Silverfish get their name from their silver-colored bodies and fishlike motion as they dart across the floor. Often mistaken for cockroaches due to their night time activities and quick movement when discovered, these pests enter homes during dry weather in search of moisture. Once inside, silverfish feed on a wide range of items, from cereals to fabric. However, they're best known for feeding on papers and glues used on book bindings. Silverfish may live for several years.
Identification: Silverfish have flat, elongated bodies covered in silvery metallic scales. Typically less than 3/4 inch long, the bodies taper from head to tail like a carrot. Silverfish have two long antennae on their heads and three long, tail-like projections that inspire their second common name: bristletails. Silverfish nymphs hatch from eggs and go through several stages that look like adults, only smaller. Firebrats are close relatives denoted by their mottled brown color.
Signs/Damage: Silverfish are active at night and hide during the day. They move very quickly when disturbed, so they often avoid being seen. Find them in dark, damp, cool areas, such as basements, closets and humid bathrooms. Silverfish feed by scraping rather than biting, leaving irregular, scrape-surrounded holes and excrement-stained pages in books.
Control: Effective silverfish control focuses on preventing these pests from entering your home through foundation openings. GardenTech® brand offers highly effective options to kill silverfish by contact and keep protecting against more than 500 pests for up to three months.+ These non-staining formulas treat lawn and garden areas, your home's perimeter, and its foundation up to a maximum height of 3 feet:
- Sevin® Insect Killer Concentrate provides a simple, economical way to treat foundations, lawns and gardens. Use with a pump-style sprayer, and cover all surfaces thoroughly. Pay extra attention to cracks and crevices where silverfish may hide or slip inside.
- Sevin® Insect Killer Ready to Spray attaches to a common garden hose to measure and mix automatically as you spray. Cover all surfaces thoroughly, including foundation plantings, groundcovers and mulch areas where silverfish may hide or pass through on their way inside.
- Sevin® Insect Killer Ready to Use simplifies spot treatments of smaller areas and known silverfish hideouts. Adjust the nozzle to select “stream" for a direct spray pattern or “spray" for broader coverage. Spray to cover the targeted area well.
Tip: Silverfish often reside between wall partitions where moisture is found. Repair plumbing leaks promptly, and reduce moisture with dehumidifiers and fans.
+ Except ticks.
Always read product labels and follow the instructions carefully.