June 12, 2024 6 min read

When it comes to pests, silverfish are some of the most common and can be found almost everywhere in the world. While these little silver-colored insects are mostly harmless, they can wreak havoc on your belongings, including your bedding. Silverfish eat everything from glue and paper to fabric, so if you have silverfish in bed, it’s important to know how to get rid of them. If you see silverfish in house, there’s a good chance you may be dealing with an infestation. Read on to learn more about these bugs, why you might find a silverfish bug in bed sheets, and what you can do to prevent silverfish in the future for a clean, sanitary sleeping environment.

What Is a Silverfish?

If you’ve ever seen pics of silverfish, you can see where they got their name. These shiny, silver insects have scales and antennae with a soft, flat, oval-shaped body that resembles a fish. Adults get to be around ¾ inches long and have three projections coming from their tails. If you see a tiny silver bug not silverfish, it’s likely an insect called a firebrat which looks similar but actually has a darker, mottled gray color. Silverfish eggs are constantly laid by the females once they reach the adult stage, and most silverfish lay eggs in cracks and crevices all around your home. The silverfish eggs hatch within three weeks, and they’ll reach the adult stage in around four to six weeks.

These insects prefer to be in the dark and typically hide during the day, since they don’t like direct sunlight. If you move something they’re hiding in or underneath, they’ll run out and head to a different dark area to hide. What’s most surprising is that silverfish populations can live between two and eight years! They prefer high humidity and moist areas but can live up to a year without food in some cases, making a silverfish infestation particularly unnerving. If you see a silverfish bug in bedroom, there’s a good chance more are nearby. In most cases, you won’t see their eggs, but you might see their droppings, or worse – there could be a silverfish on bed or in bed with you!

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Silverfish in Bed Sheets: Causes and Risks

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There could be several reasons why silverfish want to spend time in your bed with you. First, silverfish love a moist and humid environment, so if you sweat at night, they could be attracted to your sheets. Silverfish feed on protein and carbohydrates (starchy food), so they may be attracted to things like dead skin or hair as well. If you have starched sheets, the sheets can become even more damp than normal, making them an ideal hiding spot for adult silverfish. Look for small, unusually shaped holes in your sheets or black pepper-like speckles and yellow stains (likely silverfish droppings), which are common signs of these annoying insects.

Are silverfish dangerous? Do silverfish bite humans? A silverfish insect bite to humans is nearly impossible because these pests have tiny mouths and weak jaws. If you do end up with a silverfish bite, it's likely harmless. However, they can do serious damage to your favorite bed sheets, clothing, and even furniture. The risk to you is minimal, however, some people experience allergic reactions when the silverfish molt and shed their skin, leaving scales behind. Those scales create dust, potentially causing a runny nose, itchy eyes, sneezing, and even skin irritation.

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Prevention Tips: How to Keep Silverfish Out of Bed Sheets

Now that you know more about these strange little bugs, let’s go over some ways you can discourage silverfish from getting into your bed and chewing on your sheets.

  • Seal entry points: Look for any cracks, gaps, or other openings where they could gain entry. Use caulk or weatherstripping to close gaps and seal small cracks in doors, windows, floors, and walls. The tighter the seal, the less chance you’ll need to worry about silverfish infestations affecting you and your home.
  • Reduce moisture: If you live in a humid climate, a dehumidifier can help you reduce humidity and moisture levels in the room. Since these pests need damp areas to live, it’s one of the best ways to eliminate silverfish once and for all. Use a ceiling fan or floor fan to keep the air circulating which can also help reduce humidity and encourage a dry environment.
  • Store bedding properly: When you’re not using your bedding, keep it stored in airtight containers or use protective covers to keep them at bay. Only store clean bedding and wash your sheets and other linens frequently to get rid of any lingering food sources. You should also store clothing the same way, just to be safe.
  • Clean regularly: One of the best preventative measures you can take to prevent future infestations is to clean your home regularly. Vacuum carpets often and dust your furniture to help remove food sources. Get rid of clutter and items like cardboard boxes, as these can attract silverfish and give them a great place to hide.
  • Use natural repellents: Certain natural methods can be an effective silverfish treatment. Scents like lavender and cedar can repel silverfish, so look for essential oils like lavender and cedar oil that you can use to make an eco-friendly spray to keep them away. As a bonus, these oils have a pleasant scent that will promote feelings of calm and relaxation, too! You can also place cedar shavings in your linen closet or dressers to repel the insects. Sprinkling boric acid and diatomaceous earth in various areas where silverfish live and hide are two other all-natural methods you can use to get rid of silverfish.

Bedding Maintenance: Silverfish Prevention Practices

When it comes to dealing with silverfish in bed, here are some things you can do as good prevention practices.

  • Launder Bedding Frequently: Wash your bed sheets, blankets, and pillowcases regularly to prevent or eliminate silverfish, and use high temperatures to remove silverfish and their eggs from your bedding. Remember, you should avoid washing silk, wool, and other delicate fabrics with hot water, and make sure you air dry these items thoroughly before using them after laundering.
  • Dry Bedding Thoroughly: Moisture attracts silverfish, so it’s important to make sure you’re drying all of your bedding thoroughly to prevent moisture buildup. Most bed sheets dry within an hour, while heavier items like comforters, duvets, and blankets can take between two and three hours when you’re using a home appliance. Touch your bedding to make sure that it feels dry before you put it back on your bed or in storage.
  • Inspect Bedding: Remember the signs of these insects, including silverfish droppings that appear yellow or black. Inspect your bedding regularly and look for tiny irregular holes or signs of unusual discoloration, as these could be a sign there is silverfish activity. If you’ve noticed silverfish activity, make sure you take action and address the issue to prevent severe infestations.

Professional Treatment Options

Even if you take all of these measures, there may be times when you still need help from professional pest control services. If you’ve tried all the measures above and still spot silverfish in bed and other areas of your home, it’s likely time to contact a reputable pest control professional. An experienced pest control technician knows how to find silverfish, how to get rid of them, and most importantly, how to help prevent future infestations for peace of mind.

Here are some of the methods that a professional pest control company may use to locate, prevent, and kill silverfish safely and effectively:

  • The technician will start by inspecting your home thoroughly, including areas like crawl spaces or basements and other humid places. They’ll also look in areas where silverfish like to hide, like kitchen and bathroom cabinets and areas near sinks and appliances.
  • Once the insects’ hiding spaces are identified, the pest control tech will use different methods like sticky traps or specific pesticides to kill them.
  • A quality pest control company will continuously monitor your home for a while to ensure the silverfish are gone for good. You should also schedule regular pest inspections to ensure that your home is pest-free.
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Final Thoughts on silverfish in bed sheets what are they and how to prevent them

If you have silverfish in house, it can be a stressful thing to deal with. Remember the signs of silverfish in your home and use the tips from our guide to help. Try to eliminate moisture, keep your bedding clean, and vacuum regularly to keep these pests at bay. Taking some simple preventative measures will help you maintain a safe, pest-free sleeping environment and peace of mind. Implement the tips in this article to help you safeguard your bed sheets to ensure that you get a healthy, comfortable night’s sleep every night.