Dealing with Silverfish in the Home


Home pests can either be directly harmful to humans or they can be dangerous as they damage human property. Silverfish are among the minute creatures that can bring damage to the home. They are pests that should be removed from any home if their presence has been spotted.


Silverfish are known to have come from tropical regions, but they have managed to thrive in temperate regions as well by hiding in damp and warm areas of the house. In Australia, they are usually found hiding in bathrooms, libraries, behind wall boards, in cupboards and under the floorboards.

Silverfish are wingless insects that can grow to around 15 millimetres long. They have tapering bodies with antennae and appendages at the rear portion. Their bodies are scaly and silvery, which make them look like a fish, thus their name. Silverfish proliferation is a slow process. Spotting silverfish in the home simply means that the pests have been there for a long period of time.

The female silverfish lay between one and three eggs every day for a number of days. The eggs hatch in a matter of a few weeks or it may take a couple of months, depending on the surrounding conditions. Silverfish live very long and shed their skins for years on their way to adulthood.

Silverfish move fast, but they are not capable of scaling smooth surfaces like bathtubs or kitchen sinks. They mainly feed on starchy substances such as glue, paste, linen and paper. They would enjoy living in the home’s library, feeding on the book bindings. They would also feed on wool and synthetic fibers, thus sometimes urging homeowners to ditch the use of curtains. They even feed on dead animals or animal skins that have been shed.

Control and Management

Silverfish are nocturnal insects and make themselves well hidden from sight. This makes them fairly difficult to spot. There may be chances of finding one trapped in the sink or bathtub since they are not able to climb smooth surfaces. Finding an actual silverfish would be a good indication that there are more such insects hidden somewhere around the house.

How to get rid of silverfish? A big part of removing silverfish from the home is regular cleaning. These pests are attracted to warm and humid areas, so it is best to keep areas of the house always clean and dry. This particularly applies to the kitchen, bathroom, garage and laundry area.

Because silverfish are able to stay hidden from sight, the usual pest control techniques may not work on them. It is strongly recommended that eradication of these pests be entrusted to a professional pest control service. A professional would be able to find the hiding places of silverfish and apply the proper pest control product to stop the infestation.