Are Silverfish Bad For Your Home? Find Out How

What do Silverfish do? They damage your clothes, food, books, and fabrics. 

So to answer your question, are silverfish bad for your home – yes they are.

To be more specific, silverfish can damage anything in your home that has cellulose in it, for example, sugar, newspaper, books, cotton, fabrics (including fabrics like polyester and rayon), and even furniture.

Are silverfish bad for your home

Want to know more about Silverfish and their nuisances? Below we’ve answered all the frequently asked questions about Silverfish. 

How Do Silverfish Look Like?

Silverfish look like minuscule lobsters or shrimps with a visible tail like that of a stingray.

They also have two side tails at their rear, giving you an impression of a long mustache. 

Primarily, there are three colors of Silverfish – white, brown, grey. Some silverfish also have a mix of blue and silver colors, making them look pretty (for lack of a better word).

How do Silverfish get Into The House?

In their natural habitat, Silverfish live near damp and dark places like under the rocks, logs of wood, or under the piles of rotting leaves.

So why do you have Silverfish at your home? It’s not your fault. You bring home silverfish home unintentionally or unknowingly.  

At your home, there’re a lot of factors that can cause Silverfish.

The first factor is the lack of cleanliness in your home.

Second, if you’ve brought anything into your home, like a cardboard box, books, newspaper, fabric, that already had Silverfish. 

The most common way of bringing Silverfish to your home is when you’re back from any outdoor activity like camping or hiking.

Silverfish can sneak into your shoes or your camping gear. 

Where At Your Home do Silverfish Live?

At home, Silverfish hide and breed in places like your bathroom, kitchen, basement, attic, bookshelf, and the small cracks on the walls or the floor.

You can also find Silverfish living in your bed. Silverfish are nocturnal pests, and they’re most active at night. They have a habit of sneaking into the mattresses, especially if the mattress is old. 

If you’ve silverfish infestation in your home, then you can find them easily in your closet and bookshelf because they love to feed on fabrics and starch.

If you find silverfish in your closet and bookshelf then it’s a clear sign of silverfish infestation.

They love to feed on fabric and starch because they contain cellulose.

What Do Silverfish Eat?

Silverfish eat fabric (cotton, wool, rayon, linen, polyester) and paper (books, newspapers).

Silverfish also infest and feed on your or your pet’s food if you leave them uncovered.  

How Can You Identify Damages Caused By Silverfish?

If you can find any small holes on your clothes or your books’ pages with light yellow markings, then it’s a signal of silverfish infestation in your home. 

Are Silverfish Harmful To Humans?

No, Silverfish are not harmful to humans. But ants and beetles feed on Silverfish.

So, Silverfish can attract these pests to your homes.

Silverfish shed their skin. The process of Silverfish shedding their skin is known as molting.

The shed-off skin can be a reason for some allergies in humans.

Can Silverfish Bite Humans?

No, Silverfish don’t bite humans. Unlike termites and ants, silverfish jaws are too weak to pierce human skin. 

Don’t confuse Silverfish with earwigs. Earwigs look like Silverfish, and they can bite humans.

Can Silverfish Make You Sick?

No, as Silverfish can’t bite so, they can’t make you sick. Neither can they suck your blood. 

Silverfish can get into your hair, though, and can cause itchy sensations on your scalp. 

Can Silverfish Bite Dogs And Cats?

No, Silverfish don’t bite your dogs or cats or any pets.

As we mentioned earlier, their jaws are too weak to penetrate the skin. Silverfish are not harmful to either dogs or cats. 

What Are The Signs Of Silverfish Infestation In Your Home?

Signs of silverfish infestation

Here are the signs of silverfish infestation in your home –

  • Alive Silverfish in your home – You can spot them in your kitchen and your bathroom. If you do, then it’s time to check your closet and bookshelves too. That’s the place where the chances are highest to spot more Silverfish.


  • Silverfish Droppings: Silverfish droppings don’t have a unique look. You can easily overlook silverfish droppings as particles of dust or black pepper. If you see anything like that, then chances are silverfish are living in your home.


  • Shed Silverfish Skin: If you find anything like a peel of shrimp skin that looks very brittle, then it’s a sign of silverfish infestation. Silverfish shed their skin regularly. 


  • Yellow stains on your books and clothes also show a silverfish infestation problem in your home.


  • Little holes in your clothes, curtains (especially linen ones), books, newspapers, socks, and on your sofa fabric are some of the significant signs of a silverfish infestation.

Do Silverfish Multiply Very Fast?

Yes, they do. A female silverfish can lay 40-60 eggs in a day.

She can keep laying eggs for 4-5 days at a stretch.

Female Silverfish cluster their eggs in packs of 20 eggs in each cluster. 

The eggs take somewhere around 20-65 days to hatch.

