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Silverfish in Mattress: Tackling the Unseen Pests in Your Sleep Space

From the Puffy Editorial Team | 5 min read.
Silverfish in Mattress: Tackling the Unseen Pests in Your Sleep Space

Silverfish, named for their silvery, fish-like appearance and movements, are drawn to dark and moist environments. They find mattresses particularly appealing due to the accumulation of skin flakes, starches, and sometimes the glues used in mattress construction. Although they don’t pose severe health risks, their presence can be unsettling and indicative of broader humidity issues in the home.

Silverfish in Mattress: Identifying the Problem

Recognizing the presence of silverfish in your mattress is the first step in addressing this common household pest issue:

  • Physical Identification: Silverfish are small, wingless insects with a distinctive fish-like shape and silvery-gray color. They measure about 0.5 to 1 inch in length.
  • Signs of Infestation: Look for subtle signs such as tiny pepper-like droppings, small yellowish stains, or shed skins on or around your mattress. You might also notice small holes in fabric or wallpaper, as silverfish feed on carbohydrates, including starches and cellulose.
  • Active at Night: Being nocturnal, silverfish are more active at night, which can make them harder to spot during the day. You may notice them if you wake up during the night or if you move your mattress and disturb their hiding spots.

Understanding these signs can help you identify a silverfish problem early, leading to more effective control and prevention strategies.

Can Silverfish Live in Mattress?

While not their preferred environment, silverfish can indeed find their way into mattresses under certain conditions:

  • Moisture and Humidity: Silverfish thrive in moist and humid environments. If your bedroom or mattress area has high humidity levels, it can become a conducive habitat for these pests.
  • Food Sources: Although they typically feed on paper and fabrics, silverfish can also be drawn to the dander, sweat, and body oils that accumulate in mattresses, especially older ones.
  • Hiding Spots: Mattresses with crevices, folds, and seams can provide hiding spots for silverfish. They prefer dark, undisturbed areas, making the underside or inner parts of a mattress suitable for them.
  • Rare but Possible: While it’s more common to find silverfish in other areas of a home, like bathrooms and kitchens, they can migrate to mattresses, particularly in environments that meet their needs for moisture and food.

How to Get Rid of Silverfish on My Mattress

Eradicating silverfish from your mattress involves a combination of cleaning, environmental control, and sometimes chemical treatments:

  1. Deep Cleaning: Start by thoroughly vacuuming your mattress, paying special attention to seams, edges, and any crevices. This helps remove any eggs and adult silverfish.

  2. Moisture Control: Use a dehumidifier in your bedroom to lower the humidity levels, as silverfish thrive in moist environments.

  3. Natural Repellents: Spread natural repellents like diatomaceous earth around your bed. This non-toxic powder can dehydrate and kill silverfish upon contact.

  4. Essential Oils: Silverfish dislike certain scents like lavender, citrus, and cinnamon. Sprinkle these essential oils around your bed or use them in a diffuser to deter these pests.

  5. Regular Bedding Maintenance: Wash your sheets, pillowcases, and mattress covers regularly in hot water to remove potential food sources for silverfish.

  6. Seal Cracks and Crevices: Seal any potential entry points in your bedroom, including gaps in window frames, baseboards, or walls, to prevent silverfish from entering.

  7. Professional Pest Control: If the infestation is severe or persistent, consider consulting a professional pest control service for targeted treatments.

Puffy mattresses are known for their easy-to-clean designs to help maintain a pest-free sleep environment.

Interested in how Puffy stacks up against other brands? Check out our mattress comparisons: Puffy vs Purple, Puffy vs Nectar, Puffy vs Casper, Puffy vs Leesa, Puffy vs Saatva, Puffy vs DreamCloud, and Puffy vs Tuft and Needle.

Who Will Pick Up Silverfish Infested Mattress?

Disposing of a mattress that’s heavily infested with silverfish requires careful handling to prevent the spread of the infestation:

  • Local Waste Management: Contact your local waste management or municipal sanitation department to inquire about mattress disposal policies and whether they handle infested furniture.

  • Professional Junk Removal Services: Some specialized junk removal companies can safely handle and dispose of infested mattresses. They have the necessary equipment and know-how to do this without spreading the infestation.

  • Pest Control Services: In some cases, pest control services may offer removal services for infested items as part of their pest eradication process.

  • Safety Precautions: If you’re handling the mattress yourself, seal it in a mattress disposal bag to contain the pests and carefully transport it to a designated disposal area.

Preventing Silverfish Infestations in Your Mattress

  • Control Humidity: Keep your bedroom’s humidity level below 50% to create an unfavorable environment for silverfish.
  • Regular Cleaning: Vacuuming and airing out your mattress can prevent infestations.
  • Use Protective Covers: A mattress protector can shield your mattress from silverfish.

Consider the Puffy Cloud Mattress for its hypoallergenic qualities, reducing allergens and deterring pests like silverfish in your mattress.

Check out Puffy mattress reviews from real customers and see how we compare with other brands.

Natural Remedies to Deter Silverfish in Mattresses

  • Lavender Oil: Silverfish dislike the smell of lavender. Sprinkle lavender oil around your bed as a natural repellent.
  • Cedar Shavings: Place cedar shavings around your bed to keep silverfish away.

Long-Term Solutions for Silverfish-Free Sleep

  • Regular Inspections: Periodically check for signs of silverfish and address any issues promptly.
  • Professional Pest Control: For severe infestations, professional pest control can offer more permanent solutions.

FAQs About Silverfish in Mattresses

How often should I vacuum my mattress to prevent silverfish?

  • Vacuuming your mattress every one to two weeks can help prevent silverfish infestations.

Can silverfish cause health problems?

  • Silverfish are not known to carry diseases, but their presence can be a nuisance and indicative of other moisture-related issues.

Use our store locator to find the closest furniture or mattress store near you and feel the cloudlike comfort of our Puffy Mattress in person.


Dealing with silverfish in mattresses requires a combination of cleaning, moisture control, and sometimes professional intervention. By taking proactive steps and considering various options, you can create a hygienic and silverfish-free sleeping environment.

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