How to Get Rid of Silverfish: A Complete Guide [2022] (2022)

Recently, you’ve noticed signs of possible pest damage around your home. Even worse, you’ve started to see odd, silvery insects crawling around at night.

What are these creepy-crawlies? And how did they get into your house?

There’s good news and bad news.

The bad news is that you probably have a silverfish infestation. The good news is that you don’t have to live with it forever.

Here at Smith’s Pest Management, our team deals with silverfish infestations in San Francisco Bay Area homes each day as part of our residential pest control services.

In this post, we’ll share a few of our top tips for how to get rid of silverfish and keep your space bug-free for years to come.

Let’s dive in.

What are Silverfish?

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Silverfish are one of the most common pest insects in the world. They’re sometimes called bristletails or paper fish, even though their scientific name is Lepisma saccharinum.

Silverfish are voracious eaters who subsist on foods that are high in starches. They especially love paper, and will eat through boxes, books, and other household materials.

These insects are silver or gray in color, and their bodies are covered in tiny scales, which are often described as fish-like.

The body is broadest at the head, and tapers down to the posterior end, where there are three long appendages, each covered in bristles. One of the appendages runs straight out from the end of the body, while the other two jut out from the left and right sides of the torso at ninety-degree angles.

Silverfish are about 0.5”-1” in length and can live as long as eight years. The insects are nocturnal and are rarely seen during the daytime hours.

What Attracts Silverfish to my House?

If you have a silverfish infestation, you’re probably wondering where the bugs came from.

Here are the things that will attract silverfish to your house:

  • Proper habitat. In their natural environments, silverfish live in moist, well-protected areas, like under logs and rocks, or in leaf litter. In a household environment, though, they tend to live behind furniture, in books, in basements, or near sinks. They need moisture to survive and will establish themselves anywhere moisture levels in your home are high.
  • Food sources. Like all insects, silverfish need to eat. These bugs rely on starchy food sources like fibers, sugars, fabrics, grains, and dried goods – like cereals and pet food. Part of the reason that silverfish are so difficult to get rid of is that, in nature, they eat almost anything, from starches and carbohydrates to protein. In their natural environment, they eat composting plant material, leaves, and other decomposing items. In your home, they’ll happily munch on food scraps, stray pieces of pet food, and dried goods, like sugar, flour, and cereal.
  • Places to lay eggs. Silverfish lay eggs in dark, moist, hidden areas of the home. The eggs are yellow or white, and bulb-shaped.
  • A place to hide. Silverfish love to establish themselves in protected areas like behind furniture, in bookshelves, or in damp basements. While making your home inhospitable to silverfish will help get rid of them, you may need the help of a pest control specialist for severe infestations.

You might be wondering, “Do silverfish mean my house is dirty?” Contrary to popular myth, silverfish are not drawn to dirty homes.

Instead, silverfish love moisture, so their presence tends to indicate moisture rather than dirtiness in a home. Since silverfish eat common building and construction materials, even clean homes will offer them plenty of sustenance.

(Video) How to Get Rid of Silverfish (4 Easy Steps)

That said, silverfish see dusty areas of the home as a smorgasbord. Since dust is mostly made of organic residue, like human skin and dander, silverfish can usually survive on dust alone.

As silverfish in your home die off or become injured, the remaining living silverfish will eat the carcasses to fulfill their protein needs.

Are Silverfish Dangerous to People and Pets?

Silverfish are not harmful to people. They do not bite, sting, or carry diseases or pathogens.

Even though they’re not a threat to your health, silverfish are not pests you want to live with.

Silverfish can damage household goods and building materials, and their creepy presence will quickly make your home an unpleasant place to be.

Additionally, some people with severe allergic symptoms may experience reactions to the feces or skin molts of silverfish.

5 Signs of a Silverfish Infestation

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Think you might have silverfish in your home? Here are five signs to look for:

1. Seeing live silverfish

The first sign of silverfish infestation is the presence of live silverfish. These small, flexible, slippery insects range in color from blue-silver to brown-grey. They’re shaped like a teardrop and wiggle back and forth when they move, much like a fish does when swimming.

Spotting silverfish is difficult since they are nocturnal, but seeing even a single live silverfish is a good indication that you have an infestation somewhere in the home.

