>Silverfish are able to digest cellulose by themselves, thanks to the cellulase that is produced by its midgut. They consume matter that contains polysaccharides, such as starches and dextrin in adhesives. These include book bindings, carpet, clothing, coffee, dandruff, glue, hair, some paints, paper, photos, plaster, and sugar. Silverfish can also cause damage to tapestries. Other substances they may eat include cotton, dead insects, linen, silk, leftover crumbs, or even their own exuviae (moulted exoskeleton). During famine, a silverfish may even consume leather and synthetic fabrics. Silverfish can live for a year or more without eating if water is available.
>Silverfish are considered household pests, due to their consumption and destruction of property. However, although they are responsible for the contamination of food and other types of damage, they do not transmit disease.