Silverfish in Bed: Causes + How to Get Rid of Them

Although silverfish prefer places with warm and humid conditions, it is possible to find them in your bed. Their infestation in your bed will leave it with feeding marks such as irregular holes and yellow stains on the beddings.

Silverfish are attracted to your bed due to the warm and moist conditions it provides. They can also breed and feed on the fabrics, especially if the beddings are rarely washed. To get rid of silverfish in bed, lower the humidity in your bedroom, then keep the bedding clean and dry. You can also spray citrus peel insecticide to repel them.

They are not majorly considered harmful to humans. However, silverfish can cause adverse damage to your beddings, especially those made of fabric and fibers. Furthermore, the bed has perfect hiding spots within the mattress and the bedframes where they can also lay their eggs.

Why are there silverfish in my bed? Explanation

Your bed offers the perfect conditions to sustain silverfish throughout their lifetime. Here are some of the reasons why your bed has silverfish.

1. Habitat

Silverfish require warm and moist conditions for them to thrive healthily. The level of moisture under your bed can increase if the bedroom is not well ventilated or the airflow is poor under the bed. This will subsequently make the mattress also to be moist.

Adding on top of that, the heat released from your body at night, plus the bedroom’s temperature, will make the mattress warm. For example, if you already have silverfish in books that are kept in your bedroom, they will be attracted to your bed due to these favorable conditions.

2. There is the source of food in your bed

Some of the entities found in the bed are food for silverfish. They have a high preference for materials that are made of fabric and fiber. They will therefore feed on the mattress, cushion, and pillowcases for nutrients.

Nevertheless, if you’re fond of snacking on your bed, you might also be feeding them unknowingly. While eating on your bed, crumbs might have dropped either on the bed or around your mattress. 

Surprisingly, silverfish can consume carbohydrates and starch also. Therefore the food crumbs are also food to them. 

3. Your bed has perfect hiding spots

Silverfish prefer the dark because their eyes are sensitive to light. Light from within the room doesn’t reach under the bed or between the mattress and the bed frame. 

Furthermore, cleaning under the mattress and the bed frames is rarely done. Therefore there is a minimal disturbance in these areas. Hence the space between the mattress and the bed frames are perfect hiding spot. 

4. The bed has good spots for their hatcheries

The females will lay their eggs within the mattress and between the bed frames to protect their eggs. This is because the areas are left undisturbed most of the time. Hence their eggs will be laid and hatched within 3 weeks safely.

Additionally, silverfish can also hide and breed under the bed. They can access the bedding from there as they breed and lay eggs. It is always dark and warm; if not regularly cleaned, there will be an infestation in the bedroom.

How to get rid of silverfish in bed

Their survival mainly depends on moist conditions. Therefore the best way to get rid of them is by keeping the bed clean and dry at all times. Otherwise, here are other effective methods you can use.

1. Lower the humidity in your bedroom

Silverfish require warm and humid places to survive, mate and lay their eggs. Lowering the humidity will make the environment around the bed unfavorable hence they will mate less. This will consequently result in a low reproduction rate.

You can start by keeping your windows open and running fans in your bedroom to ensure that it is well-ventilated and dry. Instead, you can also use more effective dehumidifiers.

Also, you might want to stop keeping wet clothes inside the bedroom as this increases the room’s humidity.

2. Maintain a clean bedroom

A clean bedroom means that there will be limited food sources for them. You can achieve cleanliness by vacuuming your bedding alongside the bedroom floor at least once a week. 

Also, this method will help curb their population by sucking their laid eggs on the beddings together with the present silverfish. 

3. Make and use citrus peel insecticide

This is one of the most effective methods used when it comes to repelling silverfish. They hate the strong smell of citrus and hence use it as a repellent.

To make a citrus spray insecticide, here is what you will need:

  1. 4 lemons
  2. 2 cups of ethanol
  3. A pot
  4. Spray bottle

Steps on how to use it:

  1. Roughly chop the peel of four lemons.
  2. Put them in a pot containing two cups of ethanol.
  3. Boil the mixture for about 10 minutes
  4. Then let the mixture soak for about 12 hours for ethanol to extract limonene from the peels.
  5. Then place the mixture in a spray bottle.
  6. Spray the mixture around the bed.
  7. Close the windows and doors of the room to allow the smell to accumulate there.

