Are Silverfish Bad For Your Home? Or Are They A Nuisance?

It’s a common sight to see silverfish inside your home, especially in the summer months. 

These silver shrimp-like scaly bugs sneak inside your home when the temperature outdoors gets too extreme for them.

But are silverfish bad for your home? Do they cause any damages?

Or, do they pose any risk to you and your health? And how to get rid of silverfish in your home?

This guide answers all these questions, and a lot more!

Keep reading.

What Attracts Silverfish To Your Home?

Silverfish are moisture-seeking bugs.

Outdoors, in your yard or garden, silverfish live in damp places. 

Silverfish will hide underneath woodpiles, stones, rocks, foliage, leaf beds, wet soil, and underneath the moist mulch bed.

Outdoors silverfish will feed on decaying organic matter and dead insects and bugs.

But things start to change when the weather outdoors gets too hot for them.

The damp places lose their wetness. And the temperature becomes unbearable for them.

So, they start to look out for a cooler place to spend the summer, hide, and live.

That’s when they get inside your home.

So, the mild temperature inside your home and hiding places attracts silverfish to your home.

How Silverfish Enter Your Home?

There are two ways that silver enter your home.

The first way is that they crawl through the tiny gaps and cracks on your home’s foundation, doors, walls, and windows.

The second way is you, by mistake, bring the silverfish home.

When you bring in any piece of wood, cardboard box, or a potted plant that has silverfish in it, you bring silverfish home.

Where Do Silverfish Bug Hide In The House?

Now that silverfish are in your home, their first task is to look for a place where they can hide.

Silverfish love damp places. So, the wet areas of your home attract them.

Hence, places like the bathroom, basement, kitchen, and laundry room with a constant supply of water and damp are the go-to hiding places for silverfish.

In these areas of your home, silverfish will sneak into the thin gaps and cracks. 

Silverfish are nocturnal bugs. And they’re fast crawlers.

It becomes hard to come across silverfish hiding in your home during the day.

Inside your home, silverfish feed on various things. 

They’ve got more varied food choices in your home than they had outside.

That’s when the problem starts, and the damage that silverfish cause inside your home starts to show up.

It leads us to the main point, which is, are silverfish bad for your home.

In a word, the answer is yes. But how? Let’s find it out.

Why Are Silverfish Bad For Your Home?

Are silverfish bad for your home

The eating habits of silverfish inside your home make silverfish bad for your home.

Silverfish will eat paper, fabric, food products containing cellulose and starch, and even the glue in books and picture frames inside your home.

So, silverfish can cause damage to your books, clothes, soft furnishings, and food stored in the food pantry. 

That qualifies silverfish as potential pantry pests too!

Silverfish will also have a go on pet food if they get access to it. If there are dead bugs inside your home, silverfish will eat them too.

The damage caused by silverfish is quite subtle and may not be visible.

But on some products like books and fabric, you can easily recognize the damage.

You’ll notice tiny holes in the fabric. Silverfish, or maybe carpet beetles or cloth moths, ate that portion of the fabric.

As silverfish feed on fabric, so they can easily get inside your closet too.

In books, you’d notice light yellow spots and dabs. That’s a clear sign that silverfish are there where you’re keeping your books.

But there’s a catch. 

If you notice dust on the book’s pages with curvy cuts on the paper, then it’s a clear sign of termites. Yes, termites damage books too!

But the damage that silverfish cause is quite negligible if you compare it with the damage that termites cause. 

Do Silverfish Bite Humans?

No, silverfish don’t bite humans. 

Their mouthparts are too weak to penetrate human skin.

But silverfish molt, which means that they shed their skin to grow. 

And the molted skin can cause allergies to sensitive people and may become pretty risky for asthma patients.

Silverfish don’t spread any diseases, nor do they bite your pets.

But silverfish is a favored food for many bugs like ants, roaches, spiders, centipedes. So, silverfish presence in home can attract many other bugs.

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.


Silverfish don’t pose grave threats to your home. But their presence pose a risk to your books, stored food, and fabric.

Silverfish eat them, and they leave behind yellowish stains on the things that they eat.

Damages on books and fabric are in the form of yellow marks and tiny holes. A dusty layer on them is also a sign that there are silverfish in the house.

If you want to know to eliminate silverfish and prevent them from entering the house, then read our guide on how to get rid of silverfish.