How Does Silverfish Get Into Your House?

Hey there! Some links on this page are affiliate links which means that, if you choose to make a purchase, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. I greatly appreciate your support!

Do you want to know how does silverfish get into your house? I will tell you not just about how they get into your house, but also about what attracts them and how to get rid of them. Understandably, these creepy little creatures are not harmful to us humans or our pets, as they do not bite or spread any diseases, yet they can be harmful to our homes. So let’s find out all about starfish.

What are silverfish?

Silverfish are ancient, gleaming grey or silver insects that are considered to be amongst the world’s oldest survivors. They’re wingless creatures that shed their skins as they grow older.

how does silverfish get into your house

Silverfish aren’t known to bite or carry disease-causing infections despite their menacing appearance. They aren’t hazardous to humans or animals, but they may cause chaos in your home.

These insects are most active at night, and when you are reaching out for that book on the shelf for a bedtime read, they will come flying out of it.

Or that box of cereal you’ve been desiring, or a drawer in your bathroom when you reach for the toothpaste, are some of the most prominently common places these silverfish like to camp.

How does silverfish get into your house?

There are several factors that become an open invitation to silverfish for entering and staying in your house. These are –

The Surrounding

Certain environmental or surrounding conditions at your home invite these starfish pests to infiltrate your house. These conditions can be anything from food scraps on the floor to a consistently damp bathroom. In order to avoid a starfish infestation, always make sure to keep your house clean and dry.

Food Sources

One of the main reasons behind silverfish being in your house is that they are looking for a location with a good food source, and what is better than a place where food scraps are lying around? This is why I am insisting on keeping your house neat and tidy.

Understandably it may not be possible for you to vacuum your entire house every day, but you should definitely vacuum once every couple of days.

Keep in mind that not cleaning your house is the same as staying in a house with food scraps lying all around. At least, that is the way starfished think when looking for food.

Inadvertent dissemination

Unfortunately, silverfish might occasionally be attracted to your home due to your activities. Because most people are unaware that silverfish are attracted to paper items, it is critical to ensure that any paper you bring into your home is free of silverfish.

Silverfish reproduce quickly, so taking the time to inspect the paper items you bring home can be really good as you will be able to avoid any accidental dissemination.

What are the signs you have a silverfish infestation?

Silverfish three pieces on the torn cover of an old book. Insect feeding on paper - silverfish. Pest books and newspapers.

The last thing you want to come across in your house is a creepy-crawly pest darting about faster than most insects you’re used to seeing.

It’s most likely a silverfish if the pest is silvery and moves like a fish. Is it, however, one of these, or are you dealing with an infestation? Here are some telltale indicators of a silverfish infestation:

Coming Across One

Small, wingless, and silver in color, these pests are a nuisance. They have the agility of a fish and the speed of a spider to outrun their predators. Because silverfish are nocturnal and avoid light, they’re most commonly found in attics, basements, and even kitchen cabinets.


Finding excrement can be a telltale sign of trouble like other bug infestations. Silverfish excrete small, spherical, black excrement that resembles peppercorns.


Silverfish are well-known for their unusual feeding preferences, indicating an infestation. They eat wallpaper, books, magazines, paper, and cloth with gusto. Their peculiar diet is due to their demand for carbs; thus, they may raid your kitchen cabinet in search of food.

Yellow Discolorations

When you hear “yellow stains,” you typically think of silverfish urine splattered all over your belongings. Fortunately, it isn’t always the source of the discoloration but could indicate an infestation.

Skin Shed

Silverfish, unlike other insects, shed their skin even after they reach adulthood. The scales have a metallic appearance and are translucent. It’s a sure sign that you’re dealing with an infestation.

What attracts starfish to your house?

It isn’t easy to keep starfish out of your house. This is because they are frequently carried into the home inadvertently within other boxes. I am not trying to scare you here with this information, but live silverfish have even been discovered inside closed and sealed food packaging.

Insect feeding on paper - silverfish. Pest books and newspapers.

However, a single silverfish will not cause an infestation, so even if you can’t eliminate the possibility of carrying one into your home, you can limit the likelihood that it will want to stay. This can be accomplished by determining what attracts these pests and eliminating those attractants from your house.


Silverfish, like all pests, require water to survive. Is there any place in your house where moisture can collect? When people think of regions where moisture can be present, they often think of water leaks. However, you will not require as much water as a leak to attract them.

Do you have any spots that are prone to condensation? Can you change them to lessen or eliminate condensation if that’s the case? Silverfish are attracted to moist clothing, so instead of letting damp items linger on the floor or in laundry hampers, wash them right away. Also, keep your bathroom dry.


Silverfish, much like another bug favorite, prefer dark environments. While you can’t totally eradicate darkness in your home, certain areas, such as crawl tunnels and sheds, are well-known for providing excellent dark hiding spots.

To cast some light on the situation, consider installing energy-efficient LED lights in those places.

Sources of Food

Silverfish devour cellulose, glue, linen, and silk and enjoy carbs. The majority of individuals have fabrics and books in their homes, which provide food for these pests.

Checking them on a daily basis can help you catch an infestation early. It’s crucial to remember, though, that silverfish are also attracted to the food we eat. All of your food should be stored in insect-proof containers, and soiled dishes should not be left out.

How to remove silverfish from your house?

If you want to remove these insects from your premises, limit their food sources by keeping dry products in airtight containers and vacuuming the floor and upholstery on a regular basis. This will help keep your belongings secure from these pests.


Other useful safeguards include caulking, painting, and properly sealing the outside of your home as well as any open places such as gaps between walls and ceilings. In damp places, dehumidifiers can also assist in eliminating the moisture that silverfish love.


Silverfish are harmless insects that do not pose a serious threat to people.

They do not bite or transfer disease; however, they can cause allergies in some people.

Silverfish have a well-deserved reputation for wreaking havoc on buildings and personal belongings, so it’s critical to bring a silverfish infestation under control as soon as possible to limit the damage they cause.

To get rid of a silverfish infestation, people can try a variety of approaches, including decreasing their habitats within the home, employing chemical baits, or using natural means like raps.

If these efforts fail, expert pest control services should be able to assist.

About the author

A biotechnologist by profession and a passionate pest researcher. I have been one of those people who used to run away from cockroaches and rats due to their pesky features, but then we all get that turn in life when we have to face something.