What Do Silverfish Eat?

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Silverfish are nocturnal insects that consume foods that include dried meat, oats, flour, paper and glue, according to the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension. Although they are largely generalists, they do prefer protein sources and carbohydrates as opposed to fats.

Silverfish commonly inhabit people’s homes, and in some places, they can build up to high densities. Although the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension explains that they are medically harmless, they can cause damage in other ways. Silverfish may contaminate food sources and eat wallpaper, curtains and book bindings. Because they are flat, they fit between pages and consume paper, so they are often found living inside books.

According to PawNation, silverfish eat a variety of household items. Shampoo, which is rich in sugars and complex carbohydrates, is a particular favorite of the small insects. According to PawNation, silverfish can live up to a year without food if the local environmental conditions, such as the ambient temperature and humidity, are ideal.

Silverfish are similar in behavior to cockroaches, according to the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension. However, cockroaches are more common in damp areas, while silverfish are more common in dry locations. Silverfish run very quickly and use their speed as a defense mechanism.