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Silverfish In LED Lights (Explained!)

Antonio Forde
Updated: February 19, 2024
8 min read

Like many of you, I found myself puzzled by the presence of silverfish in LED lights and struggled to find thorough and insightful resources on the topic. Having now navigated the ins and outs of this issue through my own experiences, I’m eager to share my knowledge. 

This article will illuminate the reasons behind this phenomenon and offer you all the essential information to understand and address it effectively.

Does Silverfish Attracted In LED Lights?

No, silverfish are not specifically or particularly attracted to LED lights. There’s a common belief that insects are drawn to the warmth emitted by light fixtures, regardless of the type of bulb. But when it comes to LED lights and silverfish, the relationship isn’t as straightforward as you might think.

Most insects are attracted to short wavelengths of light, especially UV light, which they can see well and use for navigation. LED lights, however, emit very little UV light and very little heat. These characteristics make LED lights less appealing to many insects.

There’s no evidence to suggest that LED lights attract silverfish more than other types of light. In fact, the low UV light and heat emission from LED lights might make them less attractive to silverfish compared to other light sources.

What is Silverfish?

Silverfish, or Lepisma saccharina as they’re scientifically known, are fascinating creatures. They’re small, slender, and wingless insects that have a unique fish-like appearance. This is due to their silvery scales, tapered abdomens, and antennae.

Adults typically measure about ¾ inch long and are easily recognizable by their two antennae and three tail projections. Their bodies are soft, flat, and oval-shaped, and they’re covered in fine scales that give them a shiny silver appearance, hence the name silverfish.

These insects are creatures of the night, preferring to come out when it’s dark. They thrive in moist, dark environments, which is where you’ll most likely find them. When it comes to their diet, silverfish primarily consume carbohydrates. They have a sweet tooth, so to speak, with a preference for sugar, starches, and cellulose. They’re particularly fond of complex carbohydrates, which they find in items like flour, rolled oats, and the starches found in cardboard boxes, paper, book bindings, glue, and insulation.

But they don’t limit themselves to carbs. They also consume protein sources, such as dried beef and dead insects. Unfortunately, their feeding habits can lead to damage, especially to paper products and textiles. So, while they’re interesting to learn about, they’re not insects you want to find in your home.

What Are Reasons Silverfish Can Not Attract to LED Lights?

Silverfish, those tiny, quick-moving insects, are not particularly drawn to light. Instead, they are more attracted to environments that offer food and moisture. They have a preference for residing in areas with high humidity. In fact, research has shown that silverfish flourish in damp and slightly warm conditions. A humidity level exceeding 75% is just about perfect for their growth.

Now, let’s talk about LED lights. These lights do not add to the humidity that silverfish find so appealing. Instead, they create a bright atmosphere, which is quite the opposite of the dark environments that silverfish favor. Moreover, LED lights give off very little UV light and minimal heat, which makes them less appealing to many insects, not just silverfish.

So, by creating a bright environment and not adding to the humidity, LED lights establish conditions that are far from ideal for silverfish. This makes it less likely for these insects to be attracted to areas lit by LED lights. In essence, if you’re looking to deter silverfish, I recommend using LED lights.

Should You Worry About Silverfish?

No, you shouldn’t worry about silverfish, but you should definitely be aware of them. Silverfish are harmless to us humans. They don’t pose any direct threat to our health as they are not known to spread diseases. However, they can cause significant damage to our belongings and property. 

Silverfish have a strong liking for materials that contain starches or polysaccharides. This means they are attracted to items such as paper, wallpaper, clothing, books, and photographs. Unfortunately, their feeding habits can lead to the destruction of these items. So, if you notice silverfish in your home, it’s a good idea to check these items for any signs of damage.

Another important point to note about silverfish is that they could be an indicator of other problems in your home. While they don’t cause wood damage themselves, a high population of silverfish could suggest excessive moisture in your home. This can lead to serious issues like wood rot and structural damage. So, if you see a lot of silverfish, it might be time to check your home for any signs of moisture problems.

Lastly, silverfish can contribute to the growth of mildew and if they get into your food, they can ruin it. So, while you don’t need to worry about silverfish, you should take steps to control their population in your home. I recommend keeping your home clean, dry, and well-ventilated to discourage silverfish from settling in.

How Can You Keep Silverfishes Away?

Silverfish can be a nuisance, but there are several effective strategies to keep them at bay. The first step is to control the humidity and moisture in your home. I recommend using dehumidifiers and ensuring proper ventilation in warm and moist areas like bathrooms and kitchens. The goal is to keep indoor humidity levels at 60 percent or lower.

