Skip to main content
Reading Time: 11 minutes

Silverfish, like cockroaches, are typical household pests found all over the world. Silverfish, known for their adaptability, can thrive in a wide range of environments, including residential homes, restaurants, and even sewer systems.

Silverfish infestations can quickly become a serious problem due to their rapid reproductive capabilities. Furthermore, they can pose a risk to human health by transmitting infections and triggering allergies. 

In this article, we will look at the characteristics of silverfish, the potential hazards they bring to health and property, as well as expert eradication methods for silverfish control. Join us as we shed light on these persistent pests and discover solutions to keep them out of your living areas.

We work daily from 8 am to 8 pm, with 24/7 website support.
Our services include same-day emergency response, professional equipment, effective pest removal strategies, and a strong commitment to the environment with eco-friendly practices prioritization.
Our technical team is all certified with structural IPM (Integrated Pest Management) certificates, Quality Pro Canada and WHMIS.

Silverfish Characteristics

Silverfish are small, wingless insects characterized by their silvery appearance and unique characteristics. Here are some important key points regarding these creatures:

1. Physical Appearance

Silverfish (Lepisma saccharina) are wingless insects with a smooth, flattened body. They are approximately 0.5 to 1 inch long and have silver-coloured scales that give them a metallic appearance. Silverfish are adept at navigation through tight areas due to their teardrop-shaped form, long bristle-like appendages on their abdomen, and elongated antennae on their head. Their unique appearances distinguish them apart from other pests.

2. Reproduction

Female silverfish lay eggs in cracks and crevices. The pearly white silverfish eggs hatch in two to eight weeks, and the nymphs moult numerous times before maturing in three to four months.

3. Nocturnal Behaviour

Silverfish are nocturnal insects that are mostly active at night. They hide in dark places throughout the day and emerge after dark to look for food and water. This behaviour allows them to avoid predators and gain undisturbed access to food supplies in your home.

4. Diet

Silverfish are opportunistic feeders that eat starchy materials such as books, paper, glue, and cardboard, as well as food crumbs and residues. Because of their diverse diet, they are adaptable and successful indoor pests.

5. Resilience

Silverfish are extremely hardy pests that may survive in a variety of environments. They can withstand low humidity and starvation for extended periods of time, adapting to a wide range of temperatures. Their agility and nocturnal behaviour make them elusive, making effective silverfish control challenging.

6. Quick Movement

Silverfish are fast and agile insects who move quickly through tight spaces and across surfaces thanks to their long bodies and numerous legs. Their quick movement helps them find food and avoid predators, making them difficult to catch.

Typical Silverfish Species In Vancouver

The two leading silverfish species in Vancouver are Lepisma saccharina (Common Silverfish) and Ctenolepisma longicaudata (Long-tailed Silverfish). These pests are frequently found in homes, offices, and other indoor environments, where they seek shelter and food.

The main difference between Lepisma saccharina (Common Silverfish) and Ctenolepisma longicaudata (Long-tailed Silverfish) lies in their physical characteristics. While both species are small, wingless insects with silver-gray appearances, the long-tailed silverfish is a longer and slenderer body than the common silverfish. The long-tailed silverfish also has longer antennae, which distinguishes it from the common silverfish. Both species are nocturnal, they like warm and humid environments, and feed on materials such as starches, paper, and textiles.

Typical Silverfish Species in Vancouver

Risks And Dangers Of Silverfish Infestation

Silverfish infestations can pose a number of risks and dangers to both homes and people. Let’s take a closer look at these health risks and property dangers.

Health Risks

1. Allergies, Respiratory Issues, And Skin Irritation

One of the main health concerns associated with silverfish infestations is their ability to trigger allergies. Their shed exoskeletons, feces, and body parts can become airborne and be inhaled, especially in poorly ventilated areas. Exposure to these airborne particles can cause allergic reactions, breathing issues, and skin irritation in persons who already have respiratory diseases or allergies.

2. Contamination Of Food

Furthermore, silverfish in pantries or kitchen areas can contaminate food, leaving it unsuitable for human consumption. Consuming contaminated food can cause gastrointestinal issues, food poisoning, and other problems with health.

3. Sleep Disturbance And Psychological Impact

Some individuals can experience psychological stress in some circumstances as a result of the anxiety caused by a silverfish infestation. The worry of discovering these nocturnal insects moving into unexpected places, such as bedrooms or bathrooms, can cause sleep disruptions and increased levels of anxiety.

Although silverfish do not pose serious health dangers, their presence can have an influence on the well-being of those who live in infested homes. To reduce health risks and guarantee a safe living environment, it is critical to take preventive measures, manage silverfish infestations promptly, and enlist the assistance of expert Ridall Pest Control.

Property Damage

Silverfish infestations can cause severe property damage because these tiny pests eat a variety of materials often found in homes and buildings.

1. Paper-based Items

One of the main issues is that they feed on paper-based materials including books, documents, and wallpaper. They can eat through these materials, leaving behind holes and irrevocable damage. Valuable books, valuable documents, and important paperwork can all be destroyed, resulting in financial loss and emotional distress.

2. Fabrics

Aside from paper, silverfish feed on materials such as clothing, curtains, and upholstery. Their feeding habits can cause unsightly holes and blemishes on clothing and upholstery, decreasing the aesthetic and functional value of these goods.

3. Cardboard

Cardboard and cardboard boxes are also at risk for silverfish damage. These insects will happily feed on the glue and starch contained in cardboard, weakening the structure and potentially leading to the collapse of the boxes.

4. Bathrooms And Kitchens

Furthermore, silverfish are drawn to wet and moist environments, making bathrooms, kitchens, and basements common places of silverfish infestation. They may cause damage to wallpaper, paint, and wall insulation in these places due to their feeding and nesting activities.

