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Baby Silverfish


  • Silverfish belong to a group of insects called bristletails.
  • These hardy pests can survive for several months without food and weeks without water.
  • Nymph is another name for a baby silverfish.


Baby silverfish are soft and white, but otherwise, they look just like the mature insects. Nymphs have the same long antennae as well as tapered bodies ending with three limbs that fan out like a fishtail. The babies molt several times before developing scales and becoming full-sized adults roughly half an inch in length.

How Do Baby Silverfish Get Inside Buildings?

The silverfish’s flat body and impressive running speed allow them to slip quickly through narrow cracks and crevices around windows or doors. Females lay up to three eggs at a time, which hatch after about a month. A single silverfish can live for up to three years as generations continue to grow.

These bristletails prefer wet or damp areas and can also enter homes through pipes and drains. They thrive in dark, cool basements and bathrooms with high moisture levels. Laundromats, restaurants, and factories with machines that generate steam and condensation often have silverfish issues.

Signs of Baby Silverfish Infestation

  • Sightings – Seeing nymphs in your home indicates indoor breeding, which is an obvious sign of infestation.
  • Nighttime Activity – The pests are nocturnal and only eat after dark. Spotting active silverfish at night suggests an insect issue.
  • Yellowish Stains – These bristletails occasionally eat individual fibers of fabric and leave yellow marks, especially on linen.
  • Damaged Books – Silverfish feed on books, leaving ragged binding and pages with irregular holes behind.

Problems Caused by Baby Silverfish

Baby silverfish are harmless to humans. However, witnessing a larger adult crawl into the bathtub or scurry across the floor can be frightening. Their expansive diet makes them a problem in homes. They feed on paper products containing glue or paste, starches in cereals, and the protein in dried beef and pet food.

Silverfish invade commercial spaces, too. Restaurant and cafeteria workers might find silverfish eating through bags of flour in their pantries. Storage and shipping facility employees sometimes discover the insects chewing holes into cardboard boxes. The pests can also affect documents in file rooms and cabinets in office buildings.

Prevention Tips

Making sure the adults cannot get inside is the best way to deter baby silverfish and avoid damage. Use a dehumidifier to reduce the moisture in your basement and make it less inviting for the pests. Seal any cracks leading outside and clean gutters or downspouts where they can hide.

The baby silverfish living in your cellar or crawl space is in it for the long haul. They outlive many other types of insects and hide themselves easily. Call Western Pest Services to get help with bristletail infestations in your home or business.

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