silverfish on deck

What are silverfish?

Silverfish are a type of insect that is easy for most people to identify because of their unique physical features. Silverfish or bristle-tails have a three-pronged appendage that extends from the rear end of their body. Its wriggling fish-like movements make it easy to see why they received their descriptive name. The brown bodies of a silverfish also have silvery-metallic scales covering it. Their body length is between 12-19 mm and they have threadlike antennae with widely separated, small compound eyes. Their tear-drop shaped body lacks wings, but they are able to use their legs to move quickly from place to place.

silvefish eating a book

Why do I have a problem with silverfish?

Silverfish are able to survive for many weeks without food and water. If water is available, they can live for more than 300 days without food - making them a very difficult pest to control and eliminate.

If your yard or home provides silverfish with damp dark areas to live comfortably, water, and food, these insects won't hesitate to take advantage of the offerings. 

When it becomes too hot and dry for silverfish outside, they move indoors, usually through cracks in the foundation, spaces under doors, vents, and drains.

They are also introduced into our homes in or on things. Silverfish move inside of structures on potted plants, cardboard boxes, newspapers, mail, and other things once kept outside or in damp storage areas like sheds or garages.

Where do silverfish hang out in my home?

These pests avoid light and prefer to live in a dark moist environment. Inside of our homes, silverfish are most likely to take up residence in damp areas like the basement, crawl spaces, and areas around sinks or pipes. Silverfish love to eat things stored in our Washington state homes and feed on a variety of things including cellulose, glue, dead insects, and dry goods stored in the pantry.

Are silverfish dangerous?

Silverfish cause problems by contaminating food and damaging books, wallpaper, stored clothes, and rugs. However, they are not a threat to people and are not known to spread diseases that make us ill.

Since silverfish have high moisture needs, their presence inside or near your home could be an indicator of a moisture problem that needs addressing.

How do I get rid of silverfish?

Keep silverfish out of your home with the help of the professionals at Prosite Pest Control. We will work with you to put into place the service needed to eliminate current problems with silverfish and prevent future problems with these nuisance pests.

Prosite Pest Control has developed effective and modern treatments and techniques to ensure that your home becomes and stays free of pests. To learn more about our solutions to your silverfish problem, contact us today.

How do I prevent problems with silverfish?

At Prosite, in addition to our professional services, we recommend implementing the following silverfish prevention tips:

  • Seal cracks in the foundation and gaps under doors.

  • Cover vents and other openings leading into your home with a mesh cover.

  • Create a barrier between garden beds and your home’s foundation.

  • Repair leaky pipes and drippy faucets.

  • Use dehumidifiers to reduce humidity levels within your home.

  • Store dry goods in air-tight containers instead of their original packaging.

  • Inspect boxes and other items that have been outside for silverfish before bringing them inside of your home.


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