Silverfish is characterized by three long tail-like appendages arising from the tip of the abdomen.
Silverfish are primitive, wingless insects that are ½ inch long when fully grown. They are flattened, somewhat “carrot” shaped, and covered with silvery scales. They have chewing mouthparts, long antennae and the body is almost always covered with scales. They prefer warm, damp, dark and undisturbed areas.
Lepisma saccharina Linnaeus
Silverfish have a carrot-shaped outline. They are usually a steel gray or metallic silver colour and measure about 1/2 – 3/4 inch in length.
The female silverfish lays one to three eggs per day in crevices or under objects, which hatches in about 43 days. The young silverfish look exactly like the adults, except smaller, and feed on the same foods. These insects are very long lived, commonly living a minimum of three years.
Silverfish may roam some distances in search of food. They consume both carbohydrates and proteins. Silverfish are pests of paper products and textiles. They will also eat the glue backing in wallpaper.
Silverfish can be found throughout a structure, from the basement, to individual floors, to attics, to shingles on the roof. They readily feed on books, cloth, and sometimes dried meats or dead insects. They prefer warm, damp, dark and undisturbed areas.
Silverfish feed and cause damage to a variety of materials, but seem to prefer materials of plant origin that are high in carbohydrates and protein. They feed on glue in book bindings or behind wallpaper, and on paper, paper sizing, cereal grain products and dried meat.
Silverfish prefer dark places and are most active at night. Most species are found outdoors in hidden locations, such as under tree bark and rocks, or in the nests of animals, but human dwellings provide a good environment for a few species.
Silverfish are most abundant in:
- Wall voids
- Dark closets
- Storage rooms
They are often found in sinks, lavatories and bathtubs because they have fallen in and become trapped while seeking moisture.
Control & Prevention
For effective control it is beneficial to reduce moisture, lowering the temperature and removing any infested items can help eliminate localized infestations. Sanitation is helpful, but may not greatly reduce the problem. Silverfish are easily controlled with thorough application of baits and/or residual insecticide sprays or dusts.
Need help with silverfish extermination?
Call Nikol Pest Control at 604-364-3201 for a free estimate.