Bath and North East Somerset Council Does Not provide a pest control service for the treatment of Silverfish.


  1. What do they look like?
  2. Where do they live?
  3. What do they eat?
  4. Are they a health hazard?
  5. Can they be a problem?
  6. How can I control them?
  7. What products can I use to get rid of them?
  8. How do I use the insecticide safely?


  1. Silverfish are 13-30mm long, shiny, silver or pearl grey. Their shape is tapered at the end giving them a fish like appearance.
  2. Silverfish like fairly damp dark conditions, such as kitchens, larders and particularly bathrooms and basement.  You may also find them amongst books and papers in slightly damp cupboards and behind skirting and loose wallpaper. 
  3. They like and eat paper, wallpaper paste, glues and gums of book bindings.  They also feed on fragments of dead insects and may damage textiles of vegetable origin such as cotton, linen and rayon which have been treated with special dressings.
  4. They are not a risk to human health.
  5. They are not a problem in the home, however, if they a found in a library the can cause a considerable amount of damage. 
  6. Silverfish may be controlled by sprays or dust suitable for the control of crawling insects.  The insecticide should be blown or brushed into crevices .eg. behind skirtings, cupboards etc.  Ensure any and all condensation (especially near plumbing) is cleaned regularly. Any plumbing leaks should be repaired.
  7. The best preventative method is to ensure that all areas are dry. When buying insecticide read the label carefully to ensure that it treats Silverfish. You can buy them from hardware stores, chemists and most supermarkets. There are a number of different types of insecticide available. They can either be dusts, sprays or gels. Try to buy an insecticide that is ‘residual’; which means that the killing action lasts a few days after treatment.
  8. Always take great care when using insecticides. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Do not place insecticides where children or animals can come into contact with them. Wash hands immediately after use.


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