Do LED Lights Attract Silverfish?

While they’re certainly a fantastic, affordable lighting option, LED lights seem to attract bugs quite a bit!

Do LED lights attract silverfish? Not really, but they draw lots of other bugs.

  • LEDs are known to attract all manner of creepy crawlies. 
  • This is especially problematic if you live in an area where there are lots of bugs.
  • If you’re struggling to deal with a minor silverfish infestation, it’s natural to think that your LEDs might be the problem. 

In this article, we’ll find out if LEDs are the culprit behind your silverfish problem or if it’s caused by something else.

Read on for an explainer. 

Do LED Lights Attract Silverfish?

You’ll be happy to know that LEDs do not attract silverfish, though they do attract most other bugs. 

Insects navigate through UV lights with different wavelengths. However, lights that emit UV rays, or those that have short wavelengths, are the ones that tend to attract the most insects.

Lights with longer wavelengths – such as yellow, red, or orange lights – are not visible to many insects and thus are not attractive to them. 

Lights with longer wavelengths – such as yellow, red, or orange lights – are not visible to insects.

Bugs are also attracted to heat sources, though LEDs emit virtually no heat or UV lights.

Thermal receptors produce this heat in light sources, and incandescent and high-intensity discharge lights also emit UV light. 

Interestingly, many bugs possess color perception and are responsible for UV light with short wavelengths and a broad visible spectrum. 

So, to summarize, your LEDs are not the reason why you are dealing with a silverfish problem. If you have other non-LEDs in your home, those might be attracting the insects instead. 

What You Need to Know About Silverfish

Silverfish Source: Wikipeida

LED light sources emit a small level of blue spectrum light and heat, which is why they do not attract as many bugs as some other light sources. 

The silverfish, also called Lepisma saccharina, is a small, wingless species of insect. They get their name from the color of their exoskeleton, as well as their fish-like movements.

They have an oval-shaped, flat body that is fairly soft. 

They usually prefer dark places, hiding under beds or in dark cabinets. They have long antennae, which are able to regenerate along with their terminal filaments after just four weeks of losing them. 

Silverfish are often confused with cockroaches, as they have similar antennae and legs to cockroaches.

The nasty thing about silverfish is that, once they reach adolescence, the females lay eggs constantly. They feed on book bindings, rolled oats, vegetables, cardboard boxes, flour, paper, and glue, which is why they tend to prosper in most homes.

Silverfish also survive on protein like dried beef and dead insects. 

Unlike other insects which usually try to find an exit as soon as they stumble into your home, silverfish thrive in household environments.

They begin laying eggs once they’ve moved in and often occupy basements, laundry rooms, closets, and sinks that are often damp and rich with food. 

Getting Rid of Silverfish

Here are some ways that you can remove silverfish from your home. 

Rolled-up newspaper

Wet some rolled newspaper up so that silverfish crawl into it and begin to nest. After a few days, throw the newspaper away. If you want to be thorough, you can burn the newspaper.

Make a trap

Place some starchy food in a glass container, then wrap the outside with tape. With this method, silverfish can crawl into the glass using the textured surface of the tape. However, when they want to escape again, they won’t be able to crawl up the smooth glass. 

Use silverfish poison

You can find this online or at most pet stores, and it’s relatively affordable. However, we advise against using this method if you have children or pets who may touch or eat the poison. 

Use cedar oil

Cedar oil can be used in a spray bottle as a solution mixed with water or used in a diffuser throughout your home. Silverfish are repulsed by the strong scents in cedar and will actively try to get away from it.

Have enough of it around your home, and any silverfish will leave. 

Using one of these methods should have the silverfish out of your home in a matter of days. However, if you find that the infestation persists, consider calling a pest control specialist who will be able to apply a professional solution. 

Why Silverfish Are Attracted to Homes?

There are a number of reasons as to why silverfish prefer to infest households. 

For starters, there is plenty for them to feed on in most homes. They prefer eating sugary substances known as polysaccharides, which can be found in many common household items – carpet fibers, book glue, paint, fabrics, and even furniture. 

They prefer eating sugary substances known as polysaccharides, which can be found in many common household items.

There are also ample places for silverfish to hide in a house. They leave their eggs, which appear as white and yellow bulbs, in the damp, dark areas of your home.

You’ll find them underneath sinks and in basements mostly, but they do also occupy cabinets and the spaces underneath beds. 

Silverfish can live up to eight years(!) and frequently reproduce during the course of their lives. This long lifespan and rapid breeding habits, coupled with the ample places for them to thrive within a home, is the reason why they can become a major problem for homeowners. 

Again, this is very similar to cockroaches, who can quickly overrun a home with an infestation.

If there are many moist, dark areas in your home, consider trying to dry and illuminate those areas to deter and prevent silverfish from nesting there. Those are the kinds of places that silverfish thrive in. 


While silverfish are definitely attracted to homes, they’re not typically attracted to LED lights. They prefer to operate in darkness and at night, so they will scurry away from brightly-lit places.

Many other bugs are frequently attracted to LED lights (and other lights), but not silverfish.