What Do Silverfish Eat [Things To Know]

Have you ever seen those mysterious, silvery insects called silverfish? They move quickly on the floor and sometimes hide in old books. 

It might be a bit creepy when you see them, but have you ever thought about what they eat? In this blog post, I’m going to explore what do silverfish eat, how they fit into nature and some interesting facts about these hard-to-spot bugs. 

Let’s begin and discover more about them!

How Do Silverfish Locate Their Food?

Before delving into the specifics of their diet, it’s crucial to understand how silverfish find their next meal. Silverfish are very small insects that come out at night to search for food. 

You can think of them as tiny food detectives! They have special antennas on their heads that are like their noses. 

These antennas are really good at smelling food, even if it’s not close by. So, if you have some food crumbs or tasty things hidden in your home, these insects can find them, especially in dark places. 

It’s almost like they have a superpower, a super-sensitive nose, to help them find their meals

What Do Silverfish Eat [Types Of Food They Consume]

Silverfish are little bugs that like to eat certain things. They’re not picky eaters, and they consume different types of stuff. Here are some common things they like to munch on:

  • Starchy Foods: Silverfish enjoy eating foods with starch, like cereals, bread, pasta, and rice. They like these because they provide them with energy.
  • Paper and Cardboard: They also have a taste for paper and cardboard. This includes books, magazines, cardboard boxes, and even wallpaper.
  • Glue and Paste: Silverfish are attracted to glue and paste, which can be found on the bindings of books or on wallpaper.
  • Fabrics: They might nibble on natural fabrics like cotton and linen, especially if these fabrics are stained with food or sweat.
  • Dead Insects: In the wild, silverfish will eat other dead insects they come across.
  • Dust and Debris: They sometimes feed on tiny particles and debris found in dark and damp places.

So, silverfish are not very choosy eaters and can sometimes be a nuisance when they munch on our things. It’s important to keep your home clean and dry to prevent them from finding tasty snacks in your stuff.

What Do Baby Silverfish Eat?

Baby silverfish, just like grown-up silverfish, really like to eat starchy and sugary things. They’re so tiny, but they can munch on pieces of wallpaper, the edges of books, and even the glue that holds books together.

As they get bigger, they start trying different foods. They might eat things like cardboard (like in boxes) and fabrics (like your clothes or curtains) because these things also have something called cellulose that they find tasty.

So, when baby silverfish are little, they have a sweet tooth for starchy and sugary stuff. But as they grow, they start enjoying more types of food like cardboard and fabrics.

What Animals Prey On Silverfish?

In the intricate web of life that forms our natural world, silverfish have an important role as a favorite meal for some hungry hunters. 

Spiders, centipedes, and even certain types of insects consider silverfish a delicious treat. 

What’s truly interesting is that this ongoing game of predator and prey is crucial for keeping our ecosystem in balance. 

It’s similar to a delicate dance, where these creatures that enjoy eating silverfish play a vital part in ensuring that silverfish don’t become too numerous and upset the balance.

If there were an excess of silverfish, it could lead to various issues. However, thanks to these natural predators, silverfish populations are kept in check. 

These animals can be thought of as the unnoticed heroes of the ecosystem, quietly working behind the scenes to maintain a healthy balance in nature. 

It’s Nature’s way of ensuring that everything remains orderly, with each creature having its own role to play in the intricate tapestry of life.

How To Take Care Of Silverfish In Aquarium?

Aquarium Silverfish
Image Credit: nativepestmanagement.com

It might sound surprising, but there are enthusiasts out there who choose to keep silverfish as pets in their aquariums. 

If you’re considering bringing these fascinating little creatures into your home, it’s important to create an environment that feels just like their natural habitat. 

To do this, you’ll want to make sure your aquarium is well-maintained and set up to mimic the dark, damp places that silverfish love.

One key aspect of caring for them is their diet. Silverfish enjoy starchy foods, so offering them meals like oatmeal and breadcrumbs is a good idea. 

This will keep them happy and healthy. Additionally, don’t forget about moisture. Silverfish thrive in humid conditions, so keeping the right level of humidity in the aquarium is crucial for their well-being. 

