Get a Fast Quote: +65 97941957


Get a Fast Quote: +65 97941957

Silverfish in Singapore | How to Get Rid of Silverfish

What are Silverfish?

Silverfish are small, wingless insects that belong to the order Zygentoma (formerly Thysanura). They are characterized by their elongated, flattened bodies and silvery-gray color, which gives them their common name. Silverfish are often considered household pests because they can infest homes and cause damage to various items, including paper, books, clothing, and stored food products.

How to Identify Silverfish?

Here are some key characteristics and facts about silverfish:

Appearance: Silverfish have a distinct appearance with a tapered, carrot-shaped body that narrows towards the rear. They are covered in shiny scales, giving them a silvery or metallic sheen. They typically measure between 0.5 to 1 inch (12 to 25 millimeters) in length.

Movement: Silverfish move in a distinctive, wiggling manner, which is often described as fish-like. They are fast runners and can quickly dart away when disturbed.

Habitat: Silverfish prefer dark, damp, and humid environments. They are commonly found in bathrooms, kitchens, basements, and other areas with high humidity levels. They are known to hide in cracks, crevices, and small openings during the day.

Diet: Silverfish are scavengers and primarily feed on a variety of starchy materials. They are known to consume paper, cardboard, book bindings, glue, wallpaper paste, textiles, and even certain food items like grains and cereals.

Lifespan: Silverfish have a relatively long lifespan for an insect, with some individuals living up to three years or more under favorable conditions.

Reproduction: Silverfish reproduce by laying eggs, which are often deposited in crevices and protected areas. After hatching, young silverfish, known as nymphs, resemble smaller versions of adults and go through several molts as they grow.

Damage: While silverfish are not considered dangerous to humans, they can cause damage to valuable items in your home. Their feeding habits can result in holes and damage to books, documents, and clothing. Additionally, their presence can be a sign of excess moisture in the home, which may also lead to mold problems.

Where do Silverfish Come From?

Silverfish can enter homes through various means, and they often come from outside. Here are some common ways they may find their way into your home:

Cracks and Crevices: Silverfish are small and can easily squeeze through tiny openings in walls, windows, and doors. They may enter your home through gaps around windows and doors or cracks in the foundation.

Infested Items: They can also be introduced into your home through infested items such as books, cardboard boxes, and storage containers. Silverfish are known to feed on paper, glue, and clothing, so they can be brought in unknowingly with these items.

Plumbing and Drains: Silverfish are attracted to moisture, so they may enter homes through plumbing and drains. Leaky pipes or drains can create a favorable environment for them.

Basements and Crawl Spaces: Silverfish thrive in dark, damp environments, so basements and crawl spaces are common areas where they are found. They can enter these spaces through cracks or openings in the foundation.

Roof and Attic: In some cases, they may find their way into your home through the roof or attic. Roof leaks or damaged roof shingles can create entry points for silverfish.

Once inside, silverfish will seek out dark, humid areas and can often be found in bathrooms, kitchens and storerooms.

Do Silverfish Bite?

No, silverfish do not bite humans or animals. They are not capable of biting or inflicting harm through their mouthparts. Silverfish primarily feed on starchy materials like paper, glue, and clothing. While they may look a bit unusual with their elongated bodies and antennae, they are not a threat to humans in terms of biting or causing physical harm. However, they can be considered pests if they infest homes and damage items like books, wallpaper, or clothing.

Can Silverfish Cause Damage?

While Silverfish do not pose direct health risks to humans and are not known to transmit diseases, they can cause some damage and annoyance in certain situations.

Here are some ways in which silverfish can cause damage:

Damage to Paper and Textiles

Silverfish are known for their diet, which primarily consists of carbohydrates and proteins. They are particularly attracted to paper and textiles that contain these substances. They can damage books, magazines, wallpaper, cardboard boxes, clothing, and other similar items by chewing small holes and leaving behind irregular feeding marks.

Food Contamination

In addition to paper and textiles, silverfish may also infest stored food items like grains, cereals, and flour. While they won't consume a significant amount, their presence can lead to food contamination and make it unappealing or unsuitable for consumption.

Damage to Glue and Paste

Silverfish are attracted to adhesives, glue, and paste due to their carbohydrate content. They may feed on these substances, potentially weakening bindings in books, wallpaper, and other items. This can lead to the deterioration of valuable or sentimental items.

