four lined silverfish

What You Need to Know About Silverfish

Perhaps when asked which is the oldest pest to ever roam the earth, many of you would say, “cockroach”. Old? Yes, that’s true. After all, they’ve been in existence since around 320 million years ago, back when dinosaurs roamed the earth.

But the oldest? Nah… It’s the silverfish.

This is not a well-known fact because, quite understandably, the silverfish is an underrated group of pests. It’s probably because they are not in any way harmful to humans and they do not carry any diseases. Read more

Dealing With Silverfish in Your Home

Silverfish (Lepisma saccharina) is a small, wingless insect belonging to the order Thysunara. Its name was derived from its silvery light grey and blue colour along with its fish-like movements. These insects are very hard to see as they move very quickly. Their diet consist of carbohydrates such as starches and sugar

While these nocturnal insects don’t bite, they are seen as awful-looking nuisance that can possibly destroy your belongings. The most effective way of eradicating these insects is to raid them at the source. Question is, can you find their source? Don’t fret. There are lots of options that you can try to get rid of them, and they don’t even have to be highly toxic.

Pyrethrin – Although known as a chemical pesticide, pyrethrin is considered to be less toxic and it is biodegradable as it is made from the pyrethrum plant seeds. You can never really say that it is safe, given that it is a pesticide, but this might be a more ideal option compared to harsher chemicals. You can apply it on crevices and areas where the silverfish is usually found, such as in bookshelves and closets.

Boric Acid – This is, by far, the most popular silverfish control product. One of the things that make boric acid a popular choice is that it is considerably low on the toxicity scale. Boric acid is often stocked among ready-to-use products such as baits, wafers and traps. Sprinkle the powder on areas where the silverfish is usually active.

Jar Traps – If you are up to some DIY silverfish traps, then you should make this one. Cover the outside of a glass jar with masking tape, then put something starchy (preferably crackers) in the bottom of the jar to serve as bait. The silverfish will crawl in but wouldn’t be able to get out.

Diatomaceous Earth – It is a crumbly, porous sedimentary deposit made out of the shells of microscopic sea diatoms. It is lethal to many insects as it penetrates their exoskeletons, thus dehydrating them. Sprinkle it in crevices, but be careful not to put it in areas where pets and children can get close enough to breathe it.

Now, you don’t just put these pesticides anywhere you like. Make sure they are applied strategically to your target areas such as:

  • Cabinet tops
  • Being electrical outlets
  • Bookshelves
  • Boxes and file cabinets
  • Holes where water pipes enter walls
  • Baseboards
  • Behind siding and within walls
  • Behind appliances

Prevention is always better than cure, so before these pests invite themselves into your home, stop them in their tracks. Here are a few prevention tips:

Get rid of food sources

Silverfish live off starches and sugars. These can be found in paper, cardboard boxes, glue and many other stuff. Silverfish tend to hang around where these food sources are, so make sure you use airtight containers to store your papers in. If you find anything that has been gnawed on or infested by these insects, it’s best to just throw it away.

Vacuum all corners and crevices

Silverfish eggs are hidden and hatch in cracks and crevices. Vacuum every small cracks you find and dispose of the vacuum cleaner bag in a tight trash bin outside so they could not crawl back in.

Fix leaks and damp spots

A damp and humid environment is enticing to silverfish. Fix leaky taps, damp basements and water condensation.

silverfish crawling on a green-coloured hardbound book cover

What The Silverfish Could Be Doing In Your Bookshelf Or Closet

Silverfish are wingless insects with a scaly, silvery appearance and a tapered body. Their colour is usually metallic light grey or blue and they have three appendages on the rear section of their abdomen. Most of these insects do not grow longer than one inch. Silverfish are sometimes mistaken as centipedes due to their bristled body, long antennae and agile movement, which resemble those of centipedes.

They thrive in dark, damp and humid areas and are most active at night, when they are searching for food. Once they find a food source, they will keep their nest nearby. Interestingly, the silverfish can survive for about a year without food, although they will need to live in a highly humid area.

