Silverfish are flat, average 1/2" to 3/4" in length with a carrot-shaped body, and large antennae. They have 3 long bristles on their tail. Silverfish range in colour from white to brown-gray to bluish-silver. Their bodies are covered with shiny silver scales that give them a metallic sheen. They are quick, moving in a wiggling motion that looks like a swimming fish.

Silverfish feed on dead insects, food crumbs, paper products (books, cereal boxes), glue, starch and wallpaper paste. They will typically nest close to their main food source. 

Silverfish enter homes and building through furniture, books, papers, pantry products and cardboard boxes. Once inside they gravitate to dark, damp and cool places, like cracks and crevices in baseboards, basements, attics, bathrooms, wall voids and crawl spaces. As long as inhabitable conditions exist and there is a food supply, they can be found nesting in any room. They have been found nesting in bookcases, and closet shelving. The most common places they are discovered are are around or in bathtubs, sinks, plumbing fixtures, piles of damp paper or clothing or in stored cardboard boxes in basements, garages or sheds.

Getting rid of silverfish is done best through regular cleaning and sanitation, controlling humidity levels and preventative maintenance and upkeep:

  • Regularly vacuum around baseboards, open vents, cracks and crevices.
  • Regularly clean and disinfect pantries, cupboards (especially under sinks), drawers, countertops, sinks, bathtubs, laundry tubs, baseboards, especially in kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms, basements, and any other lower level rooms, and areas around and under appliances and machinery.
  • Seal cracks and cracks around windows, doors, and baseboards with high quality caulking.
  • Keep faucets and pipes in good repair (no leaks).
  • Wrap or insulate pipes with too much moisture.
  • Manage indoor temperature and humidity levels through fans, ventilation, dehumidifiers and air conditioning units.

If you have a silverfish infestation contact a licensed, professional pest control company to assist.