By paying attention to these factors, you can provide your pet silverfish with a comfortable and suitable home in your aquarium.

Are Silverfish Dangerous To Humans?

Worry not about those creepy-crawly silverfish. They might look a bit unsettling, but when it comes to humans, they’re usually harmless. 

No bites, stings, or diseases to worry about from these little fellas. However, they can be a tad annoying when they decide to munch on your precious paper collections or make themselves cozy in your pantry, nibbling on your flour and cereal.

To keep these uninvited guests at bay, it’s all about reducing the humidity levels in your home, as silverfish love moisture. 

You can also foil their pantry raids by storing your food items in airtight containers. That way, you can peacefully coexist with these insects without any major worries about your well-being or your pantry supplies.

What Are Silverfish Attracted To?

Silverfish are these small, silvery-grey insects that might give you the creeps when you spot them scuttling around your home. 

But have you ever wondered what lures them into your space in the first place? Well, these little critters have a few preferences that make them feel right at home.

First off, silverfish are big fans of high humidity. They thrive in places where the air is moist and damp. Think about it: they’re like tiny moisture-loving creatures. 

So, if you’ve got areas in your home that tend to be a bit on the humid side, like basements, attics, or storage closets, those are prime real estate for silverfish. They love to hide out in dark, quiet spots, making these places even more appealing.

Now, here’s another thing that’ll make your home a silverfish magnet: abundant food sources. 

These little buggers aren’t picky eaters; they’ll munch on almost anything. Books, paper, glue, even bits of dead insects – it’s all on their menu. 

So, if you leave things lying around that they can snack on, you’re practically inviting them in for a feast.

But fret not, because there are ways to make your home less of a silverfish paradise. First, tackle the humidity issue. 

Fix any leaks or moisture problems you have. Dehumidifiers can also be a big help in keeping the air dry. 

Next, make sure your food items are well-sealed. Keeping your pantry and storage areas tidy and food containers tightly closed will reduce the buffet options for these unwanted guests. 

Remember, control the moisture, seal the snacks, and you’ll have a less silverfish-friendly home in no time.

Interesting Facts About Silverfish

As we conclude our exploration of the intriguing world of silverfish, let’s uncover some fascinating facts about these tiny creatures.

First, let’s delve into their history. Silverfish are not newcomers; they’ve been around for a whopping 400 million years, long before dinosaurs roamed the Earth. 

These little silver speedsters have been part of our planet’s story for an incredibly long time.

Speaking of speed, silverfish may be small, but they’re lightning-quick runners, capable of reaching speeds up to 1.5 feet per second. 

It’s like witnessing a tiny insect version of Usain Bolt sprinting when they need to escape from danger. Their agility makes them impressive escape artists in the world of insects.

But what’s truly remarkable is their survival skills. Silverfish are experts at adapting to tough conditions. They can go without food for several weeks, which is an impressive feat for any creature. 

So, the next time you spot one of these resilient little bugs scuttling about, remember that you’re observing a survivor who has been conquering life’s challenges for hundreds of millions of years.


To sum it up, silverfish might seem mysterious and not well-understood, but they have interesting eating habits and behaviors that make them unique members of the insect world.

If we learn more about their habits and how to keep them away, we can live harmoniously with these shiny, silver bugs in our homes. 

So, when you see one moving quickly across your bathroom floor next time, just remember, they’re like nature’s recycling team, playing their role in the circle of life.


What naturally kills silverfish? 

Silverfish can be naturally controlled by using diatomaceous earth, cedar oil, or essential oils like lavender or citrus. These substances are not harmful to humans but can be effective in deterring silverfish.

Additionally, keeping your home dry and reducing their food sources can help naturally discourage their presence.

Where do silverfish lay their eggs? 

Silverfish typically lay their tiny white eggs in dark, secluded spots, such as cracks, crevices, and hidden corners in your home.

They prefer places with high humidity. These eggs hatch into nymphs, which grow into adult silverfish over time.

Can silverfish bite or sting? 

Silverfish are not known to bite or sting humans. They are primarily scavengers that feed on carbohydrates like starches and sugars found in paper, glue, and other household items.

While they might look a bit unsettling, they are generally harmless to people.

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