Silverfish are silver, creepy, fast moving and resemble the movement of a fish. Under the ri
ght conditions, they will ruin your books and chew up materials to obtain food.
Silverfish are generally considered a household pest. These shy insects cause damage by eating up materials that contain carbohydrates. This may include: eating foods such as cereals and sugar; book bindings, wallpaper, clothes as it contains starch. This problem can be easily eliminated by contacting the pest control experts! Do not allow further damage.
Silverfish are generally 1 – 2 cm in length. Their body colour ranges from grey, metallic silver to brown. They have no wings. Their bodies are flattened, long, oval shape and covered with fine scales. They have two long antennae and 3 tail-like projections. (Refer to diagram below) .
Silverfish prefer dark areas and are most active at night. These may be found in: kitchen cupboards, bathtubs, bathroom sinks, garage, office, crevices of floor tiles, under fridges, wardrobes, under the bed, piles of newspaper and attics. Their ideal environment would be a bookshelf! This way the silverfish can feed on the glue in the book binding and live in the pages of the book. They love tight spaces. Silverfish like the warm and moist environment.
Silverfish are chewing insects. They generally eat anything!
Silverfish diet also includes: vegetables, hair, dandruff, photos, linen, cotton, silk, moulds, glue to obtain starch; own moult and other insects. Infested materials will have irregular patches eaten off by these insects. Once they found a good food source, they may become difficult to get rid of from your home, do not hesitate and call an exterminator!
A silverfish may live up to 5 years or more. The lifecycle of a silverfish involves the laying of eggs and the hatching of nymphs. The nymphs resemble the adults but have no scales. They continue to moult multiple times to reach the adult stage. The adults continue to moult after mating. This is a very rare function of any insect! If the conditions are cold and dry, the silverfish cannot reproduce.
There are simple strategies to manage silverfish. These include:
- regular cleaning
- regular checking of areas that would attract silverfish
- reduce moisture in your home that encourages silverfish
- eliminate any cracks or crevices
- store paper materials and food in air tight containers
- use vacuum cleaner
The presence of silverfish indicates poor hygiene and damp environment.