2. Droppings

Silverfish have fairly unique droppings. They look like small, black peppercorns, and are typically found in areas silverfish like to frequent, like the backs of furniture or the space beneath cupboards.

Silverfish droppings are small enough that many people mistake them for dust or household debris. If you sweep once and they keep coming back, though, you’ll know you have a pest problem.

3. Skin molts

Silverfish shed their skins throughout their lives. The outer shells are small, delicate, and transparent, but are a good indication of a silverfish infestation.

4. Yellow stains on your belongings

Even if you don’t notice actual skin molts, you may see the yellow dust left behind on surfaces as silverfish molt. These yellow stains often show up in books, papers, cardboard boxes, or on clothing.

5. Damage to belongings

One of the easiest ways to spot silverfish is to identify the damage they’re causing. Silverfish eat starchy food like wallpaper, linens, clothing, and cardboard. Look for holes chewed through items like these to confirm that you have a silverfish infestation.

How to Get Rid of Silverfish Naturally: 6 Effective Home Remedies

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If you have silverfish in your home, follow these tips to get rid of them:

1. Create your own silverfish traps

Silverfish love starchy foods, and they’ll go to great lengths to seek them out. To get rid of them, put some flour, dried cereal, or pet food in a glass container. Leave the top off and wrap the outside with tape.

(Video) A Quick Guide to Getting Rid of Silverfish

Silverfish will be able to get into the jar by using the textured surface of the tape. They won’t be able to get back out, though, because their feet can’t get traction on the smooth glass surface inside.

Pros: Easy, affordable, safe for kids and pets, non-toxic

Cons: Unsightly, labor-intensive, requires you to dispose of dead silverfish

2. Use newspaper to attract them

Wet an old newspaper and roll it up. Silverfish will crawl into it and start making their homes. After a few days, throw the newspaper away in a sealed, airtight container. Alternatively, you can burn it to get rid of the silverfish that have found their way inside.

Pros: Affordable, safe, non-toxic, simple, effective

Cons: May not be applicable for households with kids (who may move the trap), will not eliminate large concentrations of silverfish

3. Put out sticky traps

Sticky traps, available at most hardware or home and garden stores, are an excellent way to get rid of silverfish. Purchase several of these traps and place them anywhere you’ve noticed silverfish activity. After a few days, check the traps and discard any that have silverfish stuck to them.

Pros: Easy, affordable, effective, safe, non-toxic

Cons: Not ideal for homes with kids or pets, unsightly, requires you to check and remove old traps

4. Use cedar oil

Cedar oil is one of the many essential oils used to get rid of silverfish, and is an especially effective pest killer for silverfish, clothes moths, and carpet beetles.

For best results, place cedar oil in a diffuser, or mix several drops of the oil into a spray bottle filled with warm water and spray the mixture onto problem areas.

If you’re using a diffuser, place it anywhere you’ve noticed silverfish activity.

Pros: Effective, affordable, safe

Cons: May bother people with sensitive skin or allergies, requires regular re-application

5. Use dried bay leaves

You don’t need to go any further than your pantry for an effective silverfish repellent. Just grab a few dried bay leaves and place them anywhere you’ve seen silverfish signs.

Silverfish are repelled by the oils in bay leaves, which have proven to be powerful pest deterrents.

Pros: Easy, affordable, effective

Cons: Will not kill pests, may be messy, requires regular re-application of bay leaves

(Video) How Did I Get Silverfish? | Pest Support

6. Use borax

Borax is an effective way to kill silverfish. For best results, purchase borax at your local home goods store, and spread a thin layer anywhere you’ve noticed silverfish. It’s particularly appropriate for use on the back side of cabinets, along baseboards, in closets, and beneath appliances.

Alternatively, you can use diatomaceous earth for the same purpose.

Pros: Easy, affordable, effective

Cons: Messy, requires regular re-application, should be kept away from food, and should not be used near children or pets

2 Powerful Conventional Methods to Get Rid of Silverfish

Wondering how to get rid of silverfish once and for all?

Here are a few conventional methods to kill the pests:

1. Poison

Poison is an effective method of silverfish control. Like all insects, silverfish can be managed through various poisonous pest control methods. Foggers, bombs, and targeted sprays are all options for coping with a silverfish infestation.

Since these products are toxic and dangerous for kids, pets, and all other inhabitants of your household, though, we recommend limiting their use.

