Is this silverfish? My apartment very dry

Is this silverfish? My apartment very dry

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Can anyone please confirm whether insect below is a silverfish? It looks a bit like the picture at our federal government pest control page. It also moves with a wiggling motion, as described at the Wikipedia Silverfish page.

I sprayed it with alcohol, and it seems to be dead. I've seen this type of insect about once per month. I don't know why they gravitate to my apartment, as the dehumidifier it set to maximum (35% relative humidity).

Sorry for the quality of the photo, but my iPhone SE does not have adjustable focus that I'm aware of. I can only tell the phone where the feature of interest lies within the picture.

Remi is right that it's a silverfish, and here's some macrophotography of Lepisma Saccharina.

The pictures are very low quality, but yes I think that is a silverfish.

You dehumidifier might affect your throat but will will likely not have much impact on silverfish. The number one rule is to clean. Also, if you live in an appartment building, silverfish can quite easily invade an appartment from another one. So, it might make it harder to fight against silverfish. If needed there are also traps and pesticides.

How to Get Rid of Silverfish

If you’ve found a silverfish bug in your home, it’s not just in for a visit that one and others most likely are living there with you.

But hey, set worry aside because these silvery bugs are pretty easy to get rid of with a little patience and the right remedy put in place. Let’s learn now.

Covered below is the “all-you-need-to-know” lowdown for how to get rid of silverfish.

You’ll learn a little bit more about what a silverfish bug is (don’t worry, nothing too gross – you surely already know about that part!).

We’ll also cover what to do to make these strange silver bugs vanish, along with some tips to keep them from coming back.

Here are the 3 Steps to removal that we’ll cover:

  1. Get a highly effective poison trap that is 100% safe for your household
  2. Place the bait strategically around your house (more on this below)
  3. Give it time to work its magic
  4. Take some important measures to prevent silver fish bugs from coming back

How to Get Rid of Silverfish

What are Silverfish?

Otherwise known as &ldquofishmoths,&rdquo silverfish are about 1/2 inch long with a scaly appearance, and range from pale silver (young ones) to a dark silver-blue (old ones).

Although they don&rsquot live in aquariums, their bodies are shiny and wriggle, making them resemble fish quite a lot. Unlike fish, however, they have an exoskeleton along with two antennae on their heads and three prongs on their tails.

If You&rsquove Seen One, You&rsquove Got More

Silverfish are rapid breeders. Females can lay between 2 and 20 eggs each day throughout the year, and their larvae reach the adult (breeding) stage in three to four months.

In other words, thanks to their rapid life cycle, one male and one female silverfish can create a nasty infestation in a couple of weeks.

Silverfish Facts & Information

Capable of thriving in most climates, silverfish prefer to dwell in dark, damp areas such as basements, attics, kitchens and bathrooms. They are especially attracted to paper and damp clothing. Commonly found in stored boxes in garages and sheds.

What Do They Eat?

Silverfish are known for their destructive feeding habits, oftentimes ruining papers, clothing and wallpaper. Silverfish feed on carbohydrates, particularly sugars and starches. Cellulose, shampoos, glue in books, linen, silk and dead insects may be food sources. They have been found in unopened food packages.

How to Get Rid of Silverfish?

Homeowners often transport silverfish indoors unknowingly. When brought inside the home, cardboard boxes and plastic containers recently stored in infested areas can allow the pests to spread.

Warm and moist spaces, like basements and crawl spaces, attract silverfish. The pests will enter homes through foundation cracks, torn screens, or gaps around doors. Leaving dirty dishes out in the open will also lure silverfish indoors.

How Serious Are Silverfish Problems?

Silverfish often present a mild risk to people and property. They do not transmit disease, but the pests may trigger allergies in some people.

May Attract Other Pests

Their presence sometimes attracts carpet beetles and causes unease due to their strange appearance.

May Cause Damage to Personal Items

While indoors, silverfish also eat grains and chew large holes into clothing, upholstery, or paper. In large numbers, they can cause a lot of damage. Ruined items often include stored files, books, and vintage clothes.


Silverfish undergo love dances prior to mating. Males lay spermatophores, which are taken into the ovipositor of female specimens. Females' egg numbers and habits vary, depending on species. One species lays a few eggs a day where as another species lays clusters of 2 to 20 eggs. Read more about the life cycle of a silverfish.

Signs of a Silverfish Infestation

Most often, homeowners detect silverfish when they find one on the floor or in a sink or bathtub. Their feeding damage also can indicate their presence, along with their tiny pepperlike feces.

Silverfish Prevention & Control in the Home

Silverfish are nocturnal and move very quickly. They are secretive, and the severity of an infestation may go unnoticed for long periods of time, allowing for exponential growth. Silverfish reproduce quickly.

Prefer Moisture

Silverfish can survive in almost any environment, but they prefer areas with high humidity. Nymphs develop faster in areas that are humid. Therefore, one of the best ways to prevent an infestation is to control humidity.

  • Open vents in crawl spaces
  • In basements, use baseboards with caulking
  • Silverfish consume a variety of foods, and stringent housekeeping practices may help prevent an infestation by limiting potential feeding sites

However, if your home already hosts a silverfish population, hiring a professional who can create a customized approach is recommended. Traps and insecticides sold in stores will only kill individual insects and cannot address an entire infestation. Some people try to use cinnamon to repel silverfish from certain areas, but it does not kill the insects or their eggs.

Addressing a silverfish infestation requires treatment of both adult silverfish and their harborage. Most do-it-yourself remedies prove ineffective over time, with brief periods of relief followed by another infestation. There are a variety of silverfish traps on the market. However, these traps target individual insects and cannot prevent entire silverfish populations.

What Can Orkin Do?

Silverfish infestations require professional treatment. Your local pest control expert will be able to assess the situation within your home and determine the most effective methods of extermination for your specific problem. At the first sign of a silverfish infestation, contact your local pest control professional. Scheduling a home inspection may help you get rid of silverfish.

The Orkin Man&trade is trained to help manage silverfish. Since every home is different, the Orkin technician will design a unique program for your situation.

Keeping silverfish out of your home is an ongoing process, not a one-time treatment. Orkin&rsquos exclusive A.I.M. solution is a continuing cycle of three critical steps&mdashAssess, Implement and Monitor.

The Orkin Man&trade can provide the right solution to keep silverfish in their place. out of your home.

Why Do I Have Silverfish?

Silverfish, the silvery or gray insects that have carrot-shaped bodies and antennae in the front and back, are first and foremost attracted to moisture. In fact, they can&rsquot survive without a good deal of it. That said, you don&rsquot need to be living in a steam room to have these pests invade your place: According to the Mayo Clinic, a healthy and comfortable indoor humidity level falls somewhere between 30 and 50 percent. However, if your pad is registering somewhere near the high end of that range, you might have unwittingly lured in some of these unsightly squatters. In other words, a room that&rsquos consistently reading at or above 50 percent humidity is basically Club Med for silverfish&mdashand once they come it will be particularly difficult to show them the door unless you take steps to make your abode a bit less balmy.

