As with many colorless or nearly colorless invertebrates, silverfish inhabit dark or damp areas such as kitchen cupboards of houses, bathroom sinks, and tubs. They can sometimes inhabit dry papery areas such as old books and newspaper stacks or be found high on ceilings in bathrooms, bedrooms, etc.
Silverfish consume matter that contains starch or polysaccharides, such as dextrin in adhesives. These include glue, book bindings, paper, photos, sugar, hair, and dandruff. Silverfish can also cause damage to books, tapestries, and textiles. Silverfish will commonly graze in and around showers, baths, and sinks on the cellulose present in many shampoos, shaving foams and so on. Apart from these cases, the damage caused by silverfish is negligible and they have no direct effect on human health.
Other substances that may be eaten include cotton, linen, silk and synthetic fibers, and dead insects or even its own exuvia (moulted exoskeleton). During famine, a silverfish may even attack leatherware and synthetic fabrics. In extreme cases, silverfish may live for one year without eating. Silverfish can be found anywhere in office areas and homes including, but not limited to, bathrooms, garages, closets, underneath beds, couches, and in electrical appliances where food can be found, such as computer keyboards. They generally prefer dark areas.