Updated: May 21, 2023

Silverfish are small, wingless insects that are known for their ability to survive in extreme conditions. They can be found in homes, offices, and other buildings where they feed on a variety of materials including paper, glue, and clothing. While silverfish are not harmful to humans, they can cause significant damage to property if left unchecked.

One of the most common questions people ask about silverfish is how they spread. In this article, we will explore the ways in which silverfish infestations spread and what you can do to prevent them.

Silverfish Behavior

Before we dive into how silverfish spread, it’s important to understand their behavior. Silverfish are nocturnal insects that prefer dark, damp environments. They are commonly found in bathrooms, kitchens, basements, and other areas where moisture is present.

Silverfish are also known for their ability to move quickly and easily through tight spaces. They can crawl up walls and across ceilings, making it easy for them to access different parts of a building.

How Do Silverfish Infestations Start?

Silverfish infestations typically start when a few insects find their way into a building. They may enter through cracks in the foundation or walls, or simply hitch a ride on items brought into the building.

Once inside, silverfish will search for a suitable environment to live and reproduce. They are attracted to areas with moisture and food sources such as paper products and clothing.

If left unchecked, a small silverfish infestation can quickly grow into a much larger problem. Female silverfish can lay up to 100 eggs at a time, which hatch in just a few weeks. This means that a few silverfish can turn into hundreds or even thousands within a matter of months.

How Do Silverfish Spread?

Silverfish can spread in a number of ways. One of the most common ways is through infested materials. If you bring a box of books or clothing into your home that has silverfish in it, those insects can quickly spread to other areas of your home.

Silverfish can also spread through cracks and crevices in your home. They are small enough to crawl through even the tiniest spaces, making it easy for them to access different parts of a building. Once they have established a presence in one area, they will continue to spread to other areas.

Another way silverfish can spread is through pipes and drains. They can crawl up plumbing pipes and enter your home through sinks, showers, and toilets. Once inside, they will search for suitable environments to live and reproduce.

Preventing Silverfish Infestations

The best way to prevent silverfish infestations is to eliminate the conditions that attract them. Here are some tips for preventing silverfish infestations:

  • Keep your home clean and dry. Silverfish are attracted to moisture, so it’s important to keep your home dry. Fix any leaks or moisture issues promptly and use a dehumidifier if necessary.
  • Store items properly. Silverfish are attracted to paper products and clothing, so it’s important to store these items properly. Use plastic storage containers with tight-fitting lids instead of cardboard boxes.
  • Seal cracks and crevices. Seal any cracks or crevices in your home where silverfish could enter. This includes around windows, doors, and baseboards.
  • Use insecticides. If you have a silverfish infestation, you may need to use insecticides to eliminate the problem. Look for products that are labeled specifically for silverfish and follow the instructions carefully.


Silverfish infestations can be a serious problem if left unchecked. These insects can cause significant damage to property and can be difficult to eliminate once they have established a presence in your home. By understanding how silverfish spread and taking steps to prevent infestations, you can protect your home from these pesky insects. If you are dealing with a silverfish infestation, consider contacting a pest control professional for assistance.