Half-eaten pages in your books? Chewed-through boxes in your pantry? These are signs of a silverfish infestation. Here’s how to identify, get rid of, and prevent silverfish infestations in the home.
What Are Silverfish?
The silverfish (Lepisma saccharina) is a slender, silvery insect pest found around the globe.
Siverfish are only considered a nuisance pest when they get into homes. There they are difficult to control but they are not harmful to humans nor spread disease. Instead, silverfish are known for damaging material goods, such as books, wallpaper, photos, clothing, and dry foods in the kitchen pantry.
Silverfish are particularly attracted to under-sink areas in the bathroom or kitchen, where the environment is humid and dark. They may also live in walls, closets, or crawl spaces. They remain hidden during the day, but at night, they emerge to forage for food.
A similar insect pest, the firebrat, looks and behaves much like the silverfish. Both pests can be controlled using the same techniques.
Fun Fact: The latter half of the silverfish’s Latin name, saccharina, refers to the insect’s fondness for eating materials made of polysaccharides (complex carbohydrates), such as cellulose and starch, which are found in paper products, fabrics, and foods.