Silverfish are found throughout the United States. They get their name from their silvery color and fish shaped body. They typically live in moist and humid areas of the home, such as basements, attics and bathrooms. They are often seen in upstairs bathrooms because they are living in the attic and coming down for moisture. They are also common in shake style roofs. Since they hide in remote areas they can do plenty of damage before being discovered.
Look for feeding marks on clothing, books, insulation, paper products and other starchy materials. You may also see yellow stains, scales and feces (black pepper-like pellets) on infested materials. Stored sewing fabric containers can be a possible source of infestation. And check used books and other items before you bring them into the house. A dehumidifier may be useful in controlling these pests.
Outside, anything stored against the exterior can be a harborage to silverfish as they climb the walls and find entrances around windows, utility pipes and vents. These openings should be caulked. Shake roofs should be cleaned and sealed to prevent re-infestation. Keep the exterior perimeter clear to discourage populations in and around your home.
Color – Gray, almost metallic
Length – 1/4” to 1” with a carrot-shaped body
Diet – Silverfish like starchy things such as flours, cereals or anything similar. They can also feed on wallpaper, cotton, linen and the glues used in bookbindings, boxes and other things.
Habitat – Most prefer cool, dark and damp places. When their hiding places are disturbed, they are incredibly fast and will often run quickly for cover. They can be found in attics, basements, garages and crawlspaces.
Impact – Silverfish can contaminate food if they are found in it. They can also damage fabric, wallpaper and books because of their love for starchy things.