Silverfish eggs are hard to spot.

Silverfish lay their eggs in hard-to-reach places like cracks on your walls or in your basement or attic. 

They can also lay their eggs inside your closet between the piles of your clothes.

The worst part of silverfish spawning in your home is that the eggs emit a smell that tells other Silverfish to come and spawn their eggs in the same place. 

Piles of eggs from multiple Silverfish provide warmth and humidity that helps the egg to hatch faster. 

One female Silverfish can quickly reproduce 2000 offspring in her lifetime.

What’s That Tadpole Looking Bug In Your Bathroom?

Silverfish in bathroom

It can be Silverfish because the bathroom is also a place where Silverfish are most active.

And bathrooms being wet, it’s an ideal place for them to hide in the bathroom trash cans and medicine cabinets. 

If they’re too small with their legs not visible, then they can be offspring of Silverfish.

It also shows that the silverfish nest is in your bathroom, which you need to get rid of. 

In some cases, it might not be Silverfish, if it’s too dark in color, like black.

Then those tadpole-like bugs can be earwigs or bristletails, which are more harmful than Silverfish. 

How To Get Rid Of Silverfish From Your Home?

Fortunately, getting rid of Silverfish isn’t as hard as getting rid of termites, roaches, or ants. 

If you’re quite cautious enough to spot the Silverfish early at your home, then you might even not need a thorough pest treatment for your home. 

Here are the ways to get rid of Silverfish –

  • Clean your home – If you spot a few Silverfish, then the first step is to clean your house. Clean the tight nooks in your home, basement, attic, bookshelves, closet, wardrobe, bathroom, and kitchen (especially kitchen cabinet). Don’t forget to clean those places that are moist and don’t get enough natural light. 


  • Fill up the crack and crevices on your walls and floors – The cracks and crevices on your walls are a perfect hiding place for a lot of pests, including Silverfish. Fill them up with. 


  • Vacuum your carpet, rugs, and sofa – Silverfish love warm and cozy places. So, your carpet, rugs, and sofa are a perfect dwelling place for them. Vacuum them deeply to get rid of any silverfish hiding in them. 


  • Discard any books, paper files, old newspapers – Silverfish love cellulose, and they feed on paper. If you’ve books, notebooks, journals, magazines, and old newspapers, throw them off. You’ll directly reduce their food source that will help you get rid of the Silverfish.


  • Install a humidifier to reduce humidity in your home – Humidity is one of the essential factors for the Silverfish to live. Use a humidifier to reduce the humidity level inside your home. 


  • Check for any leakages on pipes in your kitchen or bathroom – Both kitchen and bathroom are wet and humid places. Leakage from the plumbing increases wetness inside your kitchen and bathroom that attracts the Silverfish. Check for any loose bolts on the pipes that need tightening or call a plumber if any pipelines need replacement. 


  • Always cover your trash cans – Trash cans in the kitchen and bathroom attract both roaches and Silverfish. Clean them, disinfect them with a disinfectant, and keep the lid on the trash cans closed. Keep cereals, grains, sugar, salt, flour in airtight jars and containers to prevent Silverfish from eating them. Also, don’t let your pet’s food lying around in the open. Uncovered pet food also attracts Silverfish.


  • Use Diatomaceous Earth in your yard or garden – Silverfish can also live outside in your yard or garden. They hide under the bricks, stones, piles of leaves, and even beneath the flowerpots. Diatomaceous earth is an excellent silverfish repellent and killer. Sprinkle some of it on your yard or garden to get rid of the Silverfish living there. 


  • Wash your clothes and other fabrics – If you’ve spotted Silverfish in your closet or wardrobe, then merely cleaning them won’t work. Silverfish might have laid eggs there, which emit a smell that attracts other Silverfish. So, empty your closet, wash all your clothes before you re-organize your closet. Washing the clothes will get rid of any smell coming out of your clothes. 


  • Use Silverfish traps – Silverfish traps are a great way to power-up your silverfish elimination process. No matter how deeply you’ve cleaned your home, there are places in your home that you might not have cleaned well. So, use a silverfish trap to (like these) to murder Silverfish. 


Yes, Silverfish are bad for your home. But Silverfish don’t pose an immediate health risk to you.

Still, they can easily damage your fabric, books, furniture, and food. 

In this post, we’ve answered the most commonly asked questions about Silverfish, like how they look, how they enter your home, and what you can do to get rid of your home. 

Getting rid of a few silverfish from your home isn’t that difficult.

But the main problem arises when they keep showing up despite you’ve followed the measures we listed. 

If they do, then it means that Silverfish have nested at places in your home where you can’t reach or you can’t clean.

In that case, you would need the help of professional pest control services.

Call or contact a pest controlling company now to cleanse your home from Silverfish.