Can Silverfish Jump Or Fly?

Silverfish are metallic-looking organisms that spread germs in foods, water, and surfaces around the home. There is a dispute about their ability to fly or not. If you would also like to know the answer to this, we have taken the time to do in-depth research to find an answer for you.

Silverfish do not fly. They are insects but without wings or parts to propel them against gravity. They are also unable to climb walls or horizontal surfaces. 

Silverfish are indirectly harmful to human health. And they are found in virtually every home, except you prevent them from infesting your home. Keep reading as further down this article, we will talk about how silverfishes operate and how to keep them away from your home.

Insect feeding on paper - silverfish. Pest books and newspapers - Can Silverfish Jump Or Fly

What is a Silverfish?


Silverfish are particular types of organisms, silvery or metallic in color, and have long tails like fishes. They can be found roaming about kitchen sinks, running pipes, and other hidden places around the house. These are creatures that live anywhere that have high relative humidity. 

Silverfish are always about 13 to 25 millimeters long with a very long set of antennae. They move like fishes, wobbling very fast around only horizontal surfaces, but they crawl on walls. 

These silverfish are pests but are not directly harmful to human beings. They can contaminate food and water and spread germs among humans through our nutritional sources. They are often classified in the same category as cockroaches.

Living Conditions of Silverfish

They belong to the family Lepisma, and their botanical name is Lepisma saccharina. These pests have a list of species or kinds that attack human health. The common types are the grey silverfish, bristletail, and firebrat.

If you are keen to look out for this harmful and irritating pest in your home, then you should look into your kitchen, bathroom, and running water systems in your own home. 

They are really difficult to get rid of. That is because only one single silverfish can lay about 200 eggs at once; all or most would be hatched within a period of three months. Hence, they reproduce very fast. 

As they reproduce, the young silverfish will still find a way to feed on starch, fabrics, clothes, books, and other household items.

Can Silverfish Jump or Fly?

Silverfish three pieces on the torn cover of an old book. Insect feeding on paper - silverfish. Pest books and newspapers.

Sometimes, we mistake silverfish for other destructive home pests, even though they are clearly different. However, one thing to quickly tell whether a pest is a silverfish or not is their inability to fly. 

Silverfish don't fly, which plays a massive role in how they will keep multiplying in your home without notice until they have saturated a particular place.

Compared to cockroaches that can quickly alert you by flying around your house, silverfish don't fly.

No matter how harmless they may seem in your home, you should try your best to get rid of them because they would continue to multiply and would eventually affect the home hygiene. 

Effective Ways to Get Rid of Silverfish in Closet

You shouldn't worry about silverfish for too long. Especially when you have an idea of their hiding places in your house, they don't bite, nor do they cause harm to pets that come near your closet. 

That aside, you should learn how to get rid of them once and for all. Here are the process involved in doing that successfully.

Silverfish can climb but only with their rough abdomens on a rough spot, too, since that would adhere to the rule of friction. 

Bait with Starch

You can bait them to an area laced with starch.

As explained earlier, silverfish like starch. You can get a glass jar and wrap the tape around it so it will have a rough surface and be easier to climb. Then place starch in the jar and fill it will water. 

The silverfish will climb into the jar to get their starch but might not be able to get back out since they would be hindered by the slippery glass interior. Thereby leaving them trapped inside.

Sticky Tapes

In more extreme cases of silverfish infiltration, you can result using sticky traps are these sets of traps which can gum down the body of these pests.

Chemical Repellants

You can also use silverfish repellant. These are just chemicals that can help get rid of silverfish. You can use these repellants not only for silverfish but for other insects too.

Make sure to follow the proper instructions and safety measures while applying these repellants. Most importantly, be careful when applying silverfish poison in a house where pets and small children live.

Examples of some of these repellants are Wondercide natural indoor pest control spray, Dekko silverfish packs, and the eco defense pest control pouches.

Check out the Wondercide spray on Amazon.

See the eco-defense pouches on Amazon.

Bay Leaves

Bay leaves are a natural ingredient used for getting rid of most home insects. Most of these insects including silverfish avoid the oil that ejects from bay leaves. Hence, they move away. 

Lure with Trapped Moisture

Another trick is to use the affinity of silverfish in humid areas against them. They love high humid areas and if your house is in a rainy area or there are wet woods lying around, it might encourage silverfish.

You can wet newspaper, and place it in a visible place, they will surely crawl in somehow. From there you can pick up the newspaper, fold it and discard the newspaper. 

What Smell Do Silverfish Hate?

Insects or animals tend to run away from specific types of smells perhaps because they exude chemicals that are harmful to them.

The silverfish avoids the smell of citrus, cinnamon, and lavender. So, if you have a way to spray substances that can produce the smell of citrus, cinnamon, and lavender, just spray them around your house, continuously and periodically. This would keep the silverfish away.

Should I Be Worried If I See One Silverfish?

Insect feeding on paper - silverfish. Pest books and newspapers.

You should be a bit worried if you should come across a single silverfish in your home. This is because the presence of one silverfish is an indication that there are more than a hundred hiding in a corner. Once you see one, you need to get ready for several others as soon as possible.

Even though it might be speculative, start searching for the spots where these silverfishes are coming from and do your best to eradicate them as soon as possible.

What Happens if a Silverfish Bites You?

Nothing happens when a silverfish bites you, their bites are harmless to humans. However, don't let them get near your food because they are one of the fastest transmitters of germs around the home. 

Even though their bites are not poisonous to humans or animals, you should never allow them to bite you.

Can Silverfish Climb Walls?

They can climb rough walls alone but not walls that are just as smooth as the surface of marble. Silverfishes don't even have the power to go too long on rough walls. In short, these insects are poor climbers but they are very fast when on a plain surface, even faster than most insects. 

Do Silverfish Mean Your House Is Dirty?

Silverfish do not necessarily mean that your house is dirty. Mostly, pests tend to live in places where their survival conditions are available.

Silverfish live in a damp basement, moderately humid, and dark environment that will favor their hidden sugar, fiber, and starch eating mechanism. 

What is The Lifespan of a Silverfish?

Silverfishes spend about 2-8 years living healthily. 

Just a quick look at their birth process until death:

  • They lay eggs in walls (about 200 plus at once)
  • The egg hatches in 4-6 weeks. 
  • Since they are just larvae now, they would have to wait for about a month again to have an adult silvery silverfish. 
  • Then they spend the next 2-8 years (looking at the average lifespan figures) causing more damage. 

Meanwhile, the death of one might not easily be noticed though since there is a lot more gaining ground and traction. 

Prevent Silverfish

Dehumidifier on the floor

If you are successful at getting rid of them, then never allow them to come back again. You can ensure this happens by carrying out the normal preventive measures maintenance and home hygiene. You can do the following:

  • Getting dust and debris from the home regularly.
  • Installing dehumidifiers. 
  • Repairing pipe leaks
  • Clearing papers and collection of old magazines. 


To get rid of silverfishes, you have to implement any of the methods listed above to get them resolved once and for all. However, this doesn't mean you can eradicate them at once because their numbers might have escalated or they might have found another breeding spot in your home.

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