Additionally, you should NEVER DIY these methods. Instead, work with a skilled pest control professional like Smith’s if you’re considering poison pest control options. We service customers in and around the San Francisco Bay Area, in California.

2. Traps

Store-bought traps are an effective way to get rid of silverfish. Like other poison control methods, these should be used with caution and should never be deployed in areas with kids or pets present.

How to Get Rid of Silverfish in Various Areas

In your apartment

If you have a severe silverfish infestation in your apartment, you’ll need to contact a licensed pest control service like Smith’s. Working within the context of a rental apartment can be difficult, and you don’t want to accidentally damage the property in the process or violate your rental agreement.

A professional pest management company will work with you and your landlord to provide a safe, effective service to solve your infestation problem.

In the bathroom cabinets

Since silverfish love moisture, they gravitate toward bathtubs and drains. The last thing you want to do, though, is bathe with these creepy-crawlies. To get rid of silverfish in these areas, the best option is to dehydrate the area and get rid of their hiding places.

Eliminate all clutter in the bathroom, including piled-up paper or towels, and give all the hidden corners of the room a good vacuum. Sprinkle diatomaceous earth in the corners of the room and add a dehumidifier to remove excess moisture from the room.

In your bed

Although silverfish prefer places like closets and bathrooms, it is possible to find them in your bed. If this happens, remove all bedding and wash it in hot water. Dry it on the highest possible setting (always check the fabric care label first to make sure this won’t damage the item).

The next step is to remove clutter from around your bedroom. If the infestation is severe and you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, contact Smith’s for professional pest control services in your bedroom.

In the attic or basement

The attic and basement are both hidden, quiet places for silverfish to live. If you notice them in these spaces, you’ll need to take an aggressive approach. In these spaces, boric acid is an excellent pest removal option.

Sprinkle it in the cracks and crevices throughout your basement, after you’ve vacuumed and swept up any dust and gotten rid of clutter. The same tactic applies to your attic.

(Video) How to deal with a Silverfish infestation

In the closet

You don’t want to use poison in your closet. Instead, use a non-toxic repellent like cedar oil on the baseboards and seams of your closets. The aroma will prevent insects from attacking your clothing. Remember, a little goes a long way.

You don’t need to drench your clothing to keep silverfish away. In addition to applying the oil, be sure to vacuum the back and corners of your closet.

Outside your home or in windows

Spray the outside of your home with store-bought insect repellent, paying special attention to the line of your foundation, and the area around your windows and doors.

Remove clutter from around the outside of your home and cut back brush and foliage to at least 16” from your home.

How do Pest Control Experts Get Rid of Silverfish?

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When you hire a silverfish pest control company like Smith’s, what can you expect?

Here’s the process our team uses to get rid of silverfish:

1. A thorough inspection

Our team always starts with a thorough inspection. One of our techs will inspect the indoor and outdoor areas of your home to identify areas of concentrated pest activity, and any access points they may be using to get into your home.

We’ll also evaluate environmental factors like landscaping, water sources, breeding habitats, and food sources the silverfish may be relying on.

2. Deployment of a customized plan

Based on what we find during our inspection, we’ll design a pest management plan to help reduce silverfish populations.

This pest management plan will include Integrated Pest Management (IPM) practices and techniques that focus both on eliminating the pests and resolving the underlying causes of the infestation.

3. Ongoing Pest Control Services

Once we’ve gotten rid of the initial silverfish infestation, we’ll provide ongoing pest control services to keep them from coming back.

While we usually provide monthly or quarterly pest control services, we’ll determine the right frequency for you based on the nature of your property and the severity of your silverfish problem.

6 Helpful Tips to Prevent Future Silverfish Infestations

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Regarding silverfish infestations, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Use these tips to prevent future silverfish infestations on your property:

