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Do Silverfish Bite? (What To Know)

do silverfish bite

Many people are concerned about the possibility of being bitten or stung by pests such as insects or rodents. Some bites can cause pain, swelling, or other health problems, while others are harmless. The question becomes, do silverfish bite?

Do Silverfish Bite?

Fortunately, there is no such thing as a silverfish bite, sting, or transmit diseases and are not dangerous to humans or pets. They are generally considered a nuisance pest rather than a health threat. Silverfish are not aggressive and will usually try to avoid contact with people or pets.

It’s important to know what kind of pests you’re dealing with and what risks they may pose to your health. If you suspect a pest infestation in your home, it’s best to properly identify what you are dealing with.

The information below can help you identify, get rid of, and prevent silverfish in your home.

Bestseller No. 1
Dekko Silverfish Paks (Pack of 2)
  • Listing is for 2 boxes of Dekko paks 24 paks per box 48 total paks
  • Place 2 to 3 packs in each infested area. Place in closets, drawers, bookcases, in basement and dark hidden areas.
  • When Dekko Silverfish packs are used as the only treatment, control may not be obtained from 3 days to 4 weeks depending on conditions. Replace Packs as necessary to affect and maintain control
  • Made in the USA
Bestseller No. 2
SaleBestseller No. 3
Dekko Silverfish Paks DEK1002 (Pack of 2)
  • Boric Acid 20.0%
  • Dekko Silverfish Paks are to be used in residential housing (indoors and attics), basements, closets, bookcases, around household clothing and fabric containers, drawers, and also rugs and carpets.
  • Dekko Silverfish apply at approximately 2 oz per 100 square feet or 1 quart per 250 square feet

What To Know (4 Silverfish Attributes)

1. Diet

Silverfish feed on a variety of starchy materials, including paper products, glue, textiles, grains, and more, making them a potential threat to household items and personal belongings. They are known to feed on materials commonly found in homes, which may include:

  • Books & Wallpaper: They are attracted to the glue used in these items.
  • Mold & Fungi: This is due to the humidity and dampness in which they thrive.
  • Paper & Cardboard: This includes items such as boxes and newspapers.
  • Damp Clothing: Fabrics such as silk, linen, and cotton are at risk.
  • Printed Materials: Items such as photographs and magazines.
  • Dead Insects: They eat these as a source of protein.

It is important to note that silverfish do not feed on human or pet blood.

2. Activity & Hiding Places

Silverfish are nocturnal creatures and usually hide during the day in dark, damp places like closets, kitchen cupboards, attics, basements, and bathrooms. They can enter a home through cracks, gaps, and crevices in the structure. Additionally, they may enter through drains or sewer pipes.

Silverfish can also be brought in through infested items such as cardboard boxes, books, or other paper products. They prefer environments with high humidity and moisture levels, and areas with poor ventilation are especially conducive to infestations.

They may also be found in living rooms or dining areas, particularly near wallpaper or book displays and areas with piles of cardboard boxes, newspapers, and magazines.

3. Appearance

Silverfish are characterized by their elongated, flattened, and tapered bodies covered with silvery scales. They also have two long antennae on their heads and three long bristles at the tip of their abdomen. Their movements are characterized by a distinctive wriggling motion, allowing them to move quickly and efficiently through small spaces.

Even though they are wingless, silverfish can move very fast and can easily navigate their way around obstacles and into cracks and crevices.

4. Health Risks

Silverfish do not have venom or toxins that can cause harm to humans or pets. Therefore, a silverfish bite cannot cause any symptoms. If you notice any redness, swelling, or itching on your skin, it is unlikely to be caused by a silverfish bite. In most cases, these symptoms are caused by other pests like ticks or bed bugs.

Silverfish are not known to cause allergic reactions in humans or pets. However, some people may be allergic to the shed skin or feces of silverfish. If you have a sensitive respiratory system or suffer from asthma, you may experience symptoms like coughing, wheezing, or difficulty breathing if you come in contact with silverfish debris. If you suspect an allergic reaction, it is important to seek medical attention immediately.

How To Get Rid Of Silverfish

how to get rid of silverfish

Our extensive guides can help you effectively get rid of silverfish. The following offers a quick summary of what you can do. These methods may be effective in trapping and killing silverfish, but they may not completely eliminate an infestation. It’s also important to address the root cause of the infestation, such as eliminating sources of moisture and humidity in the home.

Reduce Moisture

Reduce moisture in the bathroom to make it less attractive to silverfish. Hang towels, washcloths, and bathmats to dry outside of the bathroom, wipe down surfaces prone to moisture buildup, and use a dehumidifier to keep humidity levels low. Fix any dripping or leaky faucets and ensure that the bathroom plumbing is in good condition to prevent moisture buildup.

Seal up any cracks or crevices where silverfish can enter, such as around baseboards and pipes, using caulk or weatherstripping. Clean the bathroom thoroughly and keep it minimalist.

Killing Silverfish

These methods can take time and patience but can greatly reduce a silverfish infestation. Keep methods out of the reach of small children and pets. Here are some examples:

  • DIY Trap: Use a glass jar without a lid, a food source such as flour or dried cereal, and some masking tape. Wrap the outside of the jar with masking tape to create a textured surface. This makes it easy for silverfish to climb into the jar in search of food. Once they’re inside, the smooth glass surface will prevent them from climbing back out, effectively trapping them inside.
  • Sticky Trap: Use sticky traps specially designed to trap silverfish. Place these traps in common hiding spots in your bathroom, such as behind the toilet or under the sink.
  • Diatomaceous Earth (DE): DE is a natural powdery substance that can dehydrate and kill silverfish. Sprinkle the powder around areas where you suspect silverfish are hiding, such as in cracks and crevices.
  • Sale
    Safer Home SH51703 OMRI Listed Diatomaceous Earth - Ant, Roach, Bedbug, Flea, Silverfish, Earwig, & Crawling Insect Killer
    • Say Goodbye to Bugs – Kills a variety crawling insects including roaches, ants, fleas, silverfish, earwigs, bedbugs, and more
    • Attracts and Kills – Made from diatomaceous earth and selected baits, this powder causes insects to dehydrate and die within 48 hours after contact
    • Mechanical Killer – Unlike many traditional chemical insecticides, insects cannot build an immunity to diatomaceous earth
    • Use Where Insects Hide – DE can be used indoors or outdoors. Apply in cracks and crevices, along baseboards, or create a barrier around entry points
    • Peace of Mind – This powder is OMRI Listed and compliant for use in organic gardening so you can use it without worry
  • Cedar Oil: Cedar oil is an effective insecticide. Mix 30 drops of cedar oil per 1 oz of water and shake before spraying.

Prevention Of Silverfish

In addition to the above, here are a few ways to prevent and control silverfish infestations:

  • Reduce humidity levels in your home by using dehumidifiers or ventilating areas that tend to be damp, such as bathrooms and basements.
  • Seal up any cracks or gaps in walls, baseboards, and other areas to prevent silverfish from entering your home.
  • Inspect any new items or packages before bringing them into your home, as silverfish may be hiding in them.
  • Regularly clean and dust your home, paying special attention to areas where silverfish are known to hide.
  • Consider using insecticides specifically designed to kill silverfish, but use them with care and follow the instructions on the label to keep people and pets safe.


Silverfish are not dangerous to humans or pets. While they may be a nuisance pest in your home, there is no silverfish bite or disease transmission. If you have a silverfish infestation, use traps and reduce moisture, or contact a pest control professional to help eliminate the problem.