Pest Library | Silverfish

Lepisma saccharina

Blue Silverfish - Lepisma saccharina
Color: Silver Gray/Blue
Legs: Multiple and 3 cerci
Shape: Elongated, flat, wingless
Size: 1/2-inch long
Antennae: Yes, long
Region: Throughout the United States
Silverfish gets its common name for its silvery light gray or blue color and the fish-like appearance of its wiggling movements.


Silverfish can live 2 to 8 years. They are nocturnal and feed on dead insects, damp paper, plaster, paste and starchy substances sometimes damaging books and other printed paper items. They can damage tapestries, cotton, linen, silk, and synthetics.


Silverfish are found in basements, bathrooms, garages, closets, and attics.


Silverfish are considered nuisance pests due to their consumption and destruction of property. They are also responsible for contaminating food. Silverfish are not known to transmit disease.


Carefully inspect all boxes, cartons, furniture that are being brought into the home. Keep basements, laundry rooms, and bathrooms clean and dry. Periodically clean out closets, cabinets and storage containers. Keep food in containers with tight lids. Periodically move collections of books and magazines around in your bookcase. Patch holes or spaces around pipes or conduits. Repair leaks and drips in plumbing. Repair roof leaks. Use de-humidifiers or ventilate closed spaces. Seal any cracks or crevices around the home and utility lines with a good caulk and apply weather stripping to doors and garages.

* Information courtesy of University of California, Integrated Pest Management ProgramUniversity of Missouri ExtensionUniversity of Minnesota Extension

* Image Courtesy of Joseph Berger,

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