  1. Keep a clean home. A clean home helps prevent pests of all kinds. It also gives you an opportunity to inspect for signs of a new pest infestation, like droppings and skin molts. With this in mind, dust and vacuum your home at least once a week, or more frequently if you have kids or pets.
  2. Seal all dry food and pet food in airtight containers. If you have food in boxes, like cereal, decant it into sealed, airtight containers. Store larger bags in big rubber tubs with tight-fitting lids. Clean up all food spills promptly.
  3. Get rid of silverfish food sources. Remember: silverfish eat both organic and non-organic materials. To keep them away, get rid of external food sources like piles of brush, dead plants, wood piles, and leaves. Keep the perimeter of your home clean and clear of leaves, shrubbery, or other moisture-rich debris. Inside, make sure to secure all food sources (as mentioned above) and get rid of clutter, such as piles of paper and cardboard boxes.
  4. Keep your clothing in a dry place. Eliminate humidity in your home by storing your clothing in a cool, dry environment. Keep them out of the basement and install a dehumidifier if your home tends to be moist.
  5. Seal the cracks. Use caulk to seal small cracks around windows and doors and prevent access points that silverfish and other pests may be using to get into your home.
  6. Focus on ventilation. Remember – silverfish love moisture. To make your home as inhospitable as possible for them, focus on ventilating rooms that tend to stay warm and moist, like bathrooms. You can also use a dehumidifier or a vent fan to keep things cool and dry.

Are Silverfish Invading Your San Francisco Bay Area Home or Business? We’re Here to Help!

Here at Smith’s Pest Management, we help residential and commercial properties from Northern California to Monterey get rid of pests, including silverfish. If you have a silverfish infestation in your home, our team can help.

Contact us today to learn more about our services or book your silverfish treatment today.

FAQs

Why do I keep finding silverfish in my bed? ›

While they usually stick to basements and pantries, these pests may move into your bedroom under the right conditions. Known to feed on carbohydrates and protein, this insect may try to make a meal out of your linens. Starched sheets can become damp from perspiration and humidity, making them the perfect hiding place.

How do you get rid of silverfish naturally? ›

How can you naturally get rid of silverfish?
  1. Cedar shavings – Cedar oil and shavings are a common natural insecticide. ...
  2. Cinnamon – Similarly to cedar, us humans may love the smell of cinnamon but silverfish despise it. ...
  3. Citrus fruits – Silverfish are repelled by the citrus scent of orange and lemon peel.
8 Apr 2022

How do you get rid of silverfish permanently? ›

Use borax. Borax is an effective way to kill silverfish. For best results, purchase borax at your local home goods store, and spread a thin layer anywhere you've noticed silverfish. It's particularly appropriate for use on the back side of cabinets, along baseboards, in closets, and beneath appliances.

Will cinnamon sticks get rid of silverfish? ›

It is said that silverfish have an aversion to cinnamon and will flee from cinnamon-contaminated areas. However, while cinnamon has some effect in repelling silverfish from infesting certain areas of your home, it cannot address an existing silverfish infestation. Cinnamon does not kill silverfish or their eggs.

Do silverfish lay eggs in your ear? ›

Like the earwig, silverfish have earned a reputation for climbing into the ears of sleeping people and laying their eggs. This is not true for either of these insects. While there are documented cases of bugs being found in the ear canal of patients experiencing ear pain, it is rare.

Can silverfish live in your hair? ›

Silverfish might nibble on human hair and dandruff which is why you can find them crawling around your hairbrush or your bed. In rare – and creepy – cases you can wake up to silverfish crawling on your pillow or even on your scalp if you happen to have enough dandruff. They will not bite you, however.

What smell keeps silverfish away? ›

Strongly scented herbs and spices have been known to repel silverfish, so try leaving out generous helpings of cinnamon sticks, bay leaves, or whole cloves, or strategically placing sachets filled with dried rosemary.

What blocks can silverfish hide in? ›

Silverfish are small hostile mobs found hiding in stone-like blocks in mountains, strongholds, igloo basements and woodland mansions.

Where do silverfish hide in your house? ›

Silverfish prefer areas of room temperature (70-85 degrees F/21-29 degrees C). They are nocturnal and prefer to hide or rest in tight cracks or crevices during the day. Silverfish can be found almost anywhere in a house including living rooms, bedrooms, bathrooms, attics, basements, garages and shake roofs.

Can silverfish hurt you? ›

Are Silverfish Harmful? These insects are generally nuisance pests. They won't hurt you, but they can contaminate your food. Silverfish leave their poop behind in your food, so make sure to check for any insects.

What time of year do silverfish come out? ›

Most silverfish infestations begin outside. In Southern California's winter when the weather is wetter and more humid, it may as well be a silverfish paradise. They find their way inside as they look for similar conditions; the controlled climate and variety of dark, uninhabited spots help them sustain populations.

