How to Get Rid of Silverfish - MosquitoNix Pest Control

With a name deriving from their silvery appearance and fish-like movements, silverfish are an especially unusual insect. Their lighter color often means these bugs go unnoticed for quite some time, which can lead to serious issues for homeowners. Oftentimes, you won't even know you have a silverfish problem until it has gotten out of hand and requires the help of a trained professional. Learn more about these ancient creatures and how you can get rid of them with info in our Pest Library and advice from the pros at MosquitoNix®.


Silverfish are wingless insects with a long, flattened, teardrop-shaped body that's covered in scales, very long antennae and a group of bristle-like tails. Their metallic color, which can vary from bluish silver to brownish gray, and the way the wriggle quickly across the floor earned their name, along with their hair-like legs that can be difficult to see with the naked eye. Adults are generally half to three-quarters of an inch long and have a lifespan of two to eight years, depending on their environment.

These nocturnal creatures do not bite, sting or carry diseases, but they eat starches like fabric, paper, books, photos and carpeting. Plus, they can survive for several months without food. Their only defense against predators is speed, and they can outrun most centipedes and spiders. Silverfish cannot run well on smooth, vertical surfaces, making glass jars an ideal trap. They are one of the oldest creatures on the planet, with fossil evidence showing their existence some 400 million years ago.

Breeding Habits

Silverfish perform an elaborate mating dance before producing eggs. When a male and female first touch each other's antennae, the female runs away. When she returns, the male vibrates his tail while the female stands next to him. Then the male deposits packets of sperm on the female's receptors that she uses later to fertilize her eggs. Females can produce eggs all year long in cluster of two to 20, which take 19 to 60 days to hatch. Nymphs are tiny versions of adult silverfish that mature over two or three months through continuous molting.


Silverfish can be found all over the world, though they prefer to breed in very warm, humid conditions. They are most commonly found in dark, moist areas like forest floors, under rocks and inside rotting logs. In homes, they are usually spotted in damp basements, sinks and showers.

Silverfish Infestation Signs

Silverfish like to dwell in dark, damp places like bathrooms, basements, attics and kitchens. They are mostly active at night, so it's best to search for them after the sun goes down and the house is quiet. They will sometimes make their way into storage boxes in sheds or garages, and one of the signs of a silverfish infestation is damage to storage boxes, fabric or paper. You may also see them firsthand in sinks or bathtubs, or dropping from soffits, ceiling light canisters or skylights. You may also spot their feces, which looks like course pepper.

Silverfish thrive in moist or humid environments. To prevent silverfish from coming into your home, consider getting a dehumidifier, repairing any leaky pipes and ensuring that your home is free from damp items like moldy or wet wood. Avoid storing items like old books and magazines in areas where these insects like to congregate, such as attics or basements.

How to Get Rid of Silverfish in Your Home

Homeowners should take immediate steps to remove silverfish once an infestation has been detected. They can contaminate food and cause damage to items around the house like clothing, wallpaper and books. These pests are difficult to get rid of with DIY methods, which is why we recommend calling MosquitoNix to learn how to get rid of silverfish once and for all. Get a quote today to learn more about our effective pest control services to eliminate silverfish problems from your home or business.