silverfish on a texas kitchen floorWHAT DO SILVERFISH LOOK LIKE? 

Silverfish are shaped like a teardrop. They grow from the moment they hatch from their egg to an adult without any obvious changes in appearance other than size. They are about 12 to 19 mm long and can be white, blue, brown, or – as the name suggests, silver. There are three long bristles on the rear of silverfish.


Silverfish can live in almost any climate, but if given a choice they will choose a dark and damp location. In your home, you would be most likely to find silverfish in your kitchen, bathroom, or basement where the air is moist and more humid. They really like paper and cardboard boxes, so if you have items stored in boxes in the garage or attic, you are also likely to find silverfish in those areas.

Silverfish can survive in almost any environment, but they prefer areas with high humidity. Nymphs develop faster in areas that are humid. Therefore, one of the best ways to prevent an infestation is to control humidity. In crawl spaces, open vents and in basements, use baseboards with caulking. Silverfish consume a variety of foods, and stringent housekeeping practices may help prevent an infestation by limiting potential feeding sites.

Silverfish have flat elongated bodies about a third to three quarters of an inch in length. They’re unable to fly due to their lack of wings but compensate for this by being able to move incredibly quickly. They’re also nocturnal so you’re unlikely to sight them during the day.


Silverfish will eat anything with sugar or starch content. They can eat your shampoo, the glue holding your books together, clothing, other insects, cellulose from wood, and even your own food that hasn’t been opened yet.


Silverfish do not carry or spread diseases and do not bite people. They are nocturnal so you are most likely to spot them at night, if at all. You could have an infestation of silverfish for a long time before you even know it, because they are so secretive and stay hidden. Silverfish reproduce quickly though, so you could end up with a large infestation of the pests before you realize they’re in your home.

While they are not harmful to humans, they do have destructive feeding habits and can damage clothing, books, and wallpaper.


Cinnamon will repel silverfish from the area that you place the cinnamon, but it won’t kill the insects or the eggs. To eliminate a silverfish infestation, you need to both eliminate the existing insects and the eggs. Most people find do it yourself methods ineffective in completely removing silverfish from their home, and need to call the professional pest control team at Innovative Pest Control for assistance.


Preventing silverfish is easier than trying to get rid of them once they are in your home. Because silverfish are attracted to high moisture areas, make sure your bathroom is properly vented when using the shower or bathtub. Open the window a crack to allow steam to escape so it will not dampen the walls, and run the extractor fan.  You should also:

  • Check the exterior of your home and caulk any openings and replace any screens with holes or rips in them.
  • Add door sweeps to all exterior doors to ensure a tight seal.

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