One common cause of excess indoor humidity is a poorly ventilated bathroom (say, if the smallish bathroom in your pre-war apartment doesn&rsquot boast a ceiling fan and is equipped with only one not-so-generous window). Should you start taking lukewarm showers? Absolutely not. But the humidity your steamy scrub down generates might be part of the problem. Bathrooms that aren&rsquot well ventilated accumulate a lot of moisture, which in turn takes even longer to evaporate. The takeaway? Even if your mirror has defogged, it doesn&rsquot mean that you&rsquore all good in the humidity department.

Another reason why your home might be particularly humid is leaky plumbing. If your kitchen sink, washing machine or bathroom faucet has sprung a leak&mdasheven a minor one&mdashdon&rsquot let the problem go unchecked: Contact a plumber immediately or you might end up with silverfish, and bigger problems to boot. It&rsquos worth noting, though, that leaks are not always visible and may be hidden behind the walls. (So, if you live in an apartment building, the source of the problem might not even originate in your unit.) Bottom line: Regardless of whether or not you can detect an active leak in your home, the presence of silverfish suggests excess moisture&mdasha problem also associated with harmful mold. Do some sleuth work before proceeding to the next step and picking your poison.

What Are Silverfish and How Do You Get Rid of Them?

If you've ever gone through old boxes in your attic and spotted some silverfish, you might be grossed out. But why are these insects there in the first place? And are they dangerous?

You may be happy to know that they don't do nearly the same damage as other pests, like termites, and they're not harmful to humans. "Silverfish like to chew on things, especially paper or fabrics that may have starch or sugar residues embedded in them, such as wallpaper with the starch-based glue that was used to hold it in place," says Doug Webb, manager of technical services for pest control company Terminix in an email. "Another example would be clothing that has been starched. Silverfish chew on the fabric to get the starch, but in the process damage the fabric."

Silverfish were once often seen in books (since books are bound with glue), but not so much now. Years ago, most glues were produced using animal byproducts or other natural materials that contained a high starch, sugar or animal protein content. "Newer types of glue are products of modern chemistry and would be of no interest to silverfish because they have no nutritional value," Webb explains.

A Very Ancient Insect

Silverfish (Lepisma saccharina) have been scuttling around the world for more than 400 million years and remain pretty much the same as in their pre-dinosaur days. "Other than size, they have evolved very little in that time," emails Scot Hodges A.C.E., vice president of technical services with Arrow Exterminators. "They are impressive survivors which may explain why they have had little need to evolve. Some sources claim they can live up to 6 months without food or water so long as they have one or the other."

Appropriately, silverfish are prehistoric in appearance. Their build is skinny, with a round head to a pointy abdomen region. In fact, they are often referred to as "carrot-like" in shape. They are shiny and gray, covered in tiny scales, which makes them look silver. But that's not the only thing that likens them to fish.

"The common name 'silverfish' comes from the fact that they are gray to silver in color and wiggle as they run in a manner that looks like a fish swimming," says Webb. They shed their skins well into adult life (you may have seen their scales lurking in your house.)

Getting Rid of Silverfish

Unlike most of the world's other insects, silverfish don't seem to have a lot of redeeming qualities. "They do not serve any beneficial purpose to man that I am aware of," Webb says. So you shouldn't fret about getting rid of them.

Silverfish aren't exactly begging to be found, as they prefer areas that people rarely enter. "They can be found in any part of the home, but seem to prefer dark undisturbed places," Hodges explains, noting that dark, high-humidity spots such as crawl spaces, unfinished basements and attics are prime silverfish real estate. "These areas are suitable environments for them and are also where homeowners keep stored items that provide them harborage and food." They tend to enter homes to avoid weather extremes and wind up staying because the atmosphere is just so hospitable.

These nocturnal creatures generally take quite a long time to reproduce enough to reach infestation status. If you don't yet have a silverfish problem, keep it that way by minimizing your junk. "The key to control is to limit or eliminate harborage," Hodges says. "Large infestations are often linked to stored items and clutter."

If you do happen upon some silverfish it's not a disgusting cleanup. "Often, vacuuming them is the fastest and easiest way to get rid of them," emails Frank Meek, technical services manager with pest control company Orkin.

He also suggests inspecting your home once per year at minimum to identify any spots where pests can enter. "If you store items in your basement or attic, make sure they are in hard plastic containers, not cardboard boxes. When moving storage items, inspect them first and make sure you aren't transporting insects into a new space," he says.

Webb's team at Terminix generally identifies any food sources that silverfish find irresistible, like starch residue on the floor of a utility room or food spillage from items like grains, pasta and cereal. "It is also important to reduce humidity in higher humidity areas within the home by circulating the air with fans, using dehumidifiers or other moisture reduction methods."

If silverfish have already gotten out of control, Meek says to seek professional help. "If you see a sign of a silverfish infestation, contact your local pest control professional who will assess the situation within your home and determine the most effective methods of extermination for your specific problem."

Silverfish don't have wings to get away from predators, but they are shockingly fast, making them harder to squish or catch than one might think.

How to Manage Pests

Figure 3. Firebrat damage to paper includes feeding (large, dark spots), grazing (gray areas and missing letters), discoloration due to fungi (dark brown spots), and scales and fecal debris (lighter brown spots).

If items on your bookshelf have chewed-on pages and bindings, suspect the look&ndashalike household pests silverfish and firebrats. Both insects have enzymes in their gut that digest cellulose, and they choose book&ndashcases, closets, and places where books, clothing, starch, or dry foods are available.

Silverfish and firebrats are nocturnal and hide during the day. If the object they are hiding beneath is moved, they will dart toward another secluded place. They come out at night to seek food and water. Both insects prefer dry food such as cereals, flour, pasta, and pet food paper with glue or paste sizing in paper including wasllpaper book bindings and starch in clothing. Household dust and debris, dead insects, and certain fungi also are important sources of food. However, they can live for several months without nourishment.

Large numbers of these insects can invade new homes from surrounding wild areas, especially as these areas dry out during the summer. They also can come in on lumber, wallboard, and similar products. Freshly laid concrete and green lumber supply humidity, while wallpaper paste provides food.


The common silverfish, Lepisma saccharina, is shiny, silver or pearl gray, and about 1/2 inch long, although it can grow as long as 3/4 inch. The common firebrat, Thermobia domestica is shiny, a mottled gray or brown, and about 1/2 inch long. Adults of both species are slender, wingless, soft-bodied insects with 2 long, slender antennae (Figure 1). Their bodies taper gradually from front to rear to 3 long, thin, taillike appendages.

Although small nymphs (those that are less than 1/8 inch long) lack scales, both large nymphs and adults have them. If you see scales around or beneath damaged items, it is a good indication that these pests are the culprits. The scales are delicate, dustlike, and slightly incandescent in the light, and they stick to most surfaces.