Do silverfish have nests? ›

Where do silverfish nest? Inside homes, silverfish create nests in damp areas where temperatures are cooler, and they are usually found residing in basements. However, they can also be found nesting in cabinets and underneath sinks in attics, kitchens, crawl spaces, laundry rooms, and bathrooms.

What does baking soda do to silverfish? ›

Baking Soda

You can apply this paste to several small pieces of cardboard and place them in areas where the silverfish are likely to lurk. The insects consume the mixture and the baking soda works to dehydrate them. This method works great, especially for hard to reach places such as bookshelves.

Does salt get rid of silverfish? ›

Table Salt. If you have salt at home specifically the table salt, you can use it as your repellent for silverfish. The table salt can dehydrate the pest which will lead to their death.

Do LED lights attract silverfish? ›

The short answer is no. Silverfish are nocturnal because the dark keeps them safe whilst exposed in wider spaces looking for food, so any form of artificial light repels a silverfish, not attract it.

Will silverfish crawl on me in my sleep? ›

Silverfish cannot directly climb up your bed. But they can climb walls, and if your bed is placed directly against the wall, they can easily crawl into your bed.

Can silverfish climb up walls? ›

Silverfish may be able to run up a wall, but they will not be as quick and are easier to catch. However, give the pests a straight track upon which to run and they might as well be tiny thoroughbreds.

Do silverfish live in winter? ›

Silverfish. Although silverfish prefer warm, damp habitats, they can survive in temperatures as low as freezing and as high as 100°F. While they can go dormant in the winter, silverfish in your home have no need to do so and will stay active all winter long.

Can you squish a silverfish? ›

Unlike centipedes, which can provide a painful bite—and which silverfish are often mistaken for—they don't even have strong enough jaws to pierce human skin. Ending the silverfish right then and there with a good squish might make you feel better temporarily, but their populations can grow fairly fast.

How do silverfish eggs look like? ›

Silverfish eggs are elliptically shaped and measure approximately 1 mm in length. Initially soft and white, silverfish eggs toughen and yellow after a few hours. Upon hatching, silverfish are white in color, although they develop to become silver or gray in adulthood.

How many babies does a silverfish have? ›

Female silverfish produce one to three eggs per day, or clusters of two to twenty. The pests deposit eggs in cracks around the inside of a home or attic, making them difficult to find. Unlike some other insects, silverfish can produce eggs all year.

What attracts silverfish the most? ›

Capable of thriving in most climates, silverfish prefer to dwell in dark, damp areas such as basements, attics, kitchens and bathrooms. They are especially attracted to paper and damp clothing. Commonly found in stored boxes in garages and sheds.

Does light keep silverfish away? ›

Silverfish are nocturnal creatures, so they tend to squeeze their bodies into dark and tiny spaces and gaps in your home. They hate light. Therefore, giving them what they dislike is one of the ways to keep them away. Let lots of light into areas and rooms that are predominantly dingy and dark.

Do silverfish live in clothes? ›

Articles of clothing stored in closets or other dark storage areas with moderately warm temperatures and high humidity are most susceptible to silverfish damage.

What do silverfish drop? ›

When a Silverfish is killed by a player or a tamed wolf, it'll drop five XP orbs.

What does finding silverfish mean? ›

Silverfish are a warning sign that your home has developed entry points, more specifically, entry points that may have been caused by water damage. When rain water gets into places it shouldn't, it can cause mold, mildew, fungi, algae, and other things to grow.

Do silverfish make noise? ›

Silverfish are nocturnal and will avoid light. They don't make noise but do leave a trail of destruction in their wake that can go unseen for a long time.

How long does it take to get rid of silverfish? ›

A properly and thoroughly applied insecticide will show results in a few weeks. If control doesn't occur in 2 or 3 weeks, silverfish or firebrats probably are coming from untreated areas and secluded harborages. Seek out these areas for treatment, and eliminate water sources.

Do silverfish come out of drains? ›

Contrary to popular belief, silverfish do not live in drains. They are attracted to moisture and warm, dark places with high levels of humidity (above 75 percent), which explains why they are frequently found in bathrooms.

How common are silverfish in homes? ›

Vacuum carpet, floors and upholstered furniture regularly

Silverfish hide and lay their eggs in cracks and crevices, so target these areas when you're cleaning. Empty the vacuum contents outside so the bugs can't escape inside your home. A silverfish infestation is fairly uncommon.