How Their Feeding Habits Can Damage Your Prized Possessions

Silverfish are known to feed on carbohydrates, specifically starches. Their common food source includes paper, plaster, glue and clothing. You may also find them feeding on food items in your pantry, such as flour, sugar, oats and even coffee. While the silverfish can contaminate food as they forage, unlike other pests, they do not transmit or cause diseases in humans.

However, silverfish can be a huge nuisance in the household, especially because they can cause significant damage to valuable items such as books, wallpaper and clothing.

Most often, our clients at Defence Pest Management find out about silverfish infestation in their homes after seeing old books and other materials in their shelves already damaged. Silverfish will bite materials and leave tunnel-like holes across several pages of a book, leaving the text harder to read.

Silverfish also damage starchy fabric, including clothes, curtains and tapestries. Aside from small holes, you will also notice yellow marks and stains on the items they have fed on.

Clearing Up the Infestation

One problem with silverfish infestations is that most people will only notice the presence of silverfish after they find book or clothing that has been damaged by these creepy-crawlers. On many occasions, these items are not being used too often, so the pests are left to feed for a longer period, allowing the damage to be left unnoticed.

Silverfish also move very quickly, so even if you find one between the pages of a book, you will most likely be unable to catch it immediately. And even if you do, there could still be an entire nest somewhere close by.

In order to effectively locate or to get rid of silverfish infestations you can ask the help of pest control professionals. This will make the task easier and help to avoid the population of silverfish from growing rapidly. Having your property regularly inspected by Defence Pest Management can also prevent many other types of pest infestations in your home.


Beating Silverfish

Silverfish have been around for a very long time and they have been a pest to man for centuries now. This wingless pest is usually a silver gray and tends to move in a swimming motion. It favours damp and humid conditions and is mainly nocturnal. It generally doesn’t carry diseases and can survive without eating for months.

Identifying Silverfish

These are generally small – less than 2.5 cm long and the bodies are tapered. They are covered in tiny scales and they have two long antennae in front. They are known to have life spans of up to eight years and they have three major life stages.

The first life stage is as an egg and these take anywhere from three to six weeks to hatch. Adulthood is reached in about three to four months.

Types of Silverfish

You can usually find silverfish in areas of the home that are not disturbed often – such as the basement or attic and under objects or in bookcases. They can also make themselves at home under baseboards and floors and in the spaces between walls.

Silverfish are capable of very rapid movement and so are tough to spot once the light has been switched on.

For Silverfish to Thrive

Silverfish prefer humid conditions and a moderate temperature range. They are not fussy eaters and prefer starchy ‘foods’ such as books, fabrics, glue. They will often migrate within the house until they find a good source of food.

Prevention of Silverfish

Although not dangerous to people in terms of diseases carried, silverfish can cause a good deal of damage. They could be eating through your treasured photo collection as you are reading this and can cause a lot of damage to important papers in your home.

Defence Pest Management has specially trained teams that will help you to hunt down these pests and to help you to deal with them effectively.

The specialist from Defence Pest Management will also give you advice on how to prevent a recurrence of the current problem.

A big step in combating silverfish is to make the environment a lot less appealing for them. Making sure that leaking water pipes are fixed quickly and efficiently will serve the dual purpose of taking away a source of water and humidity.

Making sure that all areas of your home are well-ventilated will also help to draw out moisture and keep the temperatures more constant. This can, in turn, have a negative effect on the environment for the silverfish.

Boxes of books and old papers are favourite hiding places for silverfish so make sure to store your papers in properly sealed plastic containers that the silverfish are unable to get into.

With everything considered, annual pest control inspections and making the environment as uncomfortable for silverfish as possible are the best ways to go about combating them.

old book

Silverfish: How to Rid Your Home of These Unwanted Pests

Silverfish are small, wingless insects that are usually shiny, silver or pearl gray that vary in size from 15mm to 25mm. These insects can cause serious damage within one’s home. The silverfish’s diet consists of carbohydrates such as sugar or starches, and these insects will feed on a number of various items. Silverfish prefer dry foods such as cereals, rolled oats, pet food, flour, and pasta. They also feed on book bindings, paper with glue or paste, starch in clothing, and household dust or debris. Dead insects and fungi are additional food sources for the silverfish. Silverfish are considered chewing insects, and they can damage or stain household good such as books, clothes, wallpaper, and curtains. While they have been found to be medically harmless, the droppings they leave behind can contaminate food. Professional pest management services may be necessary to eradicate a home of silverfish.