Eggs of both species are about 1/25 of an inch long. The females lay the eggs in crevices, on cloth, or buried in food or dust. The average clutch contains 50 eggs, but this can vary from 1 to 200. Firebrat eggs hatch in about 14 days and silverfish eggs in about 19 to 32 days. In colder environments eggs can remain dormant for up to 6 weeks, hatching as soon as the temperature rises.

Newly hatched nymphs are about 1/16 of an inch long, plump, white, and have no scales. They acquire their scales about 12 days after their fourth molt at that point the firebrat and silverfish look like smaller versions of the adults and gradually grow in size until they reach maturity (Figure 2). Unlike other insects, firebrats and silverfish molt continuously throughout their life, passing through 45 to 60 instars or development stages. Firebrats live about 2 years and silverfish about 3 years.

When the temperature is below 50°F, firebrats can take as long as 300 days and silverfish as long as 500 days to develop into adults. When it is above 75°F, it can take firebrats as few as 40 days and silverfish as little as 60 days to develop into adults.

Adults have an interesting courtship in which males attract females with a mating dance that includes antennae contact and head wagging, after which the male deposits a protected capsule containing sperm for the female to pick up. To keep the capsule from drying out, males often will lay it on a moist surface, so it is common to see adult insects clustered around damp areas when mating. Firebrats and silverfish tend to crowd together in a central hiding place during the day to rest, and it is here where the females often lay their eggs. Both sexes produce pheromones, or chemicals, that initiate these aggregations, and when these insects crowd together, it helps regulate the temperature and humidity around the eggs and young nymphs.

Silverfish live and develop in damp, warm places, preferring areas such as laundry rooms that are 71° to 90°F. At higher temperatures, the relative humidity must be above 75%. As their common names implies, firebrats thrive best in very warm, dry places with a relative humidity as low as 30% and temperatures above 90°F, with the optimum being 98° to 102°F. However, they can survive at temperatures ranging from freezing to well above 100°F. You can find them around ovens, heating units, fireplaces, hot water pipes, attics during the summer, and the furnace during winter. In apartments and homes, this insect crawls along pipelines and through openings in walls or floors from one level to another. Sometimes you&rsquoll see these pests in your bathtub or sink. Even though they can&rsquot crawl up through the drain, if they fall in they can&rsquot climb up the slippery sides to escape.


Firebrats and silverfish have very weak mandibles, or jaws, which causes them to scrape, instead of bite, the surface of paper (Figure 3). Page discoloration often occurs because of the fungi associated with their feeding damage. On paper and fabrics feeding usually begins in one area and spreads as unconnected, irregularly shaped holes.


Since firebrats and silverfish are nocturnal, you usually won&rsquot see them. To detect and monitor infestations, use cockroach sticky traps. You also can use small, glass jars covered on the outside with masking tape. The insects climb up the tape, fall into the jars, and can&rsquot climb back up the slick sides. Place these traps or jars in corners and along edges where foraging is likely. Because these insects can travel long distances while looking for food, it can be difficult to pinpoint the infestation source.

To prevent silverfish and firebrat infestations, keep basements, laundry rooms, and bathrooms&mdashespecially shower stalls&mdashclean and dry. Household dust and debris are important sources of food, so routine cleaning will help provide effective control. In addition, periodically clean out closets, cabinets, and storage containers. Patch holes or spaces around pipes and conduits, and repair leaks and drips in plumbing. Silverfish require a lot of moisture, so using dehumidifiers in closed spaces can help discourage these pests. Ventilation from fans can reduce relative humidity to a point that is intolerable to silverfish. Because collections of magazines, papers, and books provide food and harborage, occasionally move these items around in your bookcase. Keep food in containers with tight lids, especially dry, processed items.

Chemical Control

Hundreds of commercially available insecticides list firebrats and silverfish on their labels. However, most of these products haven&rsquot been adequately tested. Insecticides aren&rsquot required to control light infestations or an occasional insect these can be managed by reducing water sources and through physical control. Reserve chemical use for large infestations. Insecticides won&rsquot be effective unless you also remove the moisture, food, and hiding places that allow these pests to thrive.

If you have an infestation, household sprays containing synergized pyrethrin and pyrethroids such as bifenthrin, cyfluthrin, tetramethrin, and phenothrin should kill firebrats and silverfish on contact and provide some residual activity. Direct small amounts of these aerosol or liquid sprays into cracks and crevices in doors and window casings, along edges and intersections such as baseboards, in closets, bookcases, and places where pipes go through walls, and into voids and other suitable, dark hiding places. Because some sprays have oil-solution bases, don&rsquot apply them near electric motors, gas pilot flames, or other places where they can start fires. Follow label directions. Don&rsquot allow these materials to get into sinks, drains, water, or food.

A variety of commercial baits and dusts also are available. However, baits aren&rsquot very successful in treating silverfish and firebrats, because they tend not to feed on them. Similarly, several of the inorganic dusts containing boric acid are ineffective against firebrats. However, some inorganic dust products containing synergized pyrethrin (including certain boric acid or silica gel products) are very effective against firebrats and silverfish if you apply the product directly on pests. Labels limit use of some inorganic dust products in open areas. Be sure to check the label.

Apply dusts with a bulb duster, powder blower, or a plastic squeeze bottle to leave a fine layer of the material in the area you are treating. If the layer is too thick, the surface will be slippery. Apply into areas as described above for sprays, paying special attention to cracks, crevices, and wall voids that serve as congregation sites.

Inorganic dusts such as silica gel and pyrethrin (e.g. Drione) and diatomaceous earth (e.g. Perma-Guard) remain effective indefinitely in dry locations. If dust deposits get wet and then dry, they will cake, making them difficult for insects to pick up. You might need to periodically re-treat moist areas. Follow label directions. Foggers aren&rsquot recommended to treat silverfish and firebrat infestations.

A properly and thoroughly applied insecticide will show results in a few weeks. If control doesn&rsquot occur in 2 or 3 weeks, silverfish or firebrats probably are coming from untreated areas and secluded harborages. Seek out these areas for treatment, and eliminate water sources. It is almost impossible to control large populations of silverfish and firebrats unless you have removed dripping water and moist surfaces.


Brett, C. H. 1962. Damage by and control of silverfish and firebrats. Pest Control 30(10):75&ndash78.

Ebeling, W. 2002. Pests of Fabric and Paper. In Urban Entomology. Oakland: Univ. Calif. Div. Agric. Nat. Res. pp. 310&ndash322. Last accessed Nov. 24, 2009.

Ebeling, W., and D. A. Reierson. 1974. Bait trapping silverfish, cockroaches, and earwigs. Pest Control 42(4):24, 36&ndash39.

Lindsay, E. 1940. The biology of silverfish, Ctenolepisma longicaudata Esch., with particular reference to its feeding habits. Proc. Ent. Soc. Victoria (N.S.) 52:35&ndash78(Part 1).

Rust, M. K. 2000. Silverfish. In R .E. Gold and S. C. Jones, eds. Handbook of household and structural insect pests. Lanham: Entomol. Soc. America. pp. 44&ndash45.

