How to Kill Silverfish Coming From a Bathtub Drain

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Name aside, silverfish probably fell in the tub and can't climb out.
Image Credit: John Keeble/Moment/GettyImages

Depending on whom you ask, there's nothing more frightening than taking a shower and seeing a silverfish scurrying around your tub. Although you may think an army of silverfish is living rent-free in the drain, they're not; those pests come from another area. The key to killing silverfish lies in preventive measures. If you already have an infestation, you need to hire a professional to create a plan to remove the silverfish infesting your home.

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What Are Silverfish?

According to Big Blue Bug Solutions, silverfish are silvery, slimy-looking bugs with flat bodies and can be up to an inch in length. If you've never seen a silverfish, they get their name because they move about in a fish-like way. On their silver bodies, they have three bristles that protrude from their abdomen. You might think silverfish would be harmful creatures because they can look a bit menacing and, according to Terminix, they existed 100 million years before dinosaurs.

Longevity and looks aside, silverfish aren't harmful to your physical body. According to Terminix, silverfish don't bite, they're not poisonous and most important, they don't carry pathogens that cause diseases. Although these bad boys aren't super harmful, they'll damage your house if you end up having an infestation, so don't underestimate their capabilities.

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Do Silverfish Live in Drains?

Silverfish are pulling a bit of a Houdini act when it comes to where they actually live. If you have an infestation in your tub, you may assume the silverfish are coming from the bathtub drain, but they're not. According to Terminix, silverfish are drawn to areas that retain a lot of moisture and warmth. They especially love hiding out in dark places with humidity over 75 percent.

This explains why you'll find them hanging out in your bathroom. Since silverfish are so smooth, they can't climb on vertical surfaces like the sides of bathtubs and sinks. You'll find them trapped in these fixtures, but they're not coming out of your drain, so you don't have have to worry about showering and seeing an army climbing out of your drain.

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Where Silverfish Live

Although they don't live in drains, you'll find them outside or in other areas of your house besides the bathroom. According to P.F. Harris, silverfish are nocturnal, and they like to breed in dark places. Outside, you'll find them in the bark of trees or rooting in organic leaf matter around your home. They even like to live in the nests of other insects, such as termites, and you can also find them in birds' nests.

Silverfish will be tempted to come indoors when they can't acclimate to the temperature outside. Usually, silverfish survive well in temperatures of 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. When silverfish come inside, you may also find them scurrying around the kitchen, laundry room and pipes. According to P.F. Harris, they like to feed on carbohydrates, proteins, mold and even the glue on book bindings or wallpaper.

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Preventing Silverfish Infestations

The best way to get rid of a silverfish infestation is 100 percent prevention. Once you have an infestation in your home, you should hire a professional to rectify the situation. Although you can buy silverfish traps, it's highly recommended that you hire an expert because they can find silverfish in inconspicuous places the average person wouldn't think to look.

According to Big Blue Bug Solutions, professionals have safe treatment methods that won't harm the inhabitants of the home they're treating. When it comes to prevention, P.F. Harris recommends removing excess moisture and blocking entrance points.

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