Are silverfish a sign of a larger problem in your home?

May 11, 2021

Silverfish are named because of the silvery metallic shine and their fishlike shape. Finding infestations in your home, basement, or garage may not be surprising but perhaps a sign that there is a larger problem attracting these moisture-seeking pests.

What are silverfish?

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Silverfish are tiny, wingless pests with six legs and travel super quick! These pests are found throughout the United States and are typically seen in dark, moist areas of the home, specifically bathrooms, attics, and the basement. They are nocturnal and, therefore, usually out of sight. Finding one or two could be signs of an infestation.

Signs of an infestation


Like so many other pests, the discovery of silverfish is a sign of an underlying problem in your home. They require high humidity and damp environments. They are mainly fond of damp and moist areas such as vents or areas of the garage where rain or snowmelt has accumulated and created a wet corner.

They love paper goods such as old books, newspapers and cardboard boxes, cloth and clothing, and food. Silverfish leave behind yellow stains and pepper-like feces. You may find signs of destruction caused by their chewing when you discover damaged books, clothing, or other materials in your basement or garage.

Are silverfish seasonal?

No, silverfish are not seasonal. So long as the right conditions exist in your home to create a damp, moist environment, they can live for just about three years. Homeowners may become more aware of their presence in the spring and summer when humidity levels are naturally higher.

Can silverfish be dangerous to my family and pets?

Silverfish are not harmful to humans, nor do they carry any disease. They do not bite and have very weak jaws. These nocturnal pests are afraid of humans are avoid contact if at all possible. Your household pets are also free from their bites but could become a little queasy if they eat a stray silverfish.

Prevention tips from*

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Insect feeding on paper and books – silverfish.

Looking to prevent or get rid of  silverfish infestations? The key to silverfish infestations control is thoroughly inspecting preferred habitat areas and where appropriate food materials are present. If the infestation is localized on the inside, one can assume that it is recent and was either brought in via infested items or represents a recent invasion from the outside. If the infestation is widespread, then attention should be directed to the outside. Anything stored against or near the house’s exterior must be moved or removed since silverfish can easily climb up walls and find entrance around window and door frames, utility pipes, and vents. Shake roofs should also be cleaned and sealed every other year. Additional control tips include:

  • Get a dehumidifier for your home
  • Repair leaky pipes and drains
  • Eliminate or repair any moldy or wet wood
  • Don’t keep old books and magazines in areas where silverfish are usually found, like basements, attics, and garages.
  • It is important to keep food items such as flour and sugar in tight containers.
  • Vacuum and sweep carpets and floors to remove food particles left behind by family or pets
  • Use fans in bathrooms and showers to minimize humidity and moisture
  • Sealing cracks in doors, screens, windows, and baseboards keep all pests from entering your home, including silverfish

There is more than what meets the eye.

Killing one or two silverfish is most likely not be enough to prohibit long-term damage.  Our trained technicians will perform a thorough inspection to rule out infestations. Contact us for a free inspection and estimate in:

Albany County, Columbia County, Fulton County, Green County, Montgomery County, Rensselaer County, Saratoga County, Schenectady County, Warren County, Washington County.

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resources: * Special thanks to for their expertise and in-depth knowledge of pests and nuisance wildlife-,as%20bathrooms%2C%20basements%20and%20attics. and


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