Slater, A., and G. Kastanis. 1977. Silverfish and Firebrats: How to Control Them. Oakland: Univ. Calif. Div. Agric. Nat. Res. Publ. 21001.

Sweetman, H. L. 1938. Physical ecology of the firebrat Thermobia domestica (Packard). Ecological Monographs 8:285&ndash311.


Pest Notes: Silverfish and Firebrats

Authors: M. K. Rust, Entomology, UC Riverside and M. R. Millard, Entomology, UC Riverside.

Produced by University of California Statewide IPM Program

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Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
All contents copyright © 2019 The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

How to Control Silverfish in Your Home

My downstairs neighbors have been remodeling their condo, and my place has been overrun with silverfish. I’m desperate to get rid of them, but I don’t want to use toxic chemicals. Help! -Tina

Silverfish (Lespisma sacchrina) are nocturnal members of the insect order Thysanura that thrive in high humidity and warm temperatures. They can move very fast, making them hard to see, and live on a diet that includes starchy foods, paper, and fabric.

While they don’t bite, silverfish are a creepy nuisance that can be destructive to your belongings. The best way to get rid of silverfish is to attack them at the source however, in your case it sounds like the source is going to be impossible to find! The good news is, you don’t have to reach for the highly toxic sprays in fact, some of the less-toxic options are the most effective! Here are some things to try:

DIY silverfish control:

  • Sticky traps: Make a paste of flour, water, and boric acid. Coat index cards with the paste, allow it to dry, and use as sticky traps.

Be sure to target:

  • Boxes and file cabinets
  • Insulation
  • Baseboards
  • Behind appliances
  • Cabinet tops
  • Light fixtures
  • Behind electrical outlets
  • Behind siding and within walls
  • Holes where water pipes enter walls

To make your home less inviting to silverfish:

  • Fix Damp Spots: Leaky pipes, water condensation, damp basements, and humidity provide an attractive environment for silverfish.

Further Information


How to Clean Brass That Has Tarnished

Mold Removal: When to DIY the Job or Hire A Pro

5 House Cleaning Tips to Save You Time and Energy


I believe that the blown-in cellulose insutalion in my attic came infested with silverfish! I’ve been in the same home for 36 years. Over the years books stored in the attic did show evidence of silverfish. But since I had the attic insulation (which had been fiberglass) changed to blown-in cellulose this past summer, I’ve been finding silverfish in the kitchen, bathroom, hall and bedrooms. I am convinced the insulation came with them. Please tell me what can possibly be done to kill them.

I hav only seen a few silver fish in my house and dont know were they are cuming from. I was just wondering what the best way to get rid of them is? Iv been reading about the boric acid baits and traps and need to know witch way is best. Thankyou

I dont know, BUT maybe a mix of 10% BORIC ACID & Water sprayed by a Garden Spray in the Ceiling, Skirting Boards or any Hole that leads into your house may do the Trick.
I am going to try this & see what happens.
Queensland has taken Pyrethrum Liquid OFF the market, that worked very well, but with the GREEN’S & the save AUSTRALIA we PAY,we PAY, & the CRITTERS Win.

You can use roach bait traps too! I purchased some small pill like tablets and try them in the outlets and behind the furniture. I don’t see many so I don’t know where they are coming from but they are up high on the ceiling when I see them. I will check the attic too.

I know i have silverfish in my bathroom and my dog chases them at night i have recently stripped the kitchen walls so they must have had a right feast i heard the paper russle so i have a big infestation please can anyone help me i have a dog so i have to be careful whatever i buy please can someone help

I’ve seen about 3 or 4 not sure where their coming from. But I have some questions.

1.what can I do about my clothes as I don’t want them on my clothes or eating on them, so the question is if I put the silverfish traps on the floor in the closet will this draw them to that and kill them?

2.if I set the silverfish traps in the kitchen cabinets will this draw them of do they have to be on the floor under the stove, sink, and dishwasher.

3.if my cereal boxes are on top of the refrigerator is it possible they can get in the box?

How do I get rid of bed bugs myself? Is there a ways to treat my home once they are gone to prevent getting them again?

Remove all insulation from the loft and put boric powder in all the areas. All the crevices should be filled using building filler. Skirting board should not have opening and close them using fillers available at B&Q or wickes Try Rentokil powder products or call them as they put sprays which are very effective. Also try DIGRAIN which is very effective

I have found the above articles very informative and similar to the experiences I’ve been having with these creepy looking insects that are a nuisance! Iam about my wits end with Silverfish in my newly renovated home. I’m so distraught about their continual showing up in my kitchen sink, on the floor, on the ceiling of my pantry, in my drawers in the kitchen and my bedroom closet drawers. The only comfort I have is that they don’t show up all the time and they are few in numbers but who cares whether there is 1 or 4. Thanks for your column. It gives me ideas and allow me to see that I’m not alone with this problem, but at the same time I’m really seeking out help with this annoying condition/experience.

We bought a house 2 years ago with Silverfish. I had never heard of them before. I have done pretty much everything to try to get rid of them: killing sprees in the hot spots every night, the dicotamous earth stuff, sticky traps (which work great, but doesn’t get them all) keeping the house spotless. I just don’t think I can do it by myself. I am officially looking at an exterminator, and based off my experience, I am convinced the only thing that will work is to tent the house. good luck to those, if anyone has ever gotten rid of their population please let me know how so!

Everywhere seems to suggest Boric Acid or those traps. I’ll probably pick up both off Amazon because these buggers have become quite annoying.

We just moved into a friend’s house to rent months ago, and a month in I noticed little babies on the bed sheets, in the ceiling fan fixture in the kitchen, and randomly around the house. The attic. They’re in the attic! I’m about to buy the Dekko packs in bulk and set them up everywhere, including the attic.

I’ve lived in 4 houses in NC as an adult, and there was only 1 (the second one) that did not have silverfish. This house had an attic fan. So I have to wonder if the fan prevented them from making a nest in the attic. It seems the air would dry them out. That’s what boric acid does. Anyway, I’ve heard your should keep your gutters cleaned out because they are drawn to the wet leaves. Also, do not store anything in cardboard boxes. I’ve been slowly replacing all of our my cardboard boxes with plastic containers.

So many suggestions to kills these creeps! Thank you!
I thought mine were coming from a crawl space beneath the master bed/bathrooms, I kept finding them in the Jacuzzi…LUCKILY I don’t use the tub because the silverfish are actually DROPPING from the sky light above the tub…they’re in the attic!
I don’t know how long they’ve been there, I just saw the first one 5 yrs after moving in — 1 year after the sky light window was replaced with an oversized window which left gaps between the ceiling drywall and the roof/rafters, open to the attic.

I’ve seen big fat granddaddy’s and tiny barely seen baby silverfish. I’m so bummed. But, now I can move my traps to the attic and redistribute the DE. I wish one of these methods was better than the rest…so I could rest at night…

Hello, I like some advice on ridding silverfish (or deterring) that is not toxic, from clothing hanging in wardrobes or in dresser draws please. Thank you.

silverfish is bad bugs .to kill them use after shave spiry on it but to control is defalcate kill them at night

I have silverfish in my attic just like Ms Harrison says. I think they came with the blown in cellulose insulation and are have a field day eating and living there.
I see them fall from the ceiling from my bathroom exhaust fan and from the hood vent in my kitchen.
How can I get rid of them in there? Can I just bomb them up there with a killer pesticide.

