Silverfish are small, soft, wingless insects often found in the home. They are nocturnal and move quickly; occasionally they are found in bathtubs as they cannot climb smooth surfaces. Their preferred diet is vegetable matter with a high carbohydrate and protein content. However, indoors they will feed on almost anything, including dried meat, flour, starch, paper, gum, glue, cotton, linen, rayon, silk, sugar and breakfast cereals.

Economic and health impact of silverfish

Silverfish consume small amounts of human foods and can cause contamination with their scales and droppings. They can also cause considerable damage to natural/synthetic fibres, books and other paper products while trying to feed on glues or other starchy substances.

Silverfish cause damage by eating foods or other materials that are high in protein, sugar, or starch. They eat cereals, moist wheat flour, paper on which there is glue or paste, wallpaper and book bindings, starch in clothing, and rayon fabrics.

Silverfish are nocturnal and are not often seen by day. The silverfish lives and develops in dark, damp, cool places, especially bathrooms and basements. Large numbers may be found in new buildings in which the masonry is still damp.

Because silverfish need and seek moisture, they are frequently found trapped in sinks and bathtubs. They may also be found in bookcases, around closet shelves, behind skirting boards and window and door frames.

Silverfish are often brought into new homes in cardboard cartons, books and papers from infested sites.

Information above taken from Bayer Animal Health Australia page titled Insects and Spiders on section titled Silverfish. For further information please click on link below. Information taken from the pdf fact sheet from the Government of Western Australia Department of Agriculture on silverfish. Click on image below for further information.