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sliverfish found in a florida home

Are Those Silverfish Or Earwigs In My Home?

In: Home Pest Control

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Any type of pest showing up in your home can be unpleasant. Trying to correctly identify the pest and threat it causes can be even harder. Silverfish and earwigs are a prime example of commonly misidentified pests. They are both attracted to moist areas in your home and have similar body shapes. However, these two insects are very different and should be handled differently.

Here is a list of traits, habits and identifiers to help you tell the difference between earwigs and silverfish:


  • Earwigs are a dark brown color. They have six legs and two antennas. They have a long, slender one inch body with clippers on their backside. Those clippers are an easy way to identify this pest. They can also sometimes have wings.

  • Silverfish are silver to brown in color. They have six legs and three antennas. They have an oval, elongated body that is about 3/4 of an inch. They have silvery scales and no wings.


  • Earwigs are typically nocturnal. They feed on flowers, fruit and insects during the night. They get their name from the old myth that they crawl into your ears at night. This is not true. They normally try to stay away from humans. If they feel threatened, they can pinch you with their clippers.

  • Silverfish are also mostly nocturnal. They feed on paper, glue, and food items like flour. They can move very fast and enjoy moisture. They can survive for a year without food and this is part of why it is hard to notice you have an infestation.


  • Earwigs live in large colonies outdoors throughout the United States. They enjoy large piles of debris like leaves or a wood piles. They access your home through cracks or holes in your structure.

  • Silverfish are found throughout the United States in moist, humid areas of your home. These areas can include bathrooms, basements and attics.


  • Earwigs do not crawl into your ears. They do not spread any diseases. They are mostly just an annoyance to you. To try and prevent them from invading your home make sure that all cracks and holes are sealed around windows, doors and vents.

  • Silverfish can damage paper products like wallpaper. They can also contaminate food sources. They are mostly just a nuisance to home owners. To prevent them from invading your home, try to keep the humidity down and any moist areas cleaned up.

There are several differences to look for when identifying the pests in your home. If you are unsure what to do with the pest infestation, you should call a professional exterminator. They are highly trained in pest identification and eradication!

Tags: get rid of earwigs  |  get rid of silverfish  |  silverfish control  |  earwig control