If it’s an infestation, Cindy, and these silverfish-control tactics don’t work for you, the matter is probably best left to the experts.
We recommend contacting your preferred pest control provider.
Good luck!

Silverfish is eating holes in my cloths. How do I stop them.

Hi, Henry! Here are suggestions for silverfish control:

Sticky traps: Make a paste of flour, water, and boric acid. Coat index cards with the paste, allow it to dry, and use as sticky traps.

Baits: Sprinkle boric acid on and around a cracker, and place it as poison bait. Be sure to put it out of reach of children or pets! You can also do this with diatomaceous earth.

Crevice sprays: Make a 5% solution of boric acid in water. Use a spray bottle or turkey baster to inject the spray into cracks and crevices. You can also spray the powder directly. This puts the treatment where you need it and reduces your exposure to the chemical.


What exactly is meant by "enemy" in the sentence "The natural enemy of silverfish is an insect known as earwig"? Does this mean that earwigs are a predator of silverfish, that silverfish are a predator of earwigs, or that they have the same sources of food and are therefore rivals? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk • contribs) 12 November 2005

I s'pose that earwigs are predators. But it is definitely wrong that silverfish dislike light. They are not phototactic either, but just do not seem to mind (at least the German breed). -- Sanctacaris —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk • contribs) 21 November 2005

The silverfish is not always completely harmless -- they can ravage a book collection. For this reason they are often called the enemy of librarians. I will try and dig up a source for this. Brassratgirl 01:35, 14 November 2005 (UTC)

comment on "enemy of librarians!"

Silverfish are not only pests in libraries, but also in museums and archives. An integrated pest management approach can be helpful to manage this pest problem. I posted some sources on the IPM page, check them out.

The silverfish page does a great job of describing the insect and its characteristics.

Comment in regards to "Enemy of Librarians!"

As the user above stated, Silverfish are not just enemies of librarians. I work in an archaeology lab and Silverfish bugs are found everywhere, especially in one of our storage containers. Between of the Silverfish and rodents, a lot of damage has been done to the preservation of the artifacts.

They can become a pest in damp conditions: libraries, archives, museums, &c need to provide condition in which they do not flourish or kill them off. See also The Enemies of Books which was published in 1888.--Felix Folio Secundus (talk) 06:41, 28 June 2011 (UTC)

==Bite?== 8-2-17 I'm beginning to wonder if the silverfish in my house haven't somehow cross bred with something ? Or have decided to come out the closet and evolve? I've caught the larvae on my couch ( tanish centipede looking in an s shaped ) these do bite and apparently I'm very allergic to whatever . Diameteuos ? Earth my cure all for anything itchy in my couch and bed!

1-8-2017 I had a silver fish bite my leg it was like an ant bite so they are not innocent. I was sitting on a chair and I noticed that I feel a burning pain on my leg, so I picked up my pants leg up and their it was a silverfish that bite my leg, so I slapped it off and squashed it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:10, 7 January 2017 (UTC)

I was just bitten by a silverfish. I had the misfortune of sitting on one on the floor. It but the back of my leg. The bite was like an ant bite. Stung and itched for a few minutes but there was a tiny dot of blood from the bite. Would love to upload a pic I took of it but don't see an option for that. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:28, 15 August 2016 (UTC)

I was bit by a silverfish. There was a sharp pain on my enter arm. I looked down and there it was. I slapped it right there on my arm. The pain was sharp like an ant or bee sting. I know what I was,felt and killed on my arm. Do silverfish bite? One time I was sitting around on the floor and felt a sharp pain like something had bit me. I looked around and all I saw was a silverfish running around on the floor. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk • contribs) 7 April 2006

I can't vouch for this, but I'd say that they DON'T bite. A silverfish eats organic debris, so it's unlikely to have recognized you as food. And from what I've seen, this wouldn't be a likely reaction in self-defense either - it would much rather run away as always.

Of course these are speculations. What we need is info on what a silverfish' 'mouth-appendages' look like and if they would be able to break your skin. Assimilateur 21:26, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

Umm according to my Biology book, Silverfish can only chew their food, not bite. I forgot what type of mouth-appendages it said they have though. Though from what I've seen of the stupid creature's unpredictable nature, I'd say the freaking thing did bite you. Those things are just the most disgusting freaks of nature in the world. Link's Awakening 05:22, 17 April 2007 (UTC)

I think you got bitten by a centipede, friend. Even if you really did see a silverfish and not a different long-bodied critter, the two are often found together.

Yes, they bite. I was lying in bed reading one evening, and felt a presence on my forearm. Looking down, it was a silverfish, with which I am quite familiar. Curious, I watched it progress toward my elbow for a few inches and then stop, seemingly to reconnoiter. Suddenly . OW! A distinct and surprisingly painful pinch. I acknowledge that I saw no mandibles I didn't actually see what took place. It left no perceptible wound or mark. But I felt it without question. Jfiks (talk) 16:01, 22 February 2009 (UTC)

That sounds credible. It probably identified the dried skin on your elbow as a food source. Danceswithzerglings (talk) 19:41, 25 July 2009 (UTC)

I really don't think that silverfishes or any other "creatures" are stupid. Would you like to be called like that, Link's Awakening? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:59, 31 August 2009 (UTC)

I woke up the other night and killed a silverfish on my stomach. The next morning I had a red patch the size of two half dollars between my belly button and belt line. It was sore for a day, itched for a day and then disappeared. There is a clear "bite" mark on my stomach. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:40, 24 February 2010 (UTC)

We've had silverfish in the last 3 apartments we've lived in, all nice places. Not sure if they traveled in our stuff, but I exterminate like a mad crazy lady. I hate insects, but would rather have silverfish than any other sort of pest - even ants. Last night I was about to jump into bed when I felt a painful sting on the inside of my thigh. Behold there was a bug on my leg and IT BIT ME! I've never had problems with silverfish biting before and know that they're known to NOT bite, but I think some of these critters have lost their minds and DO bite. I smashed the bug with my phone into the carpet, but most of the bug is still in tact. It looks like a lighter silverfish - it's not a centipede either - seen those, killed those, but my confirmation was the silver streaks on the backside of my phone. Silverfish leave a silver streak behind them. As I cleaned off my phone I can see the silver - almost like faint glitter left behind where I smashed the bug. I clean my phone regularly so it's not from anything else. So it looks like sometimes people DO get bit by silverfish even though people say they don't bite. I watched this stupid thing on my leg bite me. the mark is tiny and red, nothing more. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:51, 23 September 2013 (UTC)

Please add information about control by freezing -- how long at what temperature to kill adults? This seems like possibly a good way to treat an infested pile of important papers. Is it possible to kill silverfish eggs this way? How long at what temperature? ( 13:39, 29 August 2006 (UTC)

Can the silverfish survive in extreme temperatures like Michigan and Wisconsin during the winter? (Dms99) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Dms99 (talk • contribs) 17:25, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

I just saw one climbing up my comforter, flicked it off, and lost sight of it as it landed on the carpet, after I realized how long they can survive without food, I freaked out and came to the realization that I should've dealt with it in a different way. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:50, 24 May 2011 (UTC)

When crushed, the silverfish may release a pheromone that can attract others to the location. Sanitizing the area with a light bleach solution should destroy any pheromone present.

