Lespisma sacchrina (Linnaeus)

Color: Silver to brown
Shape Oval; elongated
Size 3/4 inch long
Region Found throughout the U.S. and the world


This insect gets its name from its silvery, metallic appearance and fish-like shape and movements. Silverfish have no wings, but are able to run very fast. They tend to hide their presence, which means any damage they cause could go unnoticed for long periods of time.


Silverfish hide during the day, often in tight cracks or crevices. They prefer humid, moist conditions, but can be found almost anywhere in a home, including living rooms, bedrooms, bathrooms, attics, basements, and garages. Silverfish also infest commercial structures such as offices, stores, and libraries. Silverfish infest paper, particularly wallpaper, book bindings, and envelopes. They readily eat linen, rayon, and cotton fabrics as well.


Silverfish do not pose a health threat, but they can cause damage to your home. Over time, they will cause yellow stains, small holes, notches, or surface etchings along edges of infested materials.

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