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Silverfish Extermination Cost

Silverfish Extermination Cost

National average
$200
(single visit to spray the majority of the home with pyrethrin)
Low: $115

(single visit to apply insecticide dust to the attic)

High: $650

(monthly visits for 6 months, severe infestation)

Cost to get rid of silverfish varies greatly by region (and even by zip code).
Get free estimates from animal/pest control specialists in your city.

The average cost of exterminating silverfish is $200.

In this guide

Signs of infestation
Damage
Labor
Prevention
Enhancement and improvement costs
Additional considerations and costs
FAQ

How much does it cost to get rid of silverfish?

Silverfish can be a real nuisance if they turn up in your home. These tiny creatures can cause a lot of damage, and when you see three or four, there could be dozens more nearby.

Professional silverfish extermination is the only way to ensure that these pests are completely eradicated. Costs vary depending on how bad the infestation is and where in your home it is located. Most homeowners spend around $200 on professional applications of pyrethrin throughout the majority of the home.

Signs of infestation

Silverfish are insects found in all 50 states. So, it is very common for a few to make their way indoors into a home, particularly if they find a food source. If they locate food and the conditions are just right, they can move in permanently and begin breeding.

If this happens, you may notice a few insects as your first sign. They may be in the bathroom or another damp area or near a source of food, such as books, wallpaper, lumber, newspapers, cereal boxes, or bags of flour. If you see a few silverfish in one area, look more closely for an infestation. These include:

  • Shell casings: When silverfish molt, they leave behind a casing, which may be near the area where they eat.
  • Feces: Their feces are small dots that look similar to pepper. You may also see these near areas where they have been eating.
  • Discoloration: Places where they have been invading may begin to yellow, especially clothes and papers.
  • Holes: If you spot small holes in your flour bags, cereal boxes, curtains, or books, this can be a sign of silverfish. If you look at the area where the hole leads to, you may find the insects themselves.

Silverfish are nocturnal, so you are most likely to spot them and signs of their activity at night, particularly in damp, dark, and quiet places where they like to live. This can include bathrooms, attics, basements, closets, storage rooms, and some kitchen cabinets.

Damage

Silverfish pose little harm to people or pets. They are not poisonous, do not bite or sting, and do not transmit diseases. Some people may be allergic to their shell casings, particularly those who are allergic to dust.

The real issue with silverfish is the damage they can do to your property. They can eat clothes, curtains, newspapers, books, and grains. Because they live for up to 3 years and can reproduce as many as 50 times during those 3 years, they can very quickly overwhelm a home. If this happens, they can do real damage to vintage clothing, antique books, wallpaper, and in some cases, lumber.

Labor

The extermination process varies depending on how big the infestation is. Most professionals first confirm the presence of silverfish and then determine the extent of the issue.

The most common method of extermination is to spray a chemical called pyrethrin around baseboards, cracks, and other areas where the silverfish may be. This chemical is lethal to silverfish and will kill the insects. This chemical is considered less toxic than some others but cannot be used around children or pets.

If the infestation is severe, the exterminator may spray a residual insecticide around baseboards, cracks, and the exterior of the home. This will not only kill the existing silverfish but will also help prevent new pests from entering for a period of time.

If the silverfish are in your attic and insulation, in your kitchen behind appliances, beneath your siding, or around light fixtures, your exterminator may use insecticide dust to help kill the pests. The dust will last for roughly 6 months and is effective at killing the pests and their eggs.

If your infestation is severe, the exterminator may make several follow-up visits to monitor and apply insecticide until the problem is solved. They may also use combinations of any of these methods, along with traps and preventative sprays.

Costs vary for visits and treatment, with minor issues starting at around $115 and moderate infestations, which means spraying the majority of the home, for about $200. Severe infestations and repeat visits may cost more.

Prevention

Extermination is only one piece of the puzzle for completely ridding your home of silverfish. Most exterminators will advise you on prevention to help keep them from returning. Otherwise, the exterminator may need to make monthly visits to keep them away.

