WSU Extension


Caption: Silverfish
Photo by: unknown
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(revision date: 7/14/2015)

Use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for successful pest management.

Silverfish are wingless, fast-moving insects that are about 1/2 inch long. They have two long antennae on their head and three long bristles on their tail. Just like their name suggests, silverfish are silver-gray and prefer to live in cool damp areas. With their chewing mouthparts, silverfish feed on starchy materials such as glue, paste, fabric finish, book bindings, paper and fabric and can be found anywhere in the house.
Management Options

Non-Chemical Management
  • Avoid accumulating large amounts of paper, books and lumber.
  • Keep storage areas clean.
  • Trap insects by using a small jar with smooth vertical walls. Place something rough on the outer walls of the jar to allow the insect to crawl up and fall into the jar. Trapping is enhanced by placing something like flour or oatmeal inside the jar. Place traps in the insect’s path, such as in corners and next to walls.
Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

Chemical Management

None recommended.

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Caption: Silverfish
Photo by: unknown