What to Know About Silverfish: A Pest Con Guide

Aug 12, 2023

Silverfish are a common household pest that can cause damage to books, wallpaper, and clothing. These small, wingless insects are known for their shiny, silver-grey appearance and their ability to move quickly across surfaces. While silverfish are not harmful to humans, they can be a nuisance and can cause significant damage to certain materials.

Understanding the habits and behavior of silverfish can help you prevent and control infestations in your home. In this article, we will discuss what you need to know about silverfish, including their appearance, behavior, habitat, and how to get rid of them.

What do Silverfish Eat?

Silverfish are known for their diet of starchy materials such as paper, glue, wallpaper paste, and clothing fibers. They are also known to feed on book bindings, cardboard, and even dried food items such as flour and cereal. They are attracted to moist environments and may also feed on mold or mildew that grows on surfaces. Silverfish can survive for months without food, making them a resilient pest that can be difficult to control.

Are Silverfish Harmful?

Silverfish are not harmful to humans or pets, as they do not bite or sting. However, they can cause damage to certain materials in your home, which can be costly to repair or replace. Additionally, a large infestation of silverfish can be a sign of moisture problems in your home, which can lead to mold growth and other issues.

What do Silverfish Look Like?

Silverfish are small, usually measuring between 1/2 to 3/4 inches in length. They have a shiny, silver-grey appearance and are shaped like a teardrop. They have long antennae and three tail-like appendages on their rear end. Silverfish move quickly and are often seen darting across surfaces.

Where do Silverfish Live?

Silverfish prefer dark, damp environments such as basements, bathrooms, and closets. They are often found in areas with high humidity levels, such as around leaky pipes or in poorly ventilated areas. Silverfish are nocturnal and hide during the day, making them difficult to spot.

How to Get Rid of Silverfish

Getting rid of silverfish can be a challenging task, as they are resilient pests that can survive for long periods without food. Here are some steps you can take to prevent and control silverfish infestations in your home:

1. Reduce Moisture Levels

Silverfish thrive in humid environments, so reducing moisture levels in your home can help prevent infestations. Fix any leaky pipes or faucets, and use a dehumidifier in damp areas.

2. Seal Cracks and Crevices

Silverfish can enter your home through small cracks and gaps in walls, floors, and foundations. Seal any openings with caulk or weather stripping to prevent their entry.

3. Store Items Properly

Silverfish are attracted to starchy materials, so storing items such as books, clothing, and paper products in airtight containers can help prevent infestations.

4. Use Insecticides

There are several insecticides available that can be effective in controlling silverfish infestations. Be sure to read and follow the label instructions carefully.

5. Contact a Pest Control Professional

If you have a large infestation of silverfish or are unable to control them on your own, it may be necessary to contact a pest control professional for assistance. They can identify the source of the infestation and develop a treatment plan to eliminate the pests.


Silverfish are small, wingless insects that are commonly found in homes and buildings. They prefer warm, moist environments and feed on a variety of materials, including paper, fabric, and glue. While they do not pose a direct threat to humans, silverfish can cause damage to personal belongings and can be a nuisance to deal with. Prevention measures such as reducing humidity levels, sealing cracks and gaps, and proper storage of food and household items can help deter silverfish infestations. If an infestation is suspected, professional pest control services may be necessary. Understanding the behavior and habits of silverfish can help individuals take the necessary steps to prevent and manage infestations in their homes.

If you are looking for a company that offers affordable pest control treatment, contact Jones Bros. Pest Control. From ant colonies and cockroach intrusions to rodent infestations, let us handle your pest problems today!


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