Lepisma saccharina


Physical Features

Gray to light brown, scaly exoskeleton typically 1/2 inch to 5/8 inch.  Has three long taillike appendages extending from the tip of the abdomen.  Carrot shaped when viewed from the top.  Silverfish have chewing mouthparts and long antennae.


  • Diet: Carbohydrates and proteins. Glue, starchy items. Paper and rayon. Human foods. Can survive weeks without food and water.
  • Activity: Will travel distances in search of a food source. Once found they will harbor nearby. Nocturnal.
  • Preferred Climate: 45 to 85 degree temperatures.
  • Defense: Live in aggregations (clusters) due to pheromones that are released attracting other silverfish to a prime harborage area.
  • Cautions: Can damage clothing, paper items including wallpaper, foods.
  • Home Invasion: Can be found in cracks and crevices indoors including behind molding, wallpaper, under rugs, wall voids, attics, crawl spaces, linen closets, bookshelves, etc.

Helpful Hints

  • Good sanitation practices and inspection of the interior home.
  • Reduce moisture. Keep areas dry.
  • Store food in tightly sealed containers.

Interesting Facts

Silverfish have been found infesting attics in Tucson.  These areas often reach temperatures of 130 degrees with less than 15% moisture.


Silverfish are not known to bite people and do not carry diseases. There is more of a chance of hurting yourself attempting to chase one down than of the silverfish hurting you if you catch it.

The Northwest Exterminating team has been identified as essential workers continuing to service and protect your property against unwanted pests. READ MORE