Keeping your living spaces clean and free of food debris is another crucial step. Regular dusting is essential to remove particles that may contain starches or saccharides, which silverfish love to eat. Also, make sure to clean up promptly after meals.

Storing dry food in sealed containers is a good practice. This not only keeps your food fresh but also prevents it from attracting silverfish. Similarly, it’s important to remove items with adhesive from your home. These include stacks of paper, laundry, cardboard boxes, or other items that could potentially attract these pests.

When it comes to clothing, I recommend storing them in a dry environment. If possible, use containers that silverfish can’t penetrate. This will help protect your clothes from potential damage.

Another effective strategy is to seal cracks and gaps in your home’s exterior. Using caulking can prevent silverfish from entering your home and laying eggs. This is a simple yet effective way to keep these pests out.

Lastly, consider using natural repellents. Cedar shavings, cinnamon, diatomaceous earth, and cloves are all excellent choices. These natural substances can deter silverfish without causing harm to you or your family. By implementing these strategies, you can create a home environment that’s less inviting to silverfish.

How LED Lights Affect Silverfish Environments?

LED lights do affect silverfish environments. Silverfish are creatures of the dark and damp, and the bright light from LEDs can make an area less appealing to them. By illuminating spaces that were once dark, we indirectly discourage these insects from making themselves at home. 

LEDs also play a role in managing humidity levels. Unlike other types of lighting, they do not contribute to humidity. In fact, they can even help to reduce it. This creates an environment that silverfish find less than ideal, as they prefer more humid conditions.

Another important factor is the type of light that LEDs emit. The longer the wavelength of the LED light, the less appealing it is to bugs and silverfish. They are less likely to be drawn to sources of low heat, so by using LEDs, we can make our spaces less inviting to these pests. 

What Are The Tips To Minimize Silverfish Presence with LED Lights?

LED lights can indeed help minimize the presence of silverfish in your home. The key is to maintain a well-lit environment. Silverfish are not fans of light, so the brighter your home, the less attractive it will be to these pests.

This is especially true for areas and rooms that are typically dark or dingy. If you have a room that’s not often used, consider installing new lighting or, if there are windows, simply draw back the curtains. The aim here is to eliminate what I like to call “silverfish dungeons” – those substantial shadows where these pests love to hide.

But using LED lights is just one part of the strategy. It’s also crucial to combine this with other silverfish prevention methods. One such method is controlling the humidity in your home. Silverfish thrive in humid environments, so keeping your place dry is a must. I recommend using a dehumidifier to achieve this. It’s a simple yet effective way to make your home less inviting to silverfish.

Another important step is to seal and caulk any small gaps or spaces in your home. Remember, silverfish are nocturnal creatures. They love to squeeze their bodies into dark, tiny spaces. By sealing these potential hiding spots, you’re giving them exactly what they dislike – a home with no place to hide.

Lastly, when choosing LED lights, opt for those with longer wavelengths. These are the yellow, orange, and red lights. They’re less attractive to insects in general, making them a great choice if you’re trying to keep silverfish at bay. So, not only will you be creating a well-lit, less inviting environment for silverfish, but you’ll also be making a choice that’s less appealing to insects overall.

Can You Remove & Reuse LED Strip Lights?

Yes, you can remove and reuse LED strip lights, but it’s not always straightforward. The feasibility of this process largely depends on the type of adhesive and installation method used. 

Some LED strip lights are designed with a reusable adhesive backing. This feature allows you to peel off the lights and stick them back on another surface without losing their adhesive properties. However, not all LED strip lights are created equal. Some may be permanently installed or fixed. In such cases, removing them can be a challenge, and you might end up damaging the lights in the process.

If you want to reuse your LED strip lights, careful removal is key. You need to peel them off gently to avoid damaging the adhesive backing or the lights themselves. Once removed, proper storage is crucial. Keep them in a safe place where they won’t get damaged or lose their adhesive properties.

Generally, LED strip lights can be removed and reused, provided they are handled carefully. So, whether you’re dealing with silverfish or not, the same principles apply.

Written by
Antonio Forde
I'm the head-writer @ Ask The Home Geek (or, in plain English, I'm the guy writing & editing the majority of the content here). Current learning project: Korean.
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Antonio Forde
I'm the head-writer @ Ask The Home Geek (or, in plain English, I'm the guy writing & editing the majority of the content here). Current learning project: Korean.