The article says that it gets the 'fish' part of its name from its fishlike movements. Having seen many of these insects, I haven't noted such a movement. I rather thought the name came from the fact that the silverfish is scaly. Alpheus 01:12, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

It could be both, but they definitely wriggle like fish. Their bodies are extremely flexible, and in fact you could confuse one for a worm from far away watching it make perfect u-turns.

I was under the impression that silverfish were soft-shelled crustaceans, not insects, and there does appear to be some confusion as to this. My understanding stemmed from a)being told they were, and b) the characteristics they share in common with modern land-based crustacea (such as woodlice). The segmented armour (though I'm not about to suggest they're of the same order as armadillos) and in particular, the gills (I read they have gills) seemed to confirm it. Plus they're prehistoric bottom feeders occupying similar niches with regard to diet. Also, I'm pretty sure I've seen more than one turn red when boiling water is dumped on it. Could have been the scales washing off. Mainly what had me convinced was the articulation of the body - very few insects seem to writhe like that. Yes I am aware crabs don't either.

Perhaps a more knowledgeable peep would address this in a new section? I did notice a few googloid articles on convergent evolution of silverfish and crustaceans. And if anyone does feel like adding it, boiling water is an excellent way to kill off a population that feeds on food starch in and around the kitchen sink. 04:17, 7 June 2007 (UTC)

The primary difference between an insect and a crustacean, as far as I'm aware, is the number of legs. Silverfish have six. Crustaceans have ten or more. Insects and crustaceans are part of the same phylum, Arthropoda (arthropods). Insects are class of the subphylum 'Hexapoda' (six-legged) and crustaceans are in subphylum 'Crustacea'. See Arthropod. Also, according to Crustacean: "[Crustaceans] are distinguished from other groups of arthropods, such as insects, myriapods and chelicerates by the possession of biramous (two-parted) limbs, and by the nauplius form of the larvae." -- (talk) 23:36, 6 July 2010 (UTC)

Leaving a fingernail clipping (incidentally shaped similarly to silverfish) on the ground appears to ward them off.

A long time ago, someone edited House_centipede to include a statement that likened stepping on the detached leg a House Centipede to stepping on a toenail. Considering these two animals are linked to each other in Wikipedia, (since they are often confused for each other) it must have been the same person and is likely vandalism or it's a crazy coincidence. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:11, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

Not sure if it was a joke but my Grandma used flakes of ivory soap to get rid of them. Not sure what the logic was or if she even knew herself, but the practice came from somewhere whether it actually worked or not. May have been some old superstition with past generations and could have come from the same basis as leaving finger nails around.

I saw what I know realize is a "house centipede" in my sink today, and mistakenly thought it was a silverfish, and so did this research. Now, the article points out that the S-fish is an insect. Don't insects necessarily have 6 legs? On the pictures here, it seems to have many apendages. are only six in fact legs? Although it isn't as clear cut a myriapod os the HCs that I now realize infest my house to at least a small degree. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:50, 13 April 2008 (UTC)

Silverfish bugs: [1] have 6 legs, what you probably saw were it's antenna's (or tail portion) but those aren't legs nor do they support movement. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:47, 8 April 2016 (UTC)

I strongly suspect 3 of the 4 images currently in the article do not show the Lepisma the article is about but rather a Ctenolepisma (possibly C. longicaudata??) - much too "hairy" for my taste. Does the photographer have vesions showing the full length of the antannae/cerci?? Btw, not all images are on Commons . please look into it. Also, the "bite" passage discussed above is still in the article - my bet on that is "Urban Legend", although some people with (very?) delicate skin seem to be able to get bitten by insects not generally known for biting v_v Cheers. - Pudding 20:34, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

same sources of food and are therefore rivals? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk • contribs) 12 November 2005

I s'pose that earwigs are predators. But it is definitely wrong that silverfish dislike light. They are not phototactic either, but just do not seem to mind (at least the German breed). -- Sanctacaris —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk • contribs) 21 November 2005

I agree: Those two hi-res pictures dont't show L. saccharina. I'd guess it's rather Thermobia domestica, but I'm not completly sure.-- (talk) 21:31, 28 April 2009 (UTC)

Yes, those two images look more like the Firebrat: [2]

MRCAB666 (talk) 11:27, 23 September 2009 (UTC)

Do silverfish bite? One time I was sitting around on the floor and felt a sharp pain like something had bit me. I looked around and all I saw was a silverfish running around on the floor. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk • contribs) 7 April 2006

I can't vouch for this, but I'd say that they DON'T bite. A silverfish eats organic debris, so it's unlikely to have recognized you as food. And from what I've seen, this wouldn't be a likely reaction in self-defense either - it would much rather run away as always.

Of course these are speculations. What we need is info on what a silverfish' 'mouth-appendages' look like and if they would be able to break your skin. Assimilateur 21:26, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

Umm according to my Biology book, Silverfish can only chew their food, not bite. I forgot what type of mouth-appendages it said they have though. Though from what I've seen of the stupid creature's unpredictable nature, I'd say the freaking thing did bite you. Those things are just the most disgusting freaks of nature in the world. Link's Awakening 05:22, 17 April 2007 (UTC)

Found a Silverfish on my foot after experiencing a prolonged sharp pain there. It was hiding under my trousers. Normally these are a silver color but this one had changed to a dark brown. It ran off my foot but I squashed it and that dark color turned out to be my own blood. Examining the wounds, one was small and might be called a bite but the second appeared at first to be a hole - like it had been chewed or as if it had been dissolved. A picture taken of the area revealed a multiple number of smaller 'dissolved' portions of skin (blood visible) covering an area of 3mm X 2mm. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2602:306:C5F8:F590:35C7:5F58:DCDF:3B4C (talk) 07:18, 13 November 2017 (UTC)

I think you got bitten by a centipede, friend. Even if you really did see a silverfish and not a different long-bodied critter, the two are often found together.

