How To Prevent & Get Rid Of Silverfish


Although most silverfish live outdoors, they readily can be found in homes. Silverfish prefer places with high moisture, such as basements, bathrooms, laundry rooms and kitchens. Silverfish are known as nuisance pests because they do not bite humans or pets but cause damage to household items, like clothing and books.

Silverfish are difficult to exterminate because they move around at night. Most of the time, homeowners don’t know they are in the home until they notice the damage causing by silverfish feeding.

Instead of choosing chemical controls that contain toxic and harmful substances, you can choose controls to eliminate the silverfish pests in your home.

You can make homemade traps and use products found in the home to help control silverfish. If these do not work, you can buy poison-free products from Safer® Brand to control silverfish and other insect pests in your home.

So…What’s a Silverfish?

What are silverfish? They are silvery, but they are definitely not fish. They are insects that have silvery, overlapping scales that tend to easily rub off. They come inside searching for food and find any minute food particle left lying around your home. Silverfish don’t stink or bring germs inside your home.

Silverfish Pest Control Tips for Businesses & Commercial Buildings

Silverfish are nocturnal pests, emerging at night to find food and water. For the best silverfish pest control, you’ll need to understand the bug and the methods of control.

Unlike many pests, silverfish cause no direct bodily harm. They do, however, cause quite a bit of property damage. They feed on clothing, upholstery, paper, and similar items, leaving a trail of destruction behind them.

Identifying Silverfish

Silverfish are segmented insects that measure from 1/2 to 3/4 inches long at maturity. They look similar to a pill bug but are more streamlined.

Silverfish: Impact on Business

Silverfish love polysaccharides. These polysaccharides are complex carbohydrates such as starch, dextrin, and cellulose.

What You Can Do

You can take steps to eliminate silverfish. By removing their sources of food and comfort, you’ll reduce their population.


The Latin name for silverfish, Lepisma saccharina, translates to “sugar eater”. It was chosen because silverfish tend to eat starchy foods high in carbohydrates and protein. The insect’s common name comes from the insect’s distinctive metallic appearance and fish-like shape and movement. They are commonly found feeding on books or book bindings, but may also eat loose paper, photographs, sugar, coffee, hair, carpeting, flour, dried meat, rolled oats and clothing, especially if it has been starched. They are nocturnal and can survive in most climates, but prefer high humidity (75% to 90%) and warm temperatures (70-80° F).

The female silverfish deposits eggs continuously after reaching the adult stage and may deposit more than 100 eggs during her life. Eggs are deposited singly or in small groups in cracks and crevices ready to hatch in anywhere from 2 weeks to two months after being laid. Silverfish have variable life cycle lengths and can reach adulthood as shortly as three months after hatching; however, they have been known to take up to three years to reach adulthood

Take preemptive action around your home or area you would wish to achieve control. Below are some methods of preventing silverfish from becoming a problem.

Insecticide treatments should target areas such as cracks and crevices, around baseboards, closets and attics where silverfish are likely to be active. Look for products with active ingredients like d-Limonene (Orange Guard, Safer Ant & Roach Killer), Clove Oil and Thyme Oil (Essentria G), Boric Acid, or Diatomaceous Earth for fast, economical and efficient control.


As the name implies, silverfish are silver or gray insects that move from side to side in a manner that resembles the motions of a swimming fish


Silverfish can go for long periods of time without nourishment. When the pests eat, they prefer foods high in carbohydrates and protein, including cereal grains, dried meat, dead insects, and other silverfish. Inside homes, silverfish may attack and eat synthetic fabrics, silk, glue contained in book bindings, wallpaper, and paper products. Nymphs can cause just as much damage to books, paper products, stored foods, and clothing as adults since they need to feed in order to grow.


Silverfish are typically seen in moist, humid areas in the home, such as bathrooms, basements, and attics, much like its relative the firebrat. They tend to hide their presence from humans, which means any damage they cause could go unnoticed


Silverfish lay their eggs in cool, moist, and dark places, such as cracks, crevices, and other narrow spaces near sources of food. The tiny, white, oval-shaped eggs are laid in groups of 1 to 200.


Newly hatched silverfish are white and squishy. They do not grow their characteristic silver scales for several weeks. Once the scales come in, young nymphs have the appearance of tiny adult silverfish. The insects continue to molt throughout their lives, maturing through over 60 instars and growing to an average size of 3/4″.

Silverfish! What Are They And How To Get Rid Of Them?

Silverfish are scientifically known to be around 400 million years old. Making them quite possibly one of the oldest species of insects to walk the face of the earth. Their name is courtesy of their appearance, with a light grey complexion and fish-like appearance these small wingless insects are a big inconvenience to deal with.

How To Identify Silverfish?

The first thing you should focus on is proper identification. This helps in evaluating the problem and the degree of infestation that is taking place in your house.

How Do Silverfish Get In Your House?

Silverfish are nocturnal creatures, meaning they are most active during the nighttime. Due to their proclivity to the dark, they are extremely sensitive to light. Hence they prefer damp and high humidity conditions to thrive.

What Do Silverfish Eat?

The biggest problem associated with silverfish is mainly related to their consumption habits. For survival, these creatures consume a diet rich in polysaccharides such as starch, cellulose, sugar etc

Are Silverfish Harmful?

Silverfish are not carnivorous in nature, that means that they do not need to feed on humans or other animals for their survival. They do not bite and are not venomous in nature. They are not known to carry and transmit any diseases to humans.