The Lifecycle of the Silverfish

Female silverfish prefer to lay their eggs in places such as crevices or on cloth. They will often bury their eggs in food or dust as well. The temperature will effect how quickly these eggs will hatch. When temperatures are cooler, the eggs of the silverfish can remain dormant for as long as six weeks. When temperatures begin to rise, the eggs will begin to hatch. Generally, silverfish eggs hatch is 32 days or less. Throughout their nymph and adult lives, silverfish prefer warm, damp places. Their ideal temperatures range from 71 degrees up to 90 degrees. However, to survive in hotter environments, silverfish need the relative humidity to be 75 percent or greater. In favorable conditions, silverfish can live up to 3 years. Even though female silver fish only lay eggs singly or in small batches, because of their extended lifespan they can be somewhat challenging to eradicate once they infest a home or building.

Recommended Silverfish Treatment Methods

Because silverfish are nocturnal, their presence may be difficult to determine. Retaining the services of a pest control specialist may be necessary. When a silverfish infestation is discovered through a pest inspection Brisbane, the best treatment method that can be utilized to exterminate these unwanted pests will be spraying or dusting with chemicals. Chemicals can be applied through surface dusting to areas in which the silverfish will have a tendency dwell or run. For more confined areas, a spray may be more effective. Once the home or building has been treated by a pest control professional in Brisbane, it will be essential for the property owners to ensure all food sources are removed when possible. Routine cleaning as well as dehumidifying and ventilating damp areas can help prevent future silverfish infestations.

four lined silverfish

Eradicating Silverfish Infestation

Silverfish are wingless insects that appear silvery in colour because their bodies are covered with fine scales. Their bodies are flattened and narrow gradually to the rear like a fish, thus the common names “silverfish” or “fish moths”. Adults have two long antennae and three long tail projections.

These nocturnal insects prefer to stay in dark, damp areas of the house such as basements, attics, kitchens and bathrooms. They are particularly drawn to paper and damp clothing. Silverfish are usually found in stored boxes in garages and sheds.

Silverfish feed on carbohydrates and protein, including flour, dried meat, rolled out paper and even glue. They can remain alive for long periods without food, but they are susceptible to humidity and they need high humidity to survive.

Signs of Silver fish Infestation

Homeowners will know if there is a silverfish infestation if they find one on the floor or in a sink or bathtub. The damage from their feeding is also a sign of an infestation, along with the presence of their small, pepper-like faeces. Silverfish infestations can be found on bathrooms, attics, basements, laundry rooms and kitchens.

Call a Pest Control Expert

Silverfish are considered a nuisance pest inside homes or buildings. Though they pose no health risk to humans, they must be eradicated because they contaminate food, ruin paper goods and stain clothing.

These pests can thrive in all types of environment, but they prefer very humid places. Thus, an effective way to avoid an infestation is to control humidity. For example, open vents in crawl spaces or use baseboards with caulking in your basement. Follow strict housekeeping practices, particularly concerning food, in order to restrict the potential feeding sites of silverfish.

If you already have an infestation in your home, hire a pest control expert. Commercial traps and insecticides will only eliminate individual insects and they will not be able to eradicate the entire infestation. Defence Pest Management is an expert at assessing the pest situation in your home and determining the most effective pest control approach to address your specific problem. The company offer a full array of solutions to eradicate a range of residential pests including general household pests like cockroaches and silverfish, rodents and timber pests.

Defence Pest Management has 20 years of experience in pest management, inspection and eradication. All of its technicians are highly trained and fully insured. The company uses the latest techniques and state-of-the-art equipment to deliver the best service possible to its customers. You will deal with courteous technicians and you will receive excellent customer service. For more information about pest control services, go to