Silverfish do bite. From experience, it feels like a strong mosquito bite or biting fly. It leaves what starts out as a small bump, like a goosebump when you're cold. It can then grow and turn red depending on how sensitive you are to their bite. I have found that after being bitten, if you don't aggravate the bite by rubbing or scratching, it will usually disappear soon after. Much like a mosquito bite. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:14, 18 July 2015 (UTC)

I know for a fact that they do cause pain and marks somehow. My daughter (age 9) asked me if they bite and I said no. I've always heard that they were harmless. She was handling a 1 inch silverfish gently and passed it to my 3 year old son. I watched as he held it with an open hand happily, but then it began to crawl up his arm. Then he suddenly yelled "ow! It hurts!" My daughter looked, thinking he was fooling and remarked that it looked as if the thing was holding onto his skin with its legs. Then it died because my son smacked it in reaction to the second sharp pain. There are two tiny but noticeable white raised bumps on his skin where the silverfish last walked before it met it's demise. I washed it with soap and water. It looks like the equivalent of what a sweet ant can do when it feels threatened or thinks you're tasty. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:54, 29 March 2016 (UTC)

I was in my son's room this evening and felt a sharp small pain like a bug bite. Look down at my arm and there was a silverfish biting me! No where in the Internet can you confirm a bite, but Wikipedia knows better! — Preceding unsigned comment added by Kaerobanis (talk • contribs) 07:40, 16 April 2016 (UTC)

Actually, Wikipedia doesn't know one way or the other, which is why a WP:RS needs to be found for the claim that silverfish bite humans. If reliable sources disagree, then Wikipedia should report this disagreement. Reify-tech (talk) 17:47, 16 April 2016 (UTC) I don't know what "bug" some people call "silverfish". The species Lepisma saccharina is in any case not able to bite a human being. Everything else is a legend (also an alleged size of 1 inch!). -- Fice (talk) 09:45, 17 April 2017 (UTC)

I know I was just bit by one of these little shiny s***s on the right side, on my right thigh, 2 inches above my knee. Not painful, just super noticeable and quick. Definitely annoying, definitely a silverfish. Little bastard was in my bed with me and I guess I almost smushed him so he bit me, apparently my leg was it's last meal, cause I definitely smushed it after it bit me. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2600:100C:B206:4DBB:29A7:53E1:3A65:B2B3 (talk) 09:23, 19 June 2017 (UTC)

Author: krzysiuuk Date: 12 february 2018

I'm writing this so if someone has a similar situation he'll be able to find out that he was not the first to whom it happened, because I couldn't find any similar stories on the internet and it really bothered me.

I've had an unusual situation, that considered silverfish, recently.

Just 4 days back from the day I'm writing this I've found a silverfish curled into a ball inside my skin, just barely protruding from my skin.

I noticed a weird graphite-like shiny-grey thing in the skin of the inner side of my thigh. At first I thought it was a scab after a pimple or an ulcer (<-idk if it's the right word), but the fact that it resembled a graphite pencil tip so much made me check if I could squeeze it out (it was the first thing that came to my mind back then). I did so and then I put it on a piece of toilet paper. It was clearly a silverfish. I've been struggling fighting them in my house for years.

It was slightly peeping out of my skin when I noticed it. After extraction it didn't show any signs of life, it didn't move at all (what is unlikely for these species). After few minutes of staring at it stupidly, trying to figure out what did I just find in my leg, I simply threw it into the toilet to avoid thinking about these shiny little sons of bitches crawling up my body when I sleep and just told myself it was a ball of pus after a pimple.

Today I finally connected threads and realised what was this creepy ball-looking thing in my thigh, because I've just found a silverfish in a sink and it reminded me of that unusual situation.

In the article it is written that the name "silver" comes from the colour of the silverfish. However I rather say it comes from the fact that when pressed on a white paper it leaves silver marks.

One of the abilities I did not see mentioned anywhere is the possibilities for it to climb on vertical walls and on ceilings.

Pretty sure vertical/inverted walking is a common ability for smaller invertebrates (such as ants) and doesn't need to be noted specifically. (talk) 14:43, 20 October 2009 (UTC)

I don't understand why it isn't, apparently, standard practice in zoology articles to indicate the geographical range of the creature. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:50, 6 August 2008 (UTC)

In the article it states that in extremes silverfish can survive a year without eating - the reference given does not contain this information anywhere therefore is wrong?

Thanks for pointing out that the reference didn't match. I did a little research and it turns out that it's true, so I've replaced the reference with another that properly verifies it. Pyrospirit ( talk · contribs ) 18:15, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

Reference #11 has the year transposed: it should be 1956 instead of 1965 — Preceding unsigned comment added by Briesas (talk • contribs) 20:11, 13 May 2015 (UTC)

The article says "Often misidentified as a silverfish is the house centipede" but this seems unlikely - the article on that creature shows no resemblance! Can anybody support this queer statement? DavidFarmbrough (talk) 22:29, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

can anyone tell us how to exterminate the silverfish? please help, our daughter lives in San Fran has been calling about this issue in her new apartment, the landlord is no help. Marilyn —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:08, 3 April 2009 (UTC) The silverfish isnt often mistaked with a household centepede. Its commonly mistaken with the firebrat.

How old can a silverfish be?
It feels like that is something one would expect to find in this article.
Brainz (talk) 01:07, 29 April 2009 (UTC)

2 to 8 years old — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:04, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

The article states that it is rare for spiders to attack and eat silverfish yet provides no evidence to back this up. In my experience I have only ever seen silverfish be attacked twice, by spiders on both occasions, shouldn't we remove the "in rare cases" bracket?

LOL. Wikipedia is such Epic Fail. Reading the Habitat section only discusses these insects living in kitchens and bathrooms. Do they not exist in nature at all? Really? -- (talk) 18:29, 18 July 2009 (UTC)

It's not wiki, there's not much info available from other sources either. Even pest control sites promote different stories. From what I've learned so far there're at least 3 species. In Dutch 'zilvervisje', 'papervisje' and 'overvisje'. A lot of talk I assume is about paperfish. Silverfish eat books to from what I understand, but paperfish is the real culprit. One can reduce the RH and silverfish will disappear. Paperfish, not so. Also, the silver comes from the scales. It looks like dust, but there's still more of the insect if you kill it. And it has six legs. But it has 3 tails and 2 antennas. The paperfish has longer antennas, about the length of its body.

I removed the following non-essential images to avoid clutter they can be added later if/when the article is expanded:

    Caption: Silverfish held in bugbox for scale Caption: High-resolution photograph showing texture and hair details Caption: High-resolution photograph with metric ruler for scale

What are the things silverfish have or need to live?

actually i saw some of the silverfish in my new house and now i found holes in my cloths so when i read and research a lot to know what is this i knew that its the silverfish. so i don't know now what should i do ?? i will put all my cloth to clean again but how can i kill it forever and safety because she is between my cloths. specially i have my little daughter 4 years old and i am afraid from any side effects on her. can you please help — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:21, 16 October 2011 (UTC)

I agree, this article could use a section on pest control. We have a silverfish problem in our house too, and short of totally fumigating the place (which would leave an undesirable residue as well as remnant unhealthy fumes), I am not sure what else to do besides squash them when I see them. But I know for every one I kill, there are probably 100 more lurking in the cracks and crevices.

