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Silverfish are small carrot shaped insects they can grow up to 20mm in size. They are silvery grey in colour with long and thin antennae and have 3 bristly tales.

Where do they live?

During the day silverfish tend to hide under loose floor coverings i.e. lino flooring, skirting boards, behind wallpaper or behind bath panels. During the night they will feed on mould, food particles and paper. Silverfish may also feed on packets of dried food which are stored in damp cupboards. They have also been known to feed on protein rich gums and binding pastes.

Silverfish tend to be attracted to dark damp conditions, they are known to be found in kitchens, bathrooms, larders or in basements.

How do I get rid of them?

Silverfish are harmless and pose no threat to humans. The treatment for silverfish is relatively easy and can be carried out by using a crawling insect spray with a residual effect or alternatively insect powder. These can be administered using a light dusting or coating in effected areas also, keeping dry packet foods in airtight containers will deter infestations in kitchen cupboards. It is not advisable to use the spray or powder on work surface. Most hardware shops or garden centres will sell these products.


Exeter City Council charge £85.00 for the treatment for silverfish. Payment can be made by the following, on completion of the treatment:

  • Cash or cheque (made payable to Exeter City Council)
  • Debit or credit card over the telephone
  • Where an account is rendered, an additional charge of £21.00 is levied

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