What happens if a silverfish bite you? ›

Silverfish do not bite humans or animals, do not carry disease, and are not poisonous. However, they have the potential to spread germs if they come in from the outside and contaminate food.

What animal eats silverfish? ›

Centipedes, spiders, and earwigs all prey on silverfish, and all can be a potential problem for the families that live in the home. Luckily, Moyer Pest Control can help keep your home free of silverfish and several other common pests that are found in your home all year long with our HomeGuard Protection plans.

Do silverfish eat money? ›

Silverfish eat and cause damage to things like books, clothes, and food. Since money is basically paper, these pests will eat your money too, which is why it's important to keep this insect far away from your valuable things. These nocturnal insects will leave yellow debris on the paper.

Do silverfish fly or jump? ›

They do not have wings so they cannot fly, but they can jump with the help of their abdomens. They have large eyes on top of their heads. Their scales look coppery metallic when under the light.

Why do I have silverfish in winter? ›

Silverfish are cold blooded creatures that cannot control their body temperature. But, in a state of diapause, they can alter their blood composition to form a sort of antifreeze that will keep them from freezing. For this reason, they can be found in some surprisingly cold places in your home during the winter months.

Do silverfish hate cold? ›

They prefer cool, damp areas and thrive in humidity, so their preferred hangout spots can usually include basements, attics, and bathrooms.

What does a silverfish baby look like? ›

Baby silverfish are soft and white, but otherwise, they look just like the mature insects. Nymphs have the same long antennae as well as tapered bodies ending with three limbs that fan out like a fishtail.

Can silverfish eat through plastic bags? ›

When turned loose in your kitchen pantry, silverfish can chew through cardboard, paper, and plastic packaging—straight to your food.

Where do you put silverfish traps? ›

You can buy small packets (like these) designed to trap and poison silverfish with boric acid. Hide them in places where you're likely to encounter the creepy crawlies, like bookshelves, dressers and desk drawers, under the sink and in the basement and attic.

Does vinegar repel silverfish? ›

The internet seems to think vinegar fixes just about every household problem, and that cinnamon, cloves and bay leaves will all repel silverfish. Unfortunately, none of these home remedies will get rid of silverfish.

How do I get rid of silverfish in my room? ›

6 ways to get rid of silverfish
  1. Put a starchy food or substance in a glass container and wrap the outside with tape. ...
  2. Roll up newspaper. ...
  3. Put out sticky traps. ...
  4. Put out small bits of silverfish poison. ...
  5. Use cedar or cedar oil. ...
  6. Spread dried bay leaves throughout your home.
11 Sept 2019

Do silverfish eat baking soda? ›

Baking Soda to Kill Silverfish

To kill silverfish with baking soda, add some to a bowl with one cup of water and a tablespoon of honey. Stir the ingredients thoroughly until the components form a paste. Apply the paste to several small pieces of cardboard and place them in areas where the silverfish like to lurk.

Does lemon juice get rid of silverfish? ›

Citrus fruits: The peel of lemon and limes are just too much for silverfish so as above, use the peel in areas you've spotted them or mix lemon juice with water to make a nifty spray.

Do silverfish like honey? ›

Make a DIY sticky trap for silverfish

You can quite easily make your own trap to catch silverfish. Cover some baking paper with honey and place it in a dark spot where the little bugs are often crawling around. The sticky trap attracts the silverfish, after which they will get stuck in the honey.

Do moth balls deter silverfish? ›

Silverfish can't stand the smell of mothballs. Mothballs will not kill silverfish; rather serve as a deterrent from areas where they are placed. Spices such as sage, bay leaves and cloves also serve well as good repellants. 3.)

Why do I keep finding silverfish in my bed? ›

While they usually stick to basements and pantries, these pests may move into your bedroom under the right conditions. Known to feed on carbohydrates and protein, this insect may try to make a meal out of your linens. Starched sheets can become damp from perspiration and humidity, making them the perfect hiding place.

Do silverfish like light or dark? ›

Silverfish are nocturnal

You are more likely to find silverfish in your home at night. That's why you most likely find them in the bathtub or sink when you head into the bathroom and turn on the light at night. Silverfish prefer the dark when they seek out food since those compound eyes are sensitive to light.

