Silverfish on books

Silverfish (Lespisma saccharina)


Silverfish are small, wingless insects usually measuring 20mm or less in length. They have three tails (or cerci) and their body is covered in tiny silver scales.


  • Silverfish do not have wings but are able to run very fast.
  • They are extremely common in Ireland and are usually seen in moist, humid areas in the home, such as bathrooms, basements, and attics.
  • They feed off moulds and starchy materials like cereals, flour, sweet foods, paper, curtains and wallpaper items. They can also survive by eating human debris such as hair or dead skin.
  • Silverfish can live up to a year without food, but require an environment of high humidity.
  • They move fast and are by nature nocturnal.


Silverfish are mainly a nuisance pest because they can contaminate food and damage paper goods such as wallpaper and books. They can reproduce quickly by laying up to 60 eggs every day, that they hide in small crevices (making them hard to find and treat).

The vast majority of calls we receive are located in Dublin city centre, and apartments rather than houses.

Long-term Silverfish Prevention – Control Humidity

  • One option is to install a dehumidifier in your home.
  • Other options are to identify and repair leaky pipes and drains
  • Eliminate or repair any mouldy/wet wood or walls.
  • Improve ventilation in bathroom (e.g. bigger fan)
  • Fit an electric fan heater to raise temperature and evaporate condensation in shower room
  • Do not use a clothe horse indoors. Rather use a condenser dryer (“A” rated dryers cost less than 30c in electricity per cycle).
  • Cracks in skirting boards and walls should be filled.


  • Refrain from keeping old books and magazines in areas where silverfish are usually found like basements, attics and garages.
  • Food items such as flour and sugar should be kept in tight containers.

Problem with Silverfish? Ask a Pest Control Specialist:

    DIY Silverfish Treatments - Get Rid of Silverfish Yourself

    If you have a small silverfish infestation and have already repaired the issues with humidity, you can catch the remaining silverfish using our professional silverfish glue traps (non-toxic).

    You can also treat the areas yourself to get rid of the remaining silverfish. We recommend spraying the floor/wall junctions with a residual insecticide such as Protector C, as silverfish move along the structure.

    Once applied, Protector C is odourless and leaves a residue that kills silverfish for up to 3 months. Click on the picture for more details on Protector C or to buy online.

    For more widespread silverfish infestations in wall cavities, attics or under floorboards, you can take further action using some insecticide dust. Diatomaceous Earth such as Desi-Dust is a natural, non-toxic clay that is ideal to use in such areas. If kept dry it will be effective for many months. Dust is also recommended where liquid sprays cannot be used, e.g. behind ovens & refrigerators, at electrical outlets, attic insulation, etc.

    Click on the pictures below for more details or to buy DIY silverfish killing products online

    Professional Silverfish Glue Traps
    Non-Toxic. Dry Areas only
    Attract & Trap Silverfish

    diatomaceous-earth-de-desi-dust-450g-2kg-showcase - Owl pest control Dublin

    Natural Dust Insecticide
    Desi-Dust Diatomaceous Eart
    Dry Areas Only

    protector-c-insecticide-1-5l-trigger-spray-head-extension - Owl pest control Dublin

    Liquid Residual Insecticide
    Protector C for silverfish control

    Rentokil ant Dust-Owl Pest Control Ireland

    Crawling Insect Killer Powder
    Very long residuality
    Dry Areas only
    Kill Silverfish on Contact


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