Why Should I Be Concerned About Silverfish?

Silverfish are one of the most primitive of living insect orders. A silverfish fossil has been found supposedly dating as far back as 400 million years. Silverfish have characterized “carrot-shaped” bodies, but are flattened top to bottom. They are covered with silvery scales, and have three long, slender “antennae-like” appendages projecting from the end of the abdomen, giving them the name “bristle tails.”

Where Do They Live?

Capable of thriving in most climates, silverfish prefer to dwell in dark, damp areas such as basements, attics, kitchens and bathrooms. They are especially attracted to paper and damp clothing. Commonly found in stored boxes in garages and sheds.


What Do They Eat?

Silverfish are known for their destructive feeding habits, oftentimes ruining papers, clothing and wallpaper. Silverfish feed on carbohydrates, particularly sugars and starches. Cellulose, shampoos, glue in books, linen, silk and dead insects may be food sources. They have been found in unopened food packages.

How to Get Rid of Silverfish?

Homeowners often transport silverfish indoors unknowingly. When brought inside the home, cardboard boxes and plastic containers recently stored in infested areas can allow the pests to spread. Warm and moist spaces, like basements and crawl spaces, attract silverfish. The pests will enter homes through foundation cracks, torn screens, or gaps around doors. Leaving dirty dishes out in the open will also lure silverfish indoors.