Silverfish are insects in the shape of a tear drop that can grow about 2 cm long and display 3 bristles on the back. They can be found in moist dark environments such as the bathroom, kitchen, laundry room, basement, and attic. Silverfish also infest stored items in sheds and garages. Their primarily seek food source consisting of carbohydrates and contaminate unsealed food containers, damage clothing and destroy wallpaper. They feed of cellulose, book glue, fabric, and deceased insects. The amount of eggs a female silverfish deposits varies among species and ranges between 2 and 20. Natural enemies of silverfish include spiders, centipedes, and earwigs. They move fast and are most active during the night. An infestation can quickly get out of hand because silverfish are generally not discovered right away and their population increases rapidly.


Being resilient to almost all environmental factors, silverfish prefer high moisture. In crawl spaces, proper ventilation and a vapor barrier can help control humidity and prevent an infestation. Another factor is to keep the structure clean to reduce possible food sources. Traps and over the counter insecticide are ineffective to control an infestation and a trained pest management professional should be consulted to treat the population and its environment.

Fun facts about silverfish:

  • their lifespan can reach up to 8 years

  • silverfish have already existed 400 million years ago

  • they are able to jump 2 feet high