How to Get Rid of Silverfish

Silverfish can be a nuisance in the home. It’s essential for you to either have a trusted exterminator on call or know how to get rid of silverfish when they are present.

Following this guide to identify silverfish, and the practice of removing them from your home is a great start to putting your silverfish problem in the past.

What Do Silverfish Look Like?

A silverfish is a small insect without wings. To get around, they wiggle rapidly get from point A to point B. Just as its name suggests, its body is carrot-shaped, resembling that of a fish- a long and slightly flat body with an abdomen that tapers at the end. 

It has thin legs and appendages that are light in color and sometimes are not easily visible; this makes the bug look more like a fish on the ground. Adult silverfish have a segmented body which is covered in silvery-grey scales with a metallic-shine look. A newly-hatched silverfish has a whitish hue instead.

Other physical features of a silverfish include two elongated antennae at its head’s tip while at the end of its body there are three long bristles. Similarly to other insects, this bug has six legs, and in addition to that, it has two compound eyes but has no wings. The size of an adult silverfish ranges from 0.25 inches to 0.5 inches.

These bugs move very fast, although their movement involves pauses after short distances, and can outrun the majority of their predators such as centipedes as well as wandering spiders. Due to lack of extra appendages, silverfish cannot climb walls as fast as they can run on horizontal surfaces.


“These bugs move very fast, although their movement involves pauses after short distances, and can outrun the majority of their predators such as centipedes as well as wandering spiders.”

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Why Silverfish Must Be Removed

Silverfish are one of those creepy-looking bugs that no one would like to see in their homes. A serious infestation of these bugs can be really skeevy. 

Although they neither bite nor spread diseases, they cause damages on tapestries and fabric items such as clothes and upholstered furniture by staining or making tiny holes on them. 

Therefore, getting rid of silverfish should be a priority. The most effective way of preventing these insects from getting into your indoor area is to eliminate or reduce dampness and humidity as these are the factors that attract the bugs.

silverfish on the floor
Small blue silverfish by Joseph Berger,

Silverfish Prevention Tips

  1. You can prevent silverfish from entering your house by:
    • Use a dehumidifier to minimize atmospheric moisture.
    • Install a bathroom fan.
    • Get rid of old cardboard boxes your house’s basement.
    • Repair leaking pipes and faucets.
  2. Seal all the cracks and crevices on your building’s walls to prevent the bugs from getting their way in.
  3. Remove all the damp debris such as leaves that might be present in the surroundings of your building.   

How to Get Rid of Silverfish in the Home

  • Starve the pests by:
    • Securely sealing and shutting all food and paper containers as well as photo albums always when they are not in use. Silverfish feed on carbohydrate foods, especially those with sugars and starches as well as book glues, among others.
    • Enclosing books, newspapers as well as magazines in secure places like cabinets, containers, and cupboards.  
    • Regular vacuuming of your home, especially areas prone to dampness, to pick up potential silverfish eggs and food crumbs.
    • Place some starchy food such as bread in a container covered with masking tape. Silverfish will get completely stuck to the container as they attempt to climb it to eat the food. They’ll eventually die there as a result of hunger and exhaustion.   
  • Seal the wall cracks and crevices that the pests can hide their eggs. This will reduce their chances of multiplication.
  • Exterminate the pests using pesticides. There’s a variety of natural and chemical pesticides you can choose from in your local store. However, you should be very careful when you opt for this method; carefully follow the usage instructions of the pesticide you choose and preferably go for the option that is eco-friendly.
  • Seek professional help. If you are not comfortable or able to handle the pest issue by yourself, you can seek help from a professional silverfish exterminator. 

If you have silverfish in NYC, you can rely on the most efficient and educated silverfish exterminators at Control Exterminating.***

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