The Different Silverfish Species

You may have come across a few silverfish in your life. Maybe you turn on the light in the bathroom and you see one crawling around. However, there are many different kinds of silverfish in the US, and in this article, we’re going to cover a few of them and their characteristics.

Common silverfish

The common silverfish can grow to be an inch long, and it has a gray to silver color with a jointed body composed of identical segments. The common silverfish prefers indoor habitats, especially those with high levels of humidity such as basements, kitchens and bathrooms. It is nocturnal, and it can live for up to eight years in the right conditions.


Bristletails are a very common silverfish subspecies, with a cylindrical body, and unlike most silverfish species, they are able to thrive in wooded and grassy habitats, particularly in locations that are damp and dark, such as under tree barks or decaying leaves. In the home, they will prefer the same areas as common silverfish, and they are able to live for up to four years. A female bristletail can lay multiple batches of 30 eggs in various locations in their environment, and young silverfish grow faster and healthier when they have access to the right temperatures and moisture level in their habitats.

Four-lined silverfish

These silverfish have four lines on their abdomen, which is where they get their name from, and they are a little longer than most other silverfish subspecies. In the home, they will infest the attics and roof shingles. Their diet mostly consists of cellulose, which they will find in paper and paper-based products.

Gray silverfish

The gray silverfish usually has a darker body color than species with a more silvery hue, and they prefer attics, drawers and bathroom pipes as their indoor habitats. Like other species, they will eat cellulose, and they will need warm, humid environments in order to survive and mature properly.

Dealing with a silverfish infestation

The control methods used to remove a silverfish infestation are the same across the board. The only difference that the species of the silverfish makes is where the control methods need to be applied. Generally, a pest control pro will use some form of bait, which will draw in and kill all the silverfish in the home. If you have noticed one of these creepy crawlers in your home and you want them removed, contact us today.