I live in Milan, Italy in the city center. I live in this house since 5 years and I keep finding the insect pictured below.

I see it throughout the seasons (temperatures here range from -1°C to +35°C in average).

I find it mostly in my bathroom which is not well ventilated and it is the warmest room in the house (about 23°C in winter even with the radiators off and up to 35°C in summer during very hot days if I don't use air conditioning).

The size is about 7mm in length and 1mm in width (including only the main body, i.e., excluding legs and antennae).

I find it mostly during the night but maybe just because I use brighter lights and I can see it more clearly on my white walls.

What is its name so I can research more about it (i.e., does it pose any risk to my health or to my belongings in the house?)?

enter image description here


1 Answer 1


Looks like a species of silverfish.


enter image description here

They eat paper, cloth and stored foods like cereal, even organic wall paste, so yes they can damage your stuff, but outside allergies they are harmless to a person.

  • $\begingroup$ Could it be also en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Firebrat ? $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 7, 2023 at 23:31
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Zygentoma is the name of the group there are several species, look at your local pest identification. silverfish is the common name. $\endgroup$
    – John
    Commented Jun 8, 2023 at 0:03
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @John ‘Silverfish’ is the common name for a number of species in the Zygentoma group, but not all. Firebrats are, in my experience, the primary exclusion from the term, since their defining feature is that they’re not silvery to look at, but brownish-grey. Sort of like how members of the Odonata family are mostly called dragonflies, except those that are called damselflies. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 8, 2023 at 11:32
  • $\begingroup$ Silverfish is what immediately leaped to mind when I saw the picture. $\endgroup$
    – Mike Finch
    Commented Jun 8, 2023 at 19:04

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