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silverfish control

Silverfish Control

Silverfish infestations can be detrimental to your home. Luckily, we're experienced in silverfish control.

Reviewed by: Doug Webb

Updated on: September 8, 2022

Understanding a silverfish infestation

Getting rid of silverfish can be a difficult task. Sometimes called “bristletails," silverfish are nocturnal creatures that normally roam homes late at night, in search of food and water. Their flat bodies allow them to squeeze into even the smallest cracks and crevices during daylight hours.

While these creepy crawlies can be an unsightly surprise during a late night bathroom trip, the good news is that the aren't harmful to humans and won't spread any disease-causing pathogens.

silverfish eating paper

However, silverfish do like to snack on a healthy diet of sugars and carbohydrates, which means they may chow down on cereals in your pantry – or worse, your belongings such as books, wallpaper, or clothing.

Before you decide how to get rid of silverfish in your home, you'll first have to confirm the enemy as these pests look similar to firebrats. Both firebrats and silverfish are nocturnal with soft, wingless, carrot-shaped bodies and long antennae. However, silverfish are shiny silver or pearl grey, ranging between ½ to ¾ inches in length. By contrast firebrats are either grey or brown with mottled spots and are typically only one-half an inch long. Firebrat nymphs are less than ⅛ inch long and unlike silverfish, adult firebrats have scales that they shed. If you see these shed scales, you're probably dealing with firebrats, not silverfish.

How to prevent silverfish

Prevention is key to avoiding many infestations. The best way to control a silverfish population and limit future infestations is to develop a prevention plan:

  1. Cut off their food supply. Store dry goods such as cereal, flour, and pet food in airtight containers.
  2. Practice good home hygiene. Clean your home regularly, taking care to vacuum carpets and upholstery.
  3. Reduce access to water. Silverfish need water and humid conditions to thrive. Damp areas like your basement and laundry room may be particularly attractive to these pests. Use a dehumidifier to make these areas less tempting to silverfish and consider installing plastic sheeting in areas with a dirt floor — such as a crawlspace or basement.
  4. Don't forget about exterior maintenance. Keep silverfish out of your home by taking good care of the areas directly outside and around your home. Clear your gutters of any debris. Be sure any exterior cracks are caulked. If you live in a damp area that receives a lot of rainfall, consider working with a landscaper to recommend techniques for grading or sloping your land to keep water from pooling near your home and creating a hospitable environment for silverfish.
  5. Seal cracks and crevices. Silverfish can get into your home through cracks and crevices in wall interiors, baseboards, windows and trim. To block off their access, you can use expandable foam, caulk or spackle to seal off any of these potential entry points.

How does Terminix get rid of silverfish?

Terminix pest control professionals are highly trained and able to identify if you're dealing with a silverfish infestation and put together a plan to help get them out of your home.

Curious about how Terminix pest control professionals can help get rid of silverfish? First, they'll inspect your home and uncover the areas where silverfish may have taken up residence and how they're getting in. From there, they'll determine the severity of your infestation, then prescribe a treatment plan.

Our Terminix specialists are well-versed in the latest and most effective treatments for a variety of pests, including silverfish. We use integrated pest management solutions that combine multiple treatment methods based on the layout of your home, as well as any other unique factors.

We'll work with you to determine the best course of action to help get your silverfish problem under control. Following your initial inspection and treatment, Terminix pest control technicians can also schedule routine inspections at your convenience to help keep silverfish at bay.

We know silverfish

  • Silverfish live in cracks and voids and are commonly found in larger numbers in attics, basements and crawl spaces.

  • Homes with cedar shake roofs seem to experience more serious infestations of silverfish.

  • Silverfish can be very difficult to control, especially in those homes that have wood shake (shingle) roofs.

  • Silverfish will be seen occasionally or on a regular basis in kitchens, bathrooms and other rooms.

pest guarantee
The Nix Pest Guarantee means you can relax knowing we’ll nix your pest problem, and keep it nixed. And if pests come back between treatments, so will we — at no additional cost to you.2

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