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What Are Silverfish?

One pest who likes to sneak into homes from time to time is the silverfish. These occasional invaders enter homes throughout the year. If they can find food and moisture, they’ll be a happy pest. We’ve gathered information to help you identify silverfish and keep them out of your home.

What Do Silverfish Look Like?


Silverfish get their name from their metallic and silver coloring. They have an oval body and grow up to ¾ʺ. Silverfish have three tail-like appendages. They have long antennae and six legs. These pests don’t have wings. However, they run quickly in a fish-like movement.  

What Do Silverfish Eat?

Silverfish on book

Silverfish love to feed on things found in homes. They eat paper products like wallpaper and books. Glue can also make for a tasty treat. Silverfish eat fabric including clothing. Some pantry ingredients, like flour and oats, can become a food source for these pests.

Where Do Silverfish Live?


These nocturnal pests like to hide in dark areas. They need to be in a humid and moist environment. Basements, bathrooms, attics, and kitchens are all common hiding spots. There’s a good chance you’ll find them in sinks, tubs, or even in cabinets with food. If your garage or shed has cardboard boxes, silverfish may find shelter in them. Silverfish are found throughout the United States. 

Why Are Silverfish in My Home?

Water dish in yard

Silverfish enter homes looking for food, moisture, and shelter. Moisture build-up in your yard or house can attract silverfish. Check for leaky pipes, clogged gutters, and areas where water collects. Leaves and woodpiles can act as shelter for these pests. If silverfish gather outdoors, it won’t be long until they make their way inside.

Are Silverfish Dangerous?

Silverfish on paper

Silverfish are a nuisance, but they aren’t dangerous. These pests don’t bite. Their feeding preferences cause damage to household items. When large infestations occur, they can cause extensive damage to your belongings. If they infest your food or your pet’s food, these items will be inedible.  

Signs of a Silverfish Infestation


Catching an infestation early will make it easier to keep your home free of silverfish. Check out a few warning signs of a silverfish infestation.

  • Silverfish Sightings: Spotting these pests is the main sign of an infestation. They are fast and active at night, so it may be tricky to find them.
  • Silverfish Droppings: You may notice their droppings in areas where they are hidden. These are small, black, and resemble peppercorns.
  • Yellow Stains: Silverfish can leave behind yellow stains on your household items including books, fabric, and paper.
  • Damage: When silverfish feed on items, there will be damage. Look out for chew marks or tears.
  • Silverfish Skin: Silverfish molt, leaving behind shed skin. Their skin is small, so it can easily be missed.

How to Prevent Silverfish

Yard Bug Spray & Home Bug Spray

A little bit of work can help you prevent a silverfish infestation. Here are a few tips to keep silverfish out of your home.

  • Seal Entry Points: Check your home for cracks or holes and seal them. These pests are small and can slip through tiny gaps. Pay attention to your home’s foundation, window and door screens, and gaps around doors.
  • Remove Food Sources: Store your pantry ingredients in containers with an airtight seal. Clean up crumbs and spills, and don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink.
  • Reduce Moisture: Repair or replace leaking pipes or faucets. Eliminate standing water outside. You can use a dehumidifier to reduce moisture build-up in areas where silverfish hide.
  • Keep Your Home & Yard Clean: Remove clutter from your home to reduce potential hiding spots. Store your items in plastic bins with lids. Clean up leaf litter and branches in your yard. Keep your lawn and vegetation trimmed.
  • Create a Protective Barrier: Spraying the perimeter of your home and yard with a plant-based insecticide spray, like our Yard Bug Spray, can keep silverfish away. Our Home Bug Spray can be applied near common entry points to deter pests.

How to Get Rid of Silverfish

Roach Killer Gel Bait

If silverfish have invaded your space, you need a quick and effective solution. Check out a few ways to get rid of silverfish.

  • Use a Plant-Based Insecticide Spray: Our Home Bug Spray kills silverfish and other pests on contact. It will also provide you with residual repellency to help keep silverfish away.
  • Use a Bait: Placing a bait in areas where silverfish have been seen can help to get to rid of them. Our Roach Killer Gel Bait attracts and kills silverfish, helping to keep your home free of these pests.
  • Use an Insecticide Dust: A plant-based insecticide dust, like our Spider & Insect Dust, can provide long-lasting protection. Apply the dust where you’ve spotted silverfish including the cracks and crevices where they like to hide. 

Silverfish may find your home welcoming, but you don’t have to let them move in. Keep your home dry, and eliminate food sources to help prevent these pests. For a more environmentally and family-friendly solution, check out our Maggie’s Farm Simply Effective™ Pest Control products.

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