Silverfish: Frequently Asked Questions


silverfish on a counter top

They're silver, teardrop-shaped creatures that look more at home on an alien landscape than the floor of your bathroom floor, yet there they are. You probably have questions. You're not alone. We get a lot of questions about silverfish. Hopefully, some of these answers will help you better understand these tiny, wiggly, intruders.

Where do silverfish come from? If you have silverfish in your home, it is likely that they came from the soil around your home. When the ground gets dry, these insects look for a wetter place to be. Sometimes, they get into the basements of man-made structures.

Do silverfish bite?The jaws of a silverfish, which are called mandibles, are actually not strong enough to bite through the skin of a human. Their mouthparts are designed to scrape on the food they eat. And, even if silverfish could bite you, they don't have any venom and are not known to incubate diseases in their bellies.

What do silverfish eat? Silverfish dine on a wide selection of foods. They can eat the foods we eat, such as pasta, flour, and cereal. But they also eat things we wouldn't consider food, such as magazines, books, wallpaper, photos, the bills in your filing cabinet, clothing, and more. This is the real danger silverfish pose when they enter a home. They can eat carpets, bedding, curtains, tapestries, and other items that contain cellulose. If you have a lot of silverfish, they can do a lot of damage.

Why do I have silverfish? As mentioned above, dry weather is usually a factor. Wet weather can also drive silverfish in. When the water table rises, silverfish must come to the surface to avoid drowning. When they do, they sometimes find their way into homes. But the real reason you have silverfish is that they have found a way into your home. Often, a large silverfish problem is evidence of a water drainage issue. When water runs down your walls, instead of down your downspouts, it can cause the wood of your home to rot. If you're seeing silverfish, check to make sure your gutter system has no obstructions or breaks, and get any holes filled or repaired.

How do I get rid of silverfish? This is the big question, isn't it? We wish we could give you a simple answer. Silverfish can climb up through your wall voids and hide in other places that are hard to get to. Getting them out of a home requires an education in the habits and habitats of these insects.

If you need assistance removing silverfish and sealing your exterior walls, the team here at American Pest has the education and resources to get the job done right the first time and when you protect your home with our year-round pest control plan, you will know they will not return.


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