If left uncontrolled, a silverfish infestation can swiftly spread, causing considerable property damage and the loss of valuable items. Preventive measures, appropriate home hygiene, and expert Ridall Pest Control can help safeguard property and belongings from the damaging effects of silverfish infestations.

Identifying Silverfish Infestation Signs

Early detection of a silverfish infestation is critical for preventing further damage and addressing the problem as soon as possible. Here are some frequent indications of silverfish infestation in your home:

  • Shed Skins: Silverfish shed their exoskeletons as they grow, leaving behind small, translucent skins in areas where they congregate. Finding shed skins in drawers, closets, or around books is a sure sign of silverfish activity.
  • Yellowish Stains: Silverfish excrete enzymes, which appear on surfaces as little yellowish stains. These stains might be found on walls, bookshelves, or cardboard boxes.
  • Holes and Notches: Silverfish have been known for being destructive feeders. Examine paper-based items such as books, documents, and wallpaper for unusually shaped holes or notches.
  • Droppings: Silverfish droppings look like small black pepper granules. They may be found in areas where silverfish hide or feed.
  • Scales and Eggs: In cracks, crevices, and hidden corners, look for small, pearl-like silverfish eggs or scales.
  • Damaged Fabrics: Silverfish consume materials and can cause holes or chewed areas in clothing, curtains, and furniture.
  • Damp Areas: Silverfish prefer damp and moist conditions. Examine high-humidity areas such as bathrooms, kitchens, and basements.
  • Musty Odor: A strong, musty smell in certain areas of your home can indicate a silverfish infestation.
  • Nighttime Activity: Because silverfish are nocturnal insects, you may spot them running over the floor or walls at night.

If you notice any of these signs, you have to act quickly to prevent the silverfish infestation from spreading. Implementing proper sanitation practices, reducing moisture levels, and contacting a professional Ridall Pest Control company can help you manage a silverfish infestation and protect your house from further damage.

How Exactly Do We Get Rid Of Silverfish?

If you have a silverfish infestation, contacting a professional Ridall Pest Control service is the best way to protect your house and belongings from these troublesome insects. Our step-by-step process for eradicating silverfish infestations from your house is provided below:


The first step is to do an in-depth inspection of your property to determine the level of the silverfish infestation and the impacted areas. Ridall Pest Control professionals will look for silverfish activity, potential entrance areas, and their suitable conditions for infestations.

Ridall Pest Control company will build a customized treatment plan targeted to your unique infestation based on the inspection and diagnosis. To effectively address the silverfish problem, the plan may include a variety of methods and products.

Silverfish are drawn to food sources such as starch, glue, and cellulose. To reduce the attractiveness of your home to these pests, Ridall Pest Control professionals will advise you on safe food storage and the removal of potential food sources.

Silverfish thrive in humid environments. To make your home less appealing to silverfish, Ridall Pest Control professionals may use moisture control methods. Fixing leaks, utilizing dehumidifiers, and boosting ventilation are all examples of this.

Ridall Pest Control technicians will apply tailored pesticides and treatments to locations where silverfish are active, such as cracks, crevices, baseboards, and other hiding places. Ridall Pest Control can also use safe and environmentally friendly chemicals, for higher costs, to keep your family and pets safe while effectively eradicating silverfish.

Follow-up inspections may be scheduled regularly to assess the success of the treatment and address any new silverfish activity.

Experts in Ridall Pest Control will provide recommendations for preventative measures to reduce the likelihood of future infestations. This could include regular maintenance, good cleanliness, and exclusion methods.

Facts About Silverfish

Silverfish, despite their small size, are extremely fast runners. They can move at speeds of up to 3 centimetres per second, which is quite fast considering their small size.

Silverfish have a very lengthy lifespan. They can live for up to three years in ideal conditions. They go through a unique moulting process as they grow, shedding their exoskeletons up to 50 times before reaching adulthood to accommodate their increasing size.

Silverfish can survive for several months without eating. This extraordinary ability to endure for long periods without food contributes to their adaptation and persistence in a variety of situations.

Silverfish, despite their name, are insects, not fish. They got their name from their fish-like look and the way they move, which is a smooth, undulating motion similar to swimming. They are fast and agile runners who can flee rapidly when disturbed.

Female silverfish have a notable reproductive capacity, laying dozens of eggs at a time. They can produce up to 20 eggs in a single batch, and lay hundreds of eggs during their lifetime, leading to their population’s rapid growth.

Customer Reviews

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. Can silverfish fly or jump?

No, silverfish can’t fly or jump. They are wingless insects that use a unique, fish-like movement called “swimming” to move swiftly across surfaces. Their ability to hide and crawl quickly helps their elusive behaviour.

2. Are silverfish harmful to humans?

Silverfish are often seen as a nuisance rather than a direct danger to humans. They do not bite or spread diseases, but they can cause damage. However, their presence can be unsightly and distressing to homeowners.

3. Are silverfish attracted to light?

No, silverfish are photophobic, which means they prefer darkness and aren’t attracted to light sources. They are most active at night when their instinct to avoid light is at its peak.

4. Do silverfish reproduce quickly?

Yes, silverfish breed rapidly. Females can lay dozens of silverfish eggs in a short amount of time, and their ability to produce many batches rapidly boosts their population. Silverfish can live for a long time in suitable conditions, resulting in persistent silverfish infestations if not controlled.

5. Are silverfish seasonal pests?

Silverfish can be active all year because they can adapt to a wide range of temperatures. However, during the warmer months, when humidity levels rise, they may become more active, helping their reproductive activity.

Our customers can always count on us to provide them with reliable pest control services. Call us today and request a free quote.