Harm to Plants

Silverfish are known to feed on plant material, such as the starches found in houseplants. This can cause damage to indoor and outdoor plants, particularly if silverfish infestations are left unchecked.

Stains and Excrement

Silverfish excrete waste as they move around and feed. Their excrement can stain surfaces they come into contact with, which can be particularly problematic on fabrics, walls, and other sensitive materials.

Weakened Structures

In rare cases, silverfish infestations can become severe, leading to structural damage. This typically occurs when they infest the structural components of a building, such as wooden beams, but this is not common.

While silverfish can cause damage, it's important to note that their damage is relatively minimal compared to some other household pests. They are more of a nuisance due to their presence and their ability to damage certain items, especially if they infest areas with valuable or irreplaceable possessions.

Symptoms of Silverfish Infestation

If you suspect a silverfish infestation in your home or business, look out for the following symptoms:

Visible Silverfish

The most obvious sign of a silverfish infestation is actually spotting the insects themselves. They are typically about half an inch to one inch in length and have a silver-gray color with a tapered, fish-like body shape.

Shed Skins

Silverfish shed their exoskeletons as they grow. You may find tiny, translucent skin casts around areas where they are active.

Yellow Stains

Silverfish leave behind yellowish stains on surfaces they crawl on, which can be a sign of their presence.

Damage to Paper and Books

Silverfish feed on paper, cardboard, and book bindings. If you notice chewed edges or holes in books, magazines, or other paper products, it could indicate their activity.

Clothing Damage

They can also damage natural fabrics like silk, cotton, and linen. Look for small holes or irregular patterns on clothing.

Starched Fabrics

Silverfish are attracted to starch, so they may be drawn to starched clothing, wallpaper paste, or even glue in bookbindings.

Bathroom and Kitchen

Silverfish are often found in damp, humid areas such as bathrooms and kitchens. Check in and around sinks, cabinets, and other moisture-prone spots.

Nesting Sites

Silverfish prefer dark, undisturbed places. They often hide in cracks, crevices, and behind baseboards, wallpaper, or insulation

Faecal Pellets

Look for tiny, pepper-like faecal pellets in the areas where silverfish are active. These pellets are a sign of their presence.

Musty Odour

In some cases, a musty odour may be associated with a silverfish infestation, especially in areas where they are abundant.

How to Prevent Silverfish Infestation

Preventing a silverfish infestation involves making your home less attractive to these pests and implementing strategies to keep them out. Silverfish are attracted to moist, dark areas and feed on starches and sugars found in paper, glue, and fabric.

Here are some steps you can take to prevent a silverfish infestation:

Reduce Moisture

Silverfish thrive in humid environments. Use dehumidifiers to lower humidity levels in your home, especially in basements, attics, and bathrooms.

Fix Leaks

Repair any plumbing leaks promptly to prevent moisture buildup that silverfish love.


Ensure proper ventilation in your home, especially in areas prone to humidity. Use exhaust fans in bathrooms and kitchens.

Seal Entry Points

Silverfish can enter your home through cracks and gaps in the foundation and walls. Seal these entry points with caulk to keep them out.

Store Food Securely

Silverfish are attracted to food residues. Store food in airtight containers, and clean up crumbs and spills promptly.


Remove old newspapers, magazines, and cardboard boxes, as silverfish are known to feed on these materials. Declutter storage areas to reduce hiding spots.

Use Pest-Resistant Materials

Consider using pest-resistant building materials, such as treated wood and pest-resistant insulation.

Remove Moist Hideouts

Silverfish like to hide in damp areas, such as stacks of old newspapers or cardboard. Remove these hiding spots to make your home less attractive.

Vacuum Regularly

Vacuuming can help remove silverfish and their eggs from your home. Pay special attention to areas where you've spotted silverfish or their damage.

Natural Repellents

Some natural repellents, such as cedar shavings or sachets of dried lavender, may deter silverfish. Place them in areas where you've seen silverfish activity.

Chemical Treatments

If you have a severe infestation, consider using chemical treatments, such as insecticides or boric acid. Be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions and take necessary safety precautions.

Professional Pest Control

If your silverfish infestation is persistent and difficult to control on your own, consider hiring a professional pest control service to assess and treat the problem.

Remember that prevention is key when dealing with silverfish. Regular maintenance and keeping your home dry and clean will go a long way in deterring these pests from infesting your living spaces.

Hire Us to Get Rid of Silverfish

Call 97941957 for a quick estimate. Or simply provide us your details below and we'll be in touch soon.