Actual Size: ½ to ¾”

Characteristics:  Metallic gray covered with dull gray scales. Flattened bodies.

Legs: 6

Antennae: Yes

Wings: No

Tails: 3

Habitat: Often found in damp and humid environments like bathrooms, kitchens, or basements.


  • Also commonly called firebrats.
  • Can destroy clothing, paper, wallpaper, and other belongings. 
  • Named for their fast, fish-like movements.

Silverfish in Anaheim

Also called firebrats, silverfish are known for hiding out in places like closets, bookcases, and damp environments. They have special enzymes in their gut that help to digest cellulose, which is a primary component in wood and paper products, allowing them to cause considerable damage to personal belongings. Silverfish can also be unnerving because of their quick, “fish-like” movements and their unique ability to move sideways or even jump when they get startled. Because their bodies are flat, they can squeeze into tiny cracks and crevices, even hiding within the narrow bindings of books, between pages, or in corrugated cardboard.

Silverfish Habitat

Silverfish have quite an appetite because they munch on carbohydrates and proteins, and they can even resort to cannibalism by eating the cast skins of dead or injured fellows. These nocturnal bugs can’t survive without ample moisture, so during the day, they like to hide in damp areas such as laundry rooms, bathroom sinks, or crawl spaces. When it comes to their diet, silverfish have a preference for paper, especially paper that has a glossy finish. They’re particularly drawn to the binding in paper products, which might contain starch, dextrin, casein, gum, and glue.

Silverfish Behaviors, Threats, or Dangers

Silverfish don’t have wings, and instead of flying, they move around swiftly, like little fish on land. When you disturb the spot they’re hiding in, they’ll quickly dart to find another cozy spot. While they don’t bite or sting, they can be quite destructive to your personal belongings and food supplies. Their jaws aren’t very strong, so they end up scraping instead of biting. This scraping can lead to holes in fabric and clothing and can also discolor books, paper products, and wallpaper. Silverfish are also known for contaminating dry foods like cereals, flour, pasta, and even pet food. 

Silverfish can be destructive and unnerving to come across. If you keep finding them on your property, get advice from your local pest control experts on how to get them out of your space.