Prevention can take many forms depending on where the silverfish are found, how many there are, and your geographic location. Things that the exterminator may recommend include:

  • Put food in airtight containers
  • Run a dehumidifier in damp areas to dry them out
  • Insulate pipes to reduce condensation
  • Find and seal up any water or moisture leaks
  • Check around drains and water sources for leaks and fix them
  • Install vents and attic fans to reduce humidity buildup
  • Cover dirt floors in basements with plastic to seal them
  • Deal with any mold or mildew in the home
  • Seal up cracks around your home where the silverfish may be entering
  • Throwing out old newspapers, boxes, and other piles that may harbor the insects
  • Regularly air out closets, clothing, trunks, and other storage areas

Enhancement and improvement costs

Professional cleaning

While silverfish do not carry diseases, they can leave behind stains and feces. You may wish to hire cleaners to remove these. House cleaning services start at $75 to $125.

Additional considerations and costs

  • Anything stored in an infested area, including boxes and plastic containers, can allow the pests to spread.
  • Leaving food or dirty dishes out in the open can lure the silverfish into your home.
  • You can try repelling silverfish from areas of your home with cinnamon, boric acid, or diatomaceous earth. Keep in mind that these have varying degrees of effectiveness and may not kill the insects.
  • Silverfish are white when first hatched. At this stage, they are called nymphs. They will molt several times as they grow to full-sized adults, about ¾-inch in length.
  • The longer a silverfish infestation exists, the more difficult and expensive it will be to eradicate. Large infestations should always be treated by professionals.

FAQ

  • Is it bad to have silverfish?

Silverfish do not carry diseases, but they can do a lot of damage to your home, including books, wallpaper, curtains, clothes, and some food items.

  • Do silverfish have nests?

They do not nest, but they can occupy large areas, especially when the area is quiet, dark, and damp.

  • What causes a silverfish infestation?

Most silverfish are lured into your home by the smell of food. They like grains and carbs and are attracted to these things.

  • Do silverfish go in beds?

Silverfish prefer quiet, dark, damp spaces. So, it is unlikely that they will visit a frequently used, dry bed.

  • What smells do silverfish hate?

Silverfish are not fond of the smell of spices. Cinnamon, cloves, and other strong-smelling spices may keep them away.

Was this guide helpful to you?
  

Cost to get rid of silverfish varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

Silverfish feeding on paper

Labor cost by city and zip code

Compared to national average
Allentown, PA
+11%
Anaheim, CA
+21%
Athens, GA
-9%
Atlanta, GA
+24%
Baltimore, MD
+12%
Birmingham, AL
+6%
Bronx, NY
+32%
Brooklyn, NY
+16%
Buffalo, NY
-1%
Cary, NC
-5%
Cedar Rapids, IA
+6%
Charlotte, NC
+6%
Chester, PA
+26%
Chicago, IL
+40%
Cincinnati, OH
+6%
Cleveland, OH
+7%
Columbus, OH
+5%
Dallas, TX
+10%
Dayton, OH
-7%
Des Moines, IA
+1%
Detroit, MI
+16%
Durham, NC
-1%
Everett, WA
-14%
Fort Wayne, IN
-7%
Fort Worth, TX
+6%
Fresno, CA
-6%
Grand Rapids, MI
+7%
Greensboro, NC
-9%
Henrico, VA
+6%
Hicksville, NY
+31%
Houston, TX
+24%
Indianapolis, IN
+6%
Jersey City, NJ
+23%
Joplin, MO
-26%
Kansas City, MO
+4%
Los Angeles, CA
+11%
Marietta, GA
+10%
Milwaukee, WI
+12%
Minneapolis, MN
+25%
New York, NY
+77%
Norfolk, VA
-6%
Norristown, PA
+44%
Oakland, CA
+36%
Oceanside, CA
+8%
Omaha, NE
-10%
Orlando, FL
+2%
Philadelphia, PA
+40%
Pittsburgh, PA
+9%
Richmond, VA
+4%
Saint Louis, MO
+16%
Labor cost in your zip code
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