Silverfish have a fish like shaped body that is covered with metallic, silvery scales. Silverfish vary from beige to grey, measure  approximately 12.5 mm in length, have antennae, and 3 bristles that protrude from their rear.

Habits & Behaviours

Natural habitat of silverfish is hidden in leaf litter, under rocks and logs, and in other natural crevices. They are active all year round and exist throughout Ontario.  They gain access to our properties through exterior holes and cracks and by being attached to various items such as bags, boxes, other contaminated materials, and on humans. They prefer to dwell in dark, damp environments.

Silverfish are nocturnal so they are active at night and avoid direct sunlight by hiding during the day, which can make them difficult to detect. They make quick movements and stop at short intervals then move on again. If a silverfish is hiding under an object that gets moved, the insect moves rapidly to hide in another place where there is no sunlight.

Complaints & Destruction

Although silverfish are really a harmless nuisance, they are very unpleasant and can cause damage to our personal property. They are scavengers and will feed on crumbs, cereals, dead insects, starch, glue, wallpaper paste, most paper products, mold, and fungi. They can also stain and damage fabric, paper, books, or wallpaper. Damage to these items can be significant if very large infestations have been present over a long period of time. Once they find a source of food, they will remain close to it. When silverfish live indoors, they can be found in basements, attics, kitchens, and bathrooms  commonly nesting in dirty clothes piles, books, storage units, boxes, garages, and sheds.

Major Risks & Dangers

There are no real risks or dangers associated with silverfish, however, they can cause costly damage to your personal items in your home.

Reproduction & Life Cycle

When silverfish mate, the male silverfish puts his sperm on a silk thread on the ground and then the female silverfish picks it up. The fertilized eggs are then laid in cracks and crevices. Female silverfish can lay approximately 100 eggs in their lifetime, laying one to three eggs at a time in small groups over a period of weeks. The eggs hatch in three to six weeks. Females do not have a certain season when they lay their eggs. They usually lay eggs in secluded places like behind books or closet shelves. After hatching, all the life stages are similar in appearance, except for their size.

Eating Habits

Silverfish are omnivorous and prefer to eat materials that come from plants because of the carbohydrates and protein. That said,  they will also eat glue, wallpaper paste, bookbindings, paper, photographs, starch in clothing, cotton, linen, and rayon fabric. They also like dried foods and human foods such as sugar, flour, and breakfast cereal.

Treatment & Prevention

To eliminate and reduce the risk of silverfish invading your residential, recreational/cottage, or commercial properties, treatment and exclusion is the best prevention.

Greenshield Pest Control Inc. can provide you with many treatment, exclusion, and prevention solutions including:


Infestations of silverfish within your property usually require professional pest control measures with several treatments. If you suspect a silverfish infestation within your residential, recreational/cottage, or commercial properties, it is best to let the professionals do the job of safely removing the insects. Please contact us today or see our Pest Control Services section for further information on the types of services and insect pest solutions we can provide.

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