4. Use diatomaceous earth

This powdery substance can be used to kill silverfish. It breaks their exoskeleton, causing them to die.

Simply spread the powder between the bed frames and the mattress where they hide. Then the following day, vacuum up the powder together with the dead silverfish.

Caution: while handling the powder, wear a protective mask since the powder irritates your lungs when inhaled.

5. Use an old wet newspaper to trap them

You can also use an old newspaper to trap the silverfish when they search for food in the dark. Here is how to make a homemade silverfish trap:

  1. Loosely roll up the newspaper and put it in an open container
  2. Then sprinkle water on it to make it wet
  3. Place it under the bed where silverfish can easily hide in it
  4. After 3-4 days, burn the newspaper to get rid of the silverfish that stayed in it.

This trap can be placed under the sink while removing silverfish in bathrooms. Remember, if a washroom is in your bedroom, it is easy for an infestation to thrive, especially if it is never kept dry after use.

6. Use salt

Salt will help dehydrate silverfish and eventually kill them. Simply sprinkle salt between the bed frames and the mattress where they hide. Then the following day, vacuums the salt together with the dead silverfish.

Where do silverfish hide in bed?

Silverfish’s eyes are sensitive to light. Therefore they are most likely to be found under the mattress due to the dark conditions. Below are other potential hiding spots in your bed.

On the mattress: Here, they can access food by eating the mattress’s foam. Also, it will be much easier for them to access food on top of the mattress while eating the sheets and pillow’s fabrics. They can also hide under their bed and access everything they need.

Between the mattress and bed frames: Cleaning in between the bed frames is difficult, leaving the area undisturbed most of the time. Forming the perfect place for them to reside and lay their eggs without fear of disruption.

Can silverfish get in your mattress? 

The mattress is made of fiber, and fabrics make it food for silverfish. They poke holes inside the mattress while eating hence creating pathways within it. The holes create pathways within the mattress’s foam.

If this happens, the best action to take is to air the mattress out in the sun for long hours. Also, wash all the beddings with hot water to kill them.

Does one silverfish mean an infestation?

Seeing one silverfish in your bed doesn’t necessarily mean that there is an infestation. In fact,  spotting one is a warning sign that your bed has developed moist conditions that attract them.

However, seeing them regularly indicates that you have an infestation in your bed. Therefore it all depends on how often you see one on your bed. If a day cannot go by without seeing a silverfish on your bed, then you have an infestation that needs to be dealt with.

Will silverfish crawl on you while in bed?

Silverfish are harmless to humans. They don’t bite, sting, or carry diseases. But this doesn’t mean that they won’t crawl on you while sleeping.

They mostly get out of their hiding spots during the dark in search of food. Hence there are high chances that they might crawl on you while you sleep at night. But they pose no danger to you when this happens.

Does silverfish mean your bed is dirty?

Moist conditions mostly attract them. Therefore their infestation in your bed does not necessarily mean that it is dirty. It clearly indicates that your bed has developed moist conditions that attract them.

In most cases, irregular cleaning will result in an infestation. Therefore, a silverfish infestation in your bed means that it is dirty. The only solution, in this case, is to remove everything and do a serious cleaning. The bedding should be washed and left to dry before they are put back in place.

How to get rid of silverfish eggs in bed

The female lays about twenty eggs two to three times every day. The egg is 1 millimeter in length and is elliptical in shape. When first laid, they are white and soft, but after a few hours of oxygen exposure, they toughen up and turn yellow.

The females will lay their eggs within the mattress and between the bed frames to protect their eggs. This is because the areas are left undisturbed most of the time. Hence their eggs will be laid and hatched within 3 weeks safely.

To get rid of their eggs, here is what you will need:

  1. A cup of water
  2. 1 tablespoon of boric acid powder
  3. Spray bottle

Steps on how to use it:

  1. Pour the powder into a spray bottle
  2.  Add water to attain a solution form of the acid.
  3. Then spray the acid in between the bed frames where they lay their eggs.

Be careful not to use any tin that you are allergic to on or around your bed when getting rid of silverfish. Always remember that you will spend the rest of the night there; some scents can linger around overnight and affect you badly.