presented by both silverfish and house centipedes.

  • Silverfish

These pests can be creepy and cause lots of problems. Common problems include food contamination, invite other pests around (a lot of critters prey on silverfish, and will come around for a feast wherever they find them).

You may find earwigs, spiders, house centipedes, and carpet beetles among the many silverfish predators.  Additional problems caused by silverfish include their look which can be very unnerving for most people.

A lot of persons will freak out when they find silverfish headed their direction. Such stress and unease can be eliminated by getting rid of these creatures.

Damage is another common associated with silverfish presence.

These pests will cause significant damage to personal property. Because they feed on starch, they easily target foods, tapestries, magazines, books, pictures, wallpapers, and clothing among other things. This is very worrisome as almost every possession you have is easily targeted by them.

More problems include food contamination, allergies, and asthma,

You’ll need to stop or contain a silverfish infestation as early as possible. Without such urgency, the problem becomes even worse!

  • House Centipedes

House centipedes come into your home in search of prey. Funny enough, this includes silverfish among others.

Ordinarily, this should sound great and welcoming for many. However, the problem arises when they cross paths with humans. House centipedes are likely to sting you.

Such painful stings contain venom which has the potential to cause a variety of problems. These begin as symptoms which include local bleeding, nausea, and vomiting as well as severe pain.

Additional house centipede sting symptoms include skin necrosis, swelling and redness of the bite area, racing pulse or palpitations, and swollen lymph nodes.

All these are problems you should avoid as much as you can. You’re better off without house centipedes than with them.

Where They Hide: Differences

Silverfish and house centipedes are both nocturnal creatures; meaning these won’t be readily seen during the daytime. They are shy creatures that come out to feed at night. Sometimes, turning on the light should reveal these pests scurrying away.

As expected, their many legs enable them to move quickly. These two (silverfish and house centipedes) move fast. This brings up the question about where they nest or stay. If you suspect silverfish or house centipede presence, consider inspecting moist or damp areas of your home.

Such areas in most homes include the laundry room(s) kitchen areas, bathroom areas as well as basements.

Why Are Both Found in The Same Environments?

Recall we earlier said that predators are attracted to prey and will visit areas where these are readily available. The same applies to both silverfish and house centipedes.

House centipedes will readily prey on silverfish and will always be found wherever they are.


Although both silverfish and house centipedes have some similarities, certain features are distinctive and can easily be used to differentiate them. It’s important to be able to identify them whenever you stumble across either.

Being able to properly identify both will help you choose the most appropriate treatment to apply.

  • Silverfish

With a silver-gray coloring, this pests (mature) measure anywhere from one-quarter to one-half inch long.

One of their striking features includes long appendages which measure as long as their body length. Additional features include 2 long antennae on the head and three bristles which come out of the abdomen area.

What more? Silverfish have flat, soft, and oval bodies. All of these features are easily identifiable. You can clearly pick these out from other similar creatures by focusing on the features provided.

  • House Centipedes

True to their name, centipedes possess lots of legs.

These add up to about 15 pairs (30 legs). Mature house centipedes should measure anywhere between 1 to 1.5 inches long. Male and females have different sizes with females being longer at 3 inches.

Another feature that makes it easy to identify house centipedes is their color which ranges from yellowish to light brown.

Seek Help

When you notice an infestation, you can proceed to tackle such a problem by seeking help. This can be done in many ways which including adopting DIY pest control strategies as well as calling pest control services.

The least stressful option among the two involves calling an experienced pest control technician. These professionals know where to look and how best to get rid of both silverfish and house centipedes.

Comparing Preventive Measures

You may want to look at the causes of silverfish and house centipede presence. While silverfish seek areas with ample sources of food, house centipedes are attracted to silverfish activity and prey on them.

Therefore, your best bet is to eliminate and remove all possible food sources for silverfish.

What more? Proper storage of clothing and sealing leaky water pipes may prove effective. To reduce dampness, you may want to consider using dehumidifiers for this purpose.

Key physical features of silverfish and house centipedes have been identified in this article.

Apart from these, we’ve also discussed the problems caused by both pests, what they feed on, and their habitats. All of these are central to carrying out appropriate control measures.

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