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Why Do I Have Silverfish in My House?

And, how do I get rid of them?


Silverfish are unusual looking insects that pre-date dinosaurs – so what’s up with these critters?


What do Silverfish Look Like?

Silverfish are those slithery, silver, slimy critters you occasionally see scampering around your kitchen, bathroom or basement. They are about ½” long, have antennae about the same length as their bodies and three “tails”.

While they are slithery and slimy and no one wants them in their house, it is rare that silverfish are a major problem in our part of the country.

At Green Giant, we consider silverfish a nuisance pest and most often get 100% control with only one visit. Silverfish infestations can get quite large and difficult to control in warmer, more humid climates.


Need to get rid of silverfish?


How do Silverfish Get In the House?

Since Silverfish are tiny and quick, they can easily slither through very small cracks, gaps or other openings in a building.  Doors often have small gaps that they can crawl through. Good door-sweeps can help keep them (and other insects) out of your house.

On occasion, Silverfish may hitchhike on firewood or on other materials brought into the building. When they are in a house, there is most often an infestation outside of the house. Silverfish can climb to get into a building and, on occasion, silverfish will find their way onto a bed or other furniture.

When you are trying to determine where the Silverfish come from, keep in mind that they need moisture and high humidity to survive. This is why it is common for silverfish to live in bathrooms and laundry rooms – they love those warm, damp environments!

Things like overgrown weeds and matted-down leaves around a house also provide the wet conditions and an unending food supply for Silverfish.

Eliminating damp conditions outside, will make your home less silverfish-friendly. Sealing off gaps with caulking can also prevent silverfish from getting inside.


The more important question is:

Why are Silverfish in my house?

Finding Silverfish can be a blessing in disguise. Silverfish can alert you to a bigger problem. Given that Silverfish live where conditions are wet and humid, their presence could be a sign that there is a water issue in your house – it could be a leaky pipe, or water coming from outside of your home. You might also discover damp or rotting wood in areas where you find Silverfish.

When do Silverfish Come out?

Silverfish are most active at night.  Being nocturnal, they can easily go unnoticed and populations can multiply pretty fast. During the day they hide in nooks and crannies in dark areas. If you turn on a light, in a damp basement, for example, you may see some Silverfish scamper away.

Will Silverfish Ever Go Away?

For Silverfish to just go away, the moisture and/or food sources need to be eliminated. Silverfish cannot live without moisture and high humidity so, the first thing to do is dry things out. If you can stop the source of the water, great. If you can’t, a dehumidifier may be needed to do the job. The drier the better.  Since Silverfish eat so many different things that are common in houses, it is harder to remove the food sources.

Are there any Natural Pest Control Options for Silverfish?

Yes. There are both natural and synthetic products that can control Silverfish. When we treat Silverfish organically, we use a cedar-oil based product.


Take the hassle out of DIY with a Quarterly Pest Control program, providing Year Round protection again the most common pests.



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