Where does silverfish come from? ›

Silverfish are a cosmopolitan species, found in Africa, the Americas, Australia, Eurasia, and parts of the Pacific. They inhabit moist areas, requiring a relative humidity between 75% and 95%. In urban areas, they can be found in attics, basements, bathtubs, sinks, kitchens, old books, classrooms, and showers.

Do silverfish mean my house is dirty? ›

You might be happy to learn that silverfish are not necessarily a sign of a dirty house. However, they can be a sign of underlying problems. Silverfish love warm and damp areas, and this is generally not what you want in your home.

How do you know if you have a silverfish infestation? ›

Keep an eye out for feeding marks, although they may be irregular whether they are holes, notches along an edge, or surface etchings. Yellow stains, scales and/or feces (tiny black pepper-like pellets) may also be seen on infested materials.

What to do if you see a silverfish? ›

6 ways to get rid of silverfish
  1. Put a starchy food or substance in a glass container and wrap the outside with tape. ...
  2. Roll up newspaper. ...
  3. Put out sticky traps. ...
  4. Put out small bits of silverfish poison. ...
  5. Use cedar or cedar oil. ...
  6. Spread dried bay leaves throughout your home.
11 Sept 2019

Will silverfish bite humans? ›

Silverfish do not bite humans or animals, do not carry disease, and are not poisonous. However, they have the potential to spread germs if they come in from the outside and contaminate food.

What blocks can silverfish hide in? ›

Silverfish are small hostile mobs found hiding in stone-like blocks in mountains, strongholds, igloo basements and woodland mansions.

Can silverfish climb up drains? ›

They are attracted to moisture and warm, dark places with high levels of humidity (above 75 percent), which explains why they are frequently found in bathrooms. However, they cannot climb on smooth vertical surfaces, so they are frequently found trapped in bathtubs and sinks.

Do LED lights attract silverfish? ›

The short answer is no. Silverfish are nocturnal because the dark keeps them safe whilst exposed in wider spaces looking for food, so any form of artificial light repels a silverfish, not attract it.

Does 1 silver fish mean more? ›

If you see one silverfish, there is a good chance there are hundreds living in your walls. A single female can lay 100 eggs in her lifetime and it only take 3 months from egg to adult. It doesn't take long for silverfish populations to get out of hand.

How long does it take to get rid of silverfish? ›

A properly and thoroughly applied insecticide will show results in a few weeks. If control doesn't occur in 2 or 3 weeks, silverfish or firebrats probably are coming from untreated areas and secluded harborages. Seek out these areas for treatment, and eliminate water sources.

How do silverfish eggs look like? ›

Silverfish eggs are elliptically shaped and measure approximately 1 mm in length. Initially soft and white, silverfish eggs toughen and yellow after a few hours. Upon hatching, silverfish are white in color, although they develop to become silver or gray in adulthood.

What time of year do silverfish come out? ›

Most silverfish infestations begin outside. In Southern California's winter when the weather is wetter and more humid, it may as well be a silverfish paradise. They find their way inside as they look for similar conditions; the controlled climate and variety of dark, uninhabited spots help them sustain populations.

Do silverfish have nests? ›

Where do silverfish nest? Inside homes, silverfish create nests in damp areas where temperatures are cooler, and they are usually found residing in basements. However, they can also be found nesting in cabinets and underneath sinks in attics, kitchens, crawl spaces, laundry rooms, and bathrooms.

How quickly do silverfish multiply? ›

Depending upon climate conditions and species, eggs may take between 19 to 60 days to hatch. Humid conditions are preferable, though silverfish can thrive in almost any environment. Female silverfish produce one to three eggs per day, or clusters of two to twenty.

What happens if you touch a silverfish? ›

Do Silverfish Bite People? Although silverfish have a creepy appearance and are occasionally mistaken for venomous centipedes, silverfish are not known to bite humans and do not carry diseases.

Will silverfish crawl on me in my sleep? ›

Silverfish cannot directly climb up your bed. But they can climb walls, and if your bed is placed directly against the wall, they can easily crawl into your bed.

Can silverfish drown? ›

They are attracted to moist environments, but if they're submerged in too much water, silverfish can actually drown. Furthermore, silverfish cannot fly and have a hard time crawling on non-horizontal surfaces, like on walls. They can only really be found on mostly dry, flat surfaces.

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