Article definitely needs info on pest control. What really works ? Camphor, cloves, etc ? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:19, 1 January 2014 (UTC)

Diatomaceous earth kills silverfish, bed bugs, and a few more floor crawling pests. Non toxic, can use on floors around baseboards and edges of your bed. Nooks and corners. Anywhere they may hide or enter your house. Some people use it on their skin or mix it in a liquid and drink it for many different reasons. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:51, 18 July 2015 (UTC)

The link to 'diypestcontrol dot org home-pest-control' goes to a page which is blatantly flogging some e-book on how to get rid of Silverfish. Third party advertising on Wikipedia. really? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:03, 8 June 2012 (UTC) Of course you had to list the link here in full to keep the search engines pointing to it! Disingenuous spam reference mangled/removed.

The article says: Silverfish are a cosmopolitan species, found in Africa, the Americas, Asia, Australia, and other parts of the Pacific.[8] So that may be all that there are good enough sources for. But I can assure you that silverfish are found in Scandinavia. I've never seen one as long as 1 inch, though.

Googling 'silverfish in europe' gives lots of sources, but many of them may not be reliable enough. Cheers, Hordaland (talk) 02:32, 22 March 2014 (UTC)

Both of the same family, a firebrat is around the same size as the silverfish, and instead of the shiny silver they are shiny grey or brown. Silverfish and firebrats do not bite, they scratch, and it is very highly possible that this is what people have been feeling. Not only that, they prefer dry foods, such as flour or even dogfood. They do however eat paper such as bookspines and areas with dried glue. Not to add, their eggs can go dormant for up to 6 weeks or more in extreme cold weather, so ridding of the eggs by cold is pointless. It takes 14 days for a firebrat to hatch, which like really warm areas, so most common place to find them would be in an area such as a boiler room or another real warm room. A silverfish takes 19 to 32 days to hatch, and Firebrats live two years, silverfish 3 years, not 2 to 8 years. All contributions go to UCIPC which deal with pest control as that is where i got my information. Casylia (talk) 00:33, 23 January 2016 (UTC)

Regarding this claim in the article:

"Silverfish are agile runners and can outrun most of their predators (including wandering spiders and centipedes). However such running is only possible on horizontal surfaces, as they lack any additional appendages and, therefore, are not fast enough to climb walls at the same speed."

It isn't cited, and it strikes me as unlikely to be true. They may not climb vertically as quickly as they can run horizontally, but I don't think that's because they don't have enough "appendage"s. Consider the gecko - it has fewer appendages than a silverfish and can run inverted on the ceiling.

I didn't want to just delete this without first putting up a dubious tag, as I know precious little about etymology, so if it turns out to be true maybe someone can come along and cite it.

I mean I saw one climb my bedroom wall. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:10, 16 July 2016 (UTC)

I agree, silverfish can run on a vertical wall, at least if it is not too slick. For example, the specimen on the first photo in the article was sitting (and running) on a room wall. -- Fice (talk) 23:49, 16 April 2017 (UTC)

"Silverfish are nocturnal insects typically 13–25 mm (0.5–1.0 in) long." I suspect that the antennas and cerci were included with this size. The body only is typically

10 mm long (or less)! -- Fice (talk) 23:49, 16 April 2017 (UTC)

Do silverfish bite and if so are they poisonous. --Kittycat22 (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 11:18, 17 April 2017 (UTC)

Silverfish bite. A lot.It hurts. A lot. They bite my dogs too. A lot. Eat my books, clothes too. A lot. Ow. I hate silverfish. Whomever tells you they dont nite? They lie. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:18, 5 September 2018 (UTC)

At the present time, this article entitled "Silverfish" is exclusively about one species of silverfish, the common silverfish, however the name is also used more widely for a grouping of genera and species sharing the same characters (e.g. see Smith, 2017: "The Australian silverfish fauna (Order: Zygentoma) abundant, diverse, ancient and largely ignored", which lists 70 species in 23 genera, in Australia alone). If we accept that most/all the present article text concerns the single species Lepisma saccharinum, with relevant taxonbox etc., one solution would be to rename (move) this article to a new location "Common silverfish", and create a replacement at this location dealing with (the insect) silverfish sensu lato, including the common silverfish, its parallel (but different) equivalent in Australia (Acrotelsella devriesiana), the giant or long-tailed silverfish (Ctenolepisma longicaudata), the urban silverfish, and any others deserving attention. Thoughts? Tony 1212 (talk) 06:31, 10 September 2020 (UTC)

This article is about the commonest insect species referred to by this name, Lepisma saccharinum. For the larger group of insects included under this name, see Zygentoma. For other uses, see Silverfish (disambiguation)

How to Use Boric Acid to Kill Silverfish

In many homes, silverfish can be a very problematic pest. Silverfish can exist quite happily for long periods of time with no food whatsoever, but when they find sugars or starches, they will get into them, eat them, and damage them. Additionally, silverfish will eat other items, such as books, photos, or anything else made from paper. They can even get into carpeting or furniture and eat the fibers they are constructed from. In short, a silverfish infestation is not something to take lightly. But how can you exterminate such a simple, hardy animal effectively? Luckily, it is quite possible to kill silverfish by using boric acid.

Step 1 - Mix

Boric acid is commonly used to kill pests for two reasons. First, it is effective. It can kill a wide variety of insects. Second, it is much less toxic than other chemicals used to kill pests.

Applying boric acid in an effective way involves a little bit of planning. First, heat some water on the stove. Next, stir in some boric acid. Wait for it to dissolve. Once it does, and it cools down, pour the resulting solution into your spray bottle.

Step 2 - Spray

Applying the boric acid in the best way possible to kill silverfish is important, as boric acid that is placed badly will have no effect. You can use your spray bottle on any area that you suspect gets a lot of silverfish traffic. Baseboards, surfaces connected to areas where food or paper are stored, and any area you have seen silverfish activity are all good candidates for a good spraying. Spraying under drains and behind pipes are also a good idea. Additionally, silverfish prefer dark areas. You can use this to your advantage by spraying in dark areas such as behind furniture, or under fixtures, or in closets. Areas that you spray with boric acid become very difficult for silverfish to operate in, as the acid damages their exoskeletons. However, boric acid is weak enough that it is not dangerous to humans.

If you are concerned that boric acid will cause aesthetic damage to the surfaces you spray it on, test a few drops of the solution in an inconspicuous place. Boric acid is mild enough that it should not cause any problems, but it is best to be safe.

Step 3 - Bait

You can also bait silverfish using powdered boric acid and a sugary or starchy food. Once you have a sugary or starchy food picked out &mdash since the kind you use does not really matter, just pick any small piece of bread or cracker you have lying around &mdash put it in a place you suspect silverfish like to go. Finally, sprinkle some boric acid powder on and around the piece of food. Any silverfish that attempt to eat the bait will have to bring themselves into contact with boric acid, which should damage them. If they survive this, they will probably eat the boric acid by mistake and die.

Putting bait in different areas is very important. It is possible for silverfish to miss your boric acid and bait completely if you leave them in a place that they do not go.

Watch the video: HOW TO GET RID OF SILVERFISH - NATURALLY u0026 EASILY (January 2023).