How to Kill Silverfish in Pipes or Drains


Silverfish are pesky little creatures that can be difficult to get rid of. They often invade homes through drains or pipes and can be very difficult to exterminate once they’re established. In this article, we will discuss how to kill silverfish in pipes or drains using several different methods. We will also provide some helpful tips on preventing silverfish from invading your home in the first place. At the first glance, silverfish may seem to come out of space. They have flattened bodies, long antennae, and three long tail-like appendages that give them a fish-like appearance. And like space invaders, once silverfish establish themselves in your home, they can be difficult to get rid of.

What are silverfish?

Silverfish are also known as “fishmoth” and “bristletail”. They are small, wingless insects that are usually silver or grey. Silverfish are attracted to damp areas and are often found in basements, garages, and laundry rooms. They can also be found in drains and pipes. However, they have nothing in common with fish.

What attracts silverfish to pipes and drains?

Several things may at silverfish to your pipes and drains. One is the moisture that can be found in these areas. According to Blog Fantastic Services, silverfish are attracted to damp places because they need moisture to survive. Another thing that may attract silverfish to your pipes and drains is the presence of food. Silverfish are attracted to areas where there is food because they need to eat to survive.

What are the dangers of having silverfish in pipes and drains?

Well, if there are silverfish in pipes and drains, then that’s a clear indication that your home is infested with them. These pests can cause a lot of damage to your plumbing and drain systems, and can even contaminate your water supply.

What are the signs that your pipes and drains are infested with silverfish?

It is not difficult to realize that you have a silverfish infestation in your pipes or drains. The most common sign include the following:

  • Silverfish droppings. In case you have silverfish in your drain, you will begin noticing small black pellets around your sink. These are their droppings and a sure sign of an infestation;
  • Silverfish damage. Another common sign of silverfish in your pipes or drains is the damage they leave behind. These pests are known to gnaw on a wide range of materials, including paper, plastics, and fabrics;
  • Shed skin. Silverfish often shed their skin as they mature. If you find shed silverfish skin around your sink or drain, it is a good indication that you have an infestation;
  • Silverfish eggs. Another sign of silverfish in your pipes or drains is the eggs they leave behind. These small, white eggs are often found in small clusters and can hatch within two months;
  • Live silverfish. You may notice live silverfish in your sink or drain. These small, wingless insects are often brown or grey and can range in size from one-half to one inch long. If you see one, there is a good chance there are many more.

How to Kill Silverfish in Pipes or Drains?

With the awareness that silverfish have invaded your home, the next step is to get rid of them. These are some of the methods of killing silverfish in drains and pipes;

Repair leaky pipes

Leaky pipes and broken drains do attract silverfish as they are attracted to moisture. So, the first step in getting rid of silverfish is to fix any leaky pipes or broken drains in your home. This will eliminate silverfish and improve the lifespan of the drainage system. That will save you money in the long term.

Identify and seal entry points

The next step is to identify and seal all possible entry points that the silverfish may be using to get into pipes. This may require some investigation, but it is worth it to prevent future infestations. Look for cracks or holes in walls, pipes, and drains, and seal them with caulk or another appropriate material. According to Hunker, you may also want to consider using a mesh screen to cover drains and pipes, as this will further deter silverfish from entering.

Add sticky traps around drains and pipes

You can also set your silverfish trap by taking a cup and filling it halfway with beer. Then, set the cup near where you’ve seen silverfish and check it in the morning. The silverfish will walk onto the trap to get the beer and won’t be able to escape. You can then dispose of the silverfish however you’d like.

Use insecticides

You can spray commercial anti-pest products directly into drains and pipes to kill silverfish. Just make sure that the surface is not wet or else the substance will form a pasty solution that the silverfish will effectively avoid. Make sure you do the same thing around cracks and crevices that you know the insects frequent. According to Good Housekeeping, you can also use a fogger to fill an enclosed space with insecticide vapor. This will kill any silverfish that are present, as well as any other pests. Just be sure to follow the instructions on the packaging and ventilate the space afterward.

Use diatomaceous earth around the drains

Diatomaceous Earth is a natural product made from the fossilized remains of tiny aquatic creatures called diatoms. The exoskeletons of these organisms are composed of a natural substance called silica. When ground into a fine powder, this material can be used to kill silverfish in pipes or drains. When silverfish come into contact with Diatomaceous Earth, they immediately lose their coating which is waxy and protects them from dehydration. This loss of moisture causes the silverfish to dehydrate and die within a few hours.

How to prevent silverfish from coming back to Pipes or Drains?

Prevention is always the best method when it comes to silverfish. To keep them from returning to your pipes or drains, make sure to:

  • Seal any cracks or gaps around your plumbing fixtures and appliances.
  • Eliminate moisture sources in your home, such as leaks, condensation, and high humidity.
  • Reduce clutter where silverfish can hide, such as in closets, storage areas, and basements.
  • Keep food stored in airtight containers and dispose of garbage regularly.


As you can see, there are a variety of ways you can get rid of silverfish in pipes or drains. Follow the methods discussed in this article, and you’ll be silverfish-free in no time. Just remember to take preventive measures to keep them from coming back.

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