Actual Size: ½” to ¾”

Characteristics: Flattened body, metallic steel gray; covered with dull gray-silver scales

Legs: 6

Antennae: Yes

Wings: No

Tails: 3

Habitat: Usually in moist or humid areas in properties, including basements, bathrooms, etc.


  • Do not have wings and move in a quick fish-like manner.
  • Can hide inside a home or property for a long time.
  • Known for destructive feeding habits, damaging clothing, paper and wallpaper.

Silverfish in Bristol

Silverfish are extremely fast runners, moving in a fish-like wiggling movement over horizontal surfaces. They eat carbohydrate-based food sources. They will also consume cellulose, photos, plaster, glue, dandruff, hair, clothing, coffee, fabrics, and dead insects. Silverfish can live a year or more without eating. Silverfish reproduce very quickly, producing 30—60 eggs at a time. Silverfish can become a serious pest problem because they can consume a wide variety of food, materials, household items, and clothing. If one silverfish is discovered, there are most likely many more in hiding. Silverfish are hardy scavengers, and have the ability to survive and hide in seemingly impenetrable spaces.

Silverfish Habitat

Silverfish consume both carbohydrates and proteins, and can also be cannibalistic, eating cast skins of dead and injured individuals. These nocturnal insects cannot survive without humidity and will hide during the day in high moisture areas like laundry rooms, under kitchen and bathroom sinks, and in crawl spaces. Silverfish are pests of paper, particularly paper with a glazed finish. They are especially fond of the sizing in paper products, which may consist of starch, dextrin, casein, gum, and glue.

Silverfish Behaviors & Dangers

Silverfish do not have wings and instead of moving from place to place by flying, they move in a very quick fish-like manner. If the object they are hiding beneath is moved, they will dart toward another secluded place.  Silverfish do not bite or sting, but they can cause significant damage to personal items and food sources. Silverfish have weak jaws, causing them to scrape instead of bite. Their scraping activity results in holes in fabric and clothing, and discoloration of books, paper products, and wallpaper. Silverfish can contaminate dry foods such as cereals, flour, pasta, and pet food.

If you have excess silverfish in your Bristol property, contact your local exterminators for help.