Silverfish Facts


What do silverfish look like?

            Silverfish are anywhere from a white to a brown-gray color or can be a silver-blue color. They are insects that are shaped like teardrops and can measure be anywhere from 12-19 mm in length. Silverfish have three long bristles on the rear and develop from egg to adult without any noticeable change in appearance.

Lifestyle of Silverfish

  • Can thrive in most climates
  • Prefer dark, damp areas (basements, attics, kitchens, and bathrooms).
  • Attracted to paper and damp clothing
  • Commonly can be found in stored boxes in sheds or garages.
  • Feed on carbohydrates, mostly sugars and starches
  • Some food sources include:
    • Cellulose
    • Shampoos
    • Glue in books
    • Linen
    • Silk
    • Dead insects
  • They have been found in unopened food packets.


            Male silverfish lay spermatophores, which are brought into the ovipositor of female silverfish. Silverfish perform love dances before they mate. The amount of females’ eggs and habits differ depending on the species of silverfish. Some species will lay clusters of anywhere from 2 to 20 eggs while other species will lay a few eggs a day.


  • Centipedes
  • Earwigs
  • Spiders

Silverfish Infestation

            Silverfish can be found on the floor, sink, or bathtub and cause feeding damage to papers, clothing, and wallpaper. Infestations can be found in kitchens, laundry rooms, bathrooms, attics and basements.

Silverfish eat many different foods. Strict attendance to housekeeping chores and practices might help prevent infestation and eliminate feeding sites.

One of the most effective ways to stop an infestation from happening is to control humidity. In crawl spaces, open any vents and in the basement, use baseboards with caulking.

Cinnamon is often used to help repel silverfish, but it does not kill them.

Facts about Silverfish

  • Nocturnal
  • Move quickly
  • Secretive (severity of an infestation can go on unnoticed for a long period of time, this will allow an unfortunate exponential growth in silverfish)
  • Reproduce quickly
  • Silverfish can survive in almost any environment
  • Prefer areas with high humidity.

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