Secretive silverfish are pretty sneaky – they are nocturnal, move quickly and like dark, damp areas such as wardrobes, attics, garages, basements, kitchens and bathrooms, so they can go unnoticed for quite a while until their destructive eating habits start damaging your belongings. They also breed quickly, so their population growth can be exponential.

Silverfish are not fussy eaters. They like both animal and plant products and are drawn to things containing glue, sugars or starch. This means that in addition to food items, they will eat books, wallpaper, photographs, paper, textiles and other household objects.

They get their name from their fish-like appearance – they are teardrop-shaped, look scaly and are a dull, silver colour, measuring from 12-19mm in length with three long bristles on their rear. One of their weaknesses is the inability to climb smooth surfaces, which means they’re often found in baths or basins.

How to reduce the risk of infestation

If silverfish are established in your home, hiring Pure Services, who can create a customised approach, is recommended. Traps and insecticides sold in stores will only kill individual insects (not their eggs) and cannot wipe out an entire infestation. As female silverfish lay eggs daily, the problem needs to be stamped out fast.

There are steps you can take to discourage silverfish from returning, however: