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(Lepisma saccharina)


Silverfishes feeding habits make them a destructive pest, as they often ruin papers, clothing and wallpaper.

  • They have a teardrop-shaped body

  • They are brown-grey or bluish-silver in color

  • They have three long bristles on rear

  • They are 12-19 mm in length

Behavior, Diet & Habits

Silverfish are nocturnal and they move and reproduce quickly. They prefer damp, dark areas such as basements, attics, kitchens, and bathroom cabinets. They seek out areas around paper and linen food sources. You can typically find them in stored boxes in garages and sheds. They feed on carbohydrates, particularly sugars and starches, such as shampoos, glue in books, linen, silk and dead insects, making them a destructive pest, as they often ruin papers, clothing and wallpaper. Their natural predators are centipedes, earwigs and spiders.


Male Silverfish lay spermatophores, which female silverfish take into their ovipositor. Females can lay from 2 to 20 eggs, depending on species. The eggs hatch in 19 to 43 days. It takes three to four months for the Silverfish to mature from egg to adult.

Signs of an Infestation

Most homeowners discover an infestation by either seeing the Silverfish or their pepper-like feces in bathrooms, under sinks, and around bathtubs.


Silverfish survive in most environments; however they prefer areas with high humidity. Baby silverfish also develop faster in areas that have high humidity, so the best ways to prevent an infestation is to control humidity. We recommend opening vents in crawl spaces and basements as well as caulking baseboards.

Silverfish consume a variety of food, so stringent housekeeping practices may help prevent an infestation by limiting potential feeding sites.

We recommend that anyone experiencing a silverfish infestation contact a pest control professional to arrange for a consultation. Professionals are trained not only to address current infestations but also to prevent future infestations.

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