Updated: May 17, 2023

Silverfish are small, wingless insects that are known for their silvery-grey color and their wriggling movements. They are commonly found in homes and buildings, especially in damp and humid areas such as basements, attics, and bathrooms. Silverfish can cause damage to books, wallpaper, fabrics, and other household items. Therefore, it is important to detect their presence early on to prevent an infestation from spreading. In this article, we will discuss the common signs of a silverfish infestation.

Sightings of Live or Dead Silverfish

The most obvious sign of a silverfish infestation is the presence of live or dead silverfish in your home. If you see them scurrying across your floors or walls, then it is likely that they have already established a nest somewhere in your house. Silverfish are nocturnal creatures, so they are more active at night. If you suspect that you have a silverfish infestation but have not seen any live ones, try looking for dead ones instead. They may be found in corners, behind furniture or appliances, or in other dark and damp places.

Shredded Paper or Fabrics

Silverfish feed on carbohydrates such as sugars and starches. This means that they are attracted to paper products, fabrics, and other materials that contain these substances. If you notice small holes or chew marks on your books, magazines, or wallpaper, then it is likely that silverfish are to blame. They may also leave behind small piles of shredded paper or fabric fibers near their feeding sites.

Yellowish-Brown Stains

Silverfish produce waste as they feed and move around your home. Their waste is yellowish-brown in color and can be found on walls, floors, and other surfaces near their hiding places. If you see these stains around your home, then it is likely that silverfish are present. The stains may also be accompanied by a musty odor, which is another sign of a silverfish infestation.

Shed Skins

Silverfish molt as they grow, which means that they shed their exoskeletons or outer skins periodically. These shed skins may be found near their hiding places, especially in areas where they are feeding or breeding. The skins are translucent and can range in size from a few millimeters to several centimeters long.

Damage to Clothes and Linens

Silverfish are attracted to clothing and linens that contain starches and sugars. They may leave small holes or chew marks on these items, especially if they have been left undisturbed for long periods of time. If you notice damage to your clothes, towels, or bed linens, then it is likely that silverfish are the culprit.


In conclusion, silverfish infestations can cause significant damage to your home and belongings if left unchecked. If you suspect that you have a silverfish infestation, look for live or dead insects, shredded paper or fabrics, yellowish-brown stains, shed skins, and damage to clothes and linens. If you find any of these signs, it is important to take action right away to prevent the infestation from spreading. This may involve cleaning and decluttering your home, sealing cracks and crevices where silverfish can enter, using insecticides or natural repellents, and reducing humidity levels in your home. By doing so, you can protect your home from these pesky pests and ensure a safe and healthy living environment for you and your family.