These creepy crawlies are a nuisance insect that are commonly found throughout the United States. They were given the name silverfish due to their light gray to silvery metallic appearance and their movements that look like a fish swimming. They are sometimes called bristletails because their abdomen has three long tail-like appendages. These creatures are usually found in moist, humid areas like basements, attics, and bathrooms. They are hiders which means the damage that they have caused may not be noticed right away.
Appearance and Morphology
These insects are wingless, but they can run very fast. Adults are typically a half-inch to three-quarters of an inch (about as long as the diameter of a Jefferson nickel). Their silvery bodies are long and flat, and they are usually shaped like a fish, teardrop, or carrot. Their scaly bodies are wider at the front, where their two thread-like antennae emerge, and they are slender at the rear where the three bristletails protrude.
How do I know if I have Silverfish?
You can tell infestations by looking for signs such as, irregular feeding marks like notches along an edge, surface etchings and holes, yellow stains, fecal matter – tiny pellets that look like black pepper – that can be found on infested materials. Sometimes they are spotted coming down on ceiling soffits, or they will drop from skylights and light fixtures in the ceiling. They can be found in cabinets near moisture like showers, tubs, sinks, toilets, and other areas where plumbing is found.
Why Should I be Concerned about Silverfish?
Although silverfish do not carry disease or bite, the reason they are a nuisance is, first a female can lay as many as 3 eggs a day, these eggs can lay dormant for up to three years. Silverfish can also go without food for long periods, so they can dwell in your home for a long time. The lifespan of a silverfish is about 3 years. Silverfish have a diet of paper products, like pages of books, wallpaper, envelopes, and glue. They will also eat holes in clothing and will eat household food items like rolled oats and flour. Silverfish will also feed on protein meals like dried beef, and they have been known to feed on injured and dead of their own kind.
As discussed, silverfish like moist, humid environments so control of them happens by using dehumidifiers and by eliminating plumbing leaks, broken plumbing, and drains. You will also want to remove or repair wet and moldy wood. Be sure you also check on food items, like sugar, flour, meal, oats, and similar items to make sure they are stored in properly sealed containers.
Silverfish likely got into your home through a shake roof, infested items brought into the home, or perhaps outdoor items like boxes and other materials that are stored outside, against your home or in your garage. Regardless of how they got into your home, if you suspect you have an infestation, Call All-Natural Pest Control at 877-662-8449 and let us evaluate your home for silverfish or other insects, bugs, arachnids or other pests.