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What Do Silverfish Do Inside?

August 25, 2014

silverfish in an allentown pa home

Silverfish--which resemble something that looks like it should be on the end of a fishing line--come into your home seeking three things: food, water, and a comfy temperature of between 70 and 80 degrees fahrenheit. If you don't want silverfish in your home, the best way to keep them out, is to learn what environment they thrive in.

Food source.

What do silverfish eat? Anything that contains polysaccharides. Okay. Before your eyes gloss over, and you take a little nap, we should probably give you a quick list of items that contain polysaccharides. They can be found in the following: paper, book bindings, glue, photos, carpet, coffee, dandruff, hair, and sugar. Polysaccharides can also be found in some paints and plaster. Silverfish also like cotton, linen, and silk, so shake your curtain and tapestries if you think you have an infestation.

If you have silverfish in your home you'll notice it first by the damage they do. The surface of your books will have patches of white. Important photos will be riddled with holes. Your financial documents will look like swiss cheese. And your tapestries will begin to look old and worn out. Obviously, you can't remove these items from you home, but what you CAN do is keep them clean and dry, and make these items less appealing.

Water source.

Silverfish love moist things, and will live and thrive in damp holes. If you want to keep silverfish out of your home, make sure you clean up spills when they happen. Don't give them a drinking hole. When you take a shower, don't leave your towel hanging to dry, and open the window in the bathroom when you're finished with your shower, so the room can dry quickly. If you have a damp cellar or attic, consider investing in a dehumidifier. Silverfish love moisture and moist things.


There isn't much you can do about temperature. If you crank the heat, or chill your home with air conditioners, silverfish can wait you out. A silverfish can live a long time without eating so they will just hunker down in a crack or crevice, and wait for you to give up your fools errand.


Silverfish detest cleanliness. The cleaner and dryer your home is, the less likely silverfish will stick around. Especially if you get into hard to reach places like under your refrigerator and behind your stove.

But, even if you make your home inhospitable to silverfish, you may have an infestation that is too large to send these bugs packing. You could attempt to get rid of these pests on your own without much luck--or you can call a professional to bug proof your home. It's the easier, hassle free way to protect your drapes.

Tags: silverfish control

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