Skip to Content
Call Us Today! 888-695-7722

What Do Silverfish Look Like?


Silverfish are small, wingless insects known for their unique and distinctive appearance. They have a slender, elongated body that tapers towards the rear, resembling a teardrop or fish-like shape, which is how they got their name. Here is a more detailed description of their physical characteristics:

  • Size: Silverfish typically measure between ½ to ¾ inches (12-19 mm) in length, although some species can be slightly larger or smaller.
  • Color: They are usually a silvery or grayish-blue color, which is where their common name "silverfish" originates. Their bodies appear to shimmer as they move, owing to the fine scales that cover them.
  • Body: Silverfish have a flattened, elongated body with three distinct segments: head, thorax, and abdomen. These segments are often not easily distinguishable due to their seamless appearance. Their body is covered in fine, silvery scales that give them a metallic sheen.
  • Antennae: They possess two long, slender antennae on their head, which are often as long as or longer than their body. These antennae are used for sensory perception.
  • Eyes: Silverfish have small, compound eyes, which are not highly developed. They rely more on their antennae to navigate and locate food.
  • Mouthparts: They have chewing mouthparts that are adapted for feeding on a variety of organic materials.
  • Legs: Silverfish have six small legs that protrude from their body. These legs are well-suited for their movement, which is characterized by a wiggling, fish-like motion.
  • Caudal Filaments: At the rear of their body, silverfish have two long, slender, tail-like appendages called caudal filaments. These filaments are often longer than their antennae and contribute to their distinct appearance.

Silverfish are easily identifiable by their silvery-gray, teardrop-shaped bodies, long antennae, small compound eyes, and caudal filaments at the rear. They are considered pests in households due to their ability to damage paper products, fabrics, and other starchy materials, and they are often found in dark, damp areas such as basements, attics, and bathrooms.

How Big Are Silverfish?

Silverfish are typically small insects, with their size ranging from approximately ½ inch to ¾ inch in length, which is roughly equivalent to 12 to 19 millimeters. While this size range is typical for most silverfish species, there can be slight variations among individual silverfish, with some being slightly larger or smaller. Their small size is one of the distinctive features that make them easily recognizable.

What Color Are Silverfish?

Silverfish are primarily known for their distinct coloration, which is where they derive their common name. They are typically silver to grayish-blue in color. This coloration is due to the fine scales that cover their elongated bodies, giving them a metallic or shimmery appearance. The silvery or grayish hue makes them easily recognizable and distinguishes them from other household pests. While silver is the most common color for silverfish, variations may exist, and their coloration can slightly vary among individual silverfish.

What Do Silverfish Eggs Look Like?

Silverfish eggs are quite small and are typically oval or elongated in shape. Here is a detailed description of what silverfish eggs look like:

  • Size: Silverfish eggs are tiny, measuring only about 1 millimeter in length, which is roughly the size of a grain of rice. This small size makes them difficult to notice without close inspection.
  • Color: Silverfish eggs are white to cream in color, and they have a somewhat translucent appearance. They may appear slightly shiny or pearlescent.
  • Texture: The surface of silverfish eggs is smooth, and they are somewhat soft to the touch. They do not have a hard or rigid outer shell.
  • Quantity: Female silverfish can lay several eggs at a time, often in small clusters. The number of eggs laid in one batch can vary but typically ranges from a few to a couple of dozen.
  • Location: Silverfish eggs are usually hidden in cracks and crevices, such as in wall voids, behind baseboards, in book bindings, or in other protected areas where adult silverfish tend to dwell.

These small, white to cream-colored eggs are often found in the same areas where silverfish infestations are present. Identifying and removing silverfish eggs can be important in controlling an infestation, as they can hatch into nymphs and continue the population cycle if left undisturbed.

What Do Silverfish Droppings Look Like?

Silverfish droppings, also known as frass, are small and distinctive in appearance. Here is a detailed description of what silverfish droppings look like:

  • Size: Silverfish droppings are quite tiny, typically no larger than a grain of sand. They are usually around 0.5 to 1 millimeter in size.
  • Shape: Silverfish droppings are often elongated and cylindrical. They resemble tiny black or dark brown specks.
  • Color: They are typically dark in color, ranging from black to dark brown. The exact color can depend on the silverfish's diet and the materials they have been feeding on.
  • Texture: Silverfish droppings are dry and powdery in texture. When touched, they can easily crumble.
  • Location: You may find silverfish droppings near their feeding and hiding areas. Common places include areas where they forage for food, such as kitchen cabinets, bookshelves, and storage areas. They may also leave droppings in the corners of rooms, behind furniture, or near their nesting sites.

The presence of silverfish droppings can be an indicator of an infestation, and it's important to address the underlying issue if you discover them in your home. Proper sanitation, reducing moisture levels, and using pest control methods can help manage silverfish infestations and prevent further damage to items like books, paper, and textiles that they may feed on.