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What Do Silverfish Eat?

When silverfish sneak into homes, they often are searching for something to eat. These pests feed on a variety of things found in your house, making it an ideal spot for them to hide. If you know what silverfish eat, you can minimize their access to food sources, which will make your space less inviting to these pests. Check out a few things in your home that silverfish like to eat.

Pantry Items

Food in containers in pantry

Silverfish are known to eat food found in your pantry and kitchen. They prefer carbohydrates and protein. These pests will eat dried meat, dried pasta, flour, cereal, oats, and other grains. Silverfish aren’t just attracted to the food you eat. Your pet’s food can also be a snack for these pests. Storing your pantry items in sealed containers is the best way to protect them from silverfish and other pests.

Paper Products

Stack of books

Items that contain starches are attractive to silverfish. This means that they will eat paper products like books, magazines, documents, and pictures. Silverfish also feed on cardboard boxes. They often leave behind yellow stains on paper products. Silverfish gravitate to damp and humid areas in your home including basements and attics, so you’ll want to avoid storing your paper items in these areas.


Pile of blankets

Your fabric items, like clothes and towels, could be a food source for silverfish. Their feeding can lead to holes or yellow stains on your items. Silverfish prefer cotton, silk, and linen. Clothing with stains from food or drink spills are more attractive to silverfish. These pests will also feed on upholstered furniture, curtains, and bedding. As with paper products, you should store your fabric items in a dry environment to help keep silverfish away from them. 


Book binding

Silverfish are fond of carbohydrates, and these can be found in glue. Tubes and bottles of glue can be attractive to these pests. Silverfish are also known to eat the adhesive used to hang wallpaper. The glue found in book bindings and photo albums can be a tasty treat for silverfish too. Make sure to store glue bottles and items containing glue in a safe place where silverfish can’t access them. 

Hygiene Products

Bars of soap

Many of your hygiene products contain cellulose, which can be attractive to silverfish. These pests are known to feed on shampoo, toothpaste, shaving cream, soap, and other hygiene products. They will feed on residues found in sinks, on counters, and in bathtubs. To prevent silverfish, you’ll want to clean up product spills and ensure lids are placed securely on these items.

Dead Insects


Silverfish seek out food sources that contain protein, and dead insects can provide them with the protein that they need. Silverfish don’t just eat other insects; they have been known to feed on dead silverfish too. Sometimes silverfish will also eat the molted skin of insects. Keeping other pests out of your home can help to prevent silverfish.

Silverfish will eat many things found in homes, and their feeding can often cause damage to your belongings. Properly storing your items can help to keep silverfish from snacking on them. If you’re dealing with a pest problem, we want to help! For a more environmentally and family-friendly solution, check out our Maggie’s Farm Simply Effective™ Pest Control products.

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