Silverfish are small, ½ to 1 inch long silver
to grey color soft body insects without wings. Silverfish are not often seen by homeowners because they are nocturnal
and can run very swiftly. Silver-fish are
found in basements, kitchens, sinks, in bookcases, on closet
shelves, behind baseboards, wallpaper, window or door frames,
wall voids, and sub-floor areas. Occasionally, they are found
in bathtubs. They crawl in seeking food or moisture and can't
climb out. These insects feed on almost anything. A partial
list includes dried beef, flour, starch, paper, gum, glue,
linen, sugar, molds and breakfast cereals.
Adults lay eggs in small groups containing a few to 50 eggs.
The eggs are very small and deposited in cracks and crevices.
A female normally lays less than 100 eggs during her lifespan
of two to eight years. Under ideal conditions, the eggs hatch
in two weeks, but may take up to two months to hatch. Silver
fish prefer a dark moist (75 to 97% humidity), like
bathrooms and moderate temperatures (20-28c).
Commonly four types of insects are called as silverfish. But the most common species would have an even silvery sheen and prefers to live in moister environments. Compared to the common silverfish, the gray one which is solid gray and the four-lined one, which is tan gray, need higher temperature to thrive. Another variety called as the firebrat is in mottled gray and requires temperatures that are around 100F.
Silverfish chewing habits:
Even though the silverfishes are not directly harmful to humans, their chewing habits are quite annoying and cause damage to properties. The common material in which the silverfishes feed on is paper, clothing and other items. They also eat food items like sugar, flour and products made out of these things. However they do not bite humans even though they have the ability to chew holes in paper.
Due to their size and flattened body structure, the silverfishes are capable of slipping easily into very small spaces. This is the reason why these creatures are usually found in cup boards and drawers, beneath the bathtub, in seams of wallpaper and the like. If you don't find the silverfishes in these areas, it does not mean that you house is devoid of their infestation. The silverfish enjoy the dark and are most active at night. So chances are there that the pests may be in your home without you realizing it. Silverfish infestation can be easily found out as they would be skittering around bath tubs and sinks, damp places where the surface is eaten away in irregular patches.
Preventing the infestation
The silverfishes strive to dwell in damp and moist areas and also in poor hygiene areas. Hence their infestation can be prevented if you can dry up wet and damp places immediately. Another effective method to get rid of silverfish is by destroying their food source. Try to maintain the moisture in the house at low levels as the insects do not like dry environments. If you control moisture, mold and mildew on which the silverfishes usually feed, would also be prevented. Make sure that you keep all grains, cereals, flour, sugar and cookies in tightly sealed containers. The insects would not infest the food, if the access is being blocked. Also remember to remove all paper accessories and cardboard boxes from the home and store useful documents in sealed containers. If you are ready to diligent and through cleaning, the silverfish infestation can be barred from getting into the wallpapers. Silverfish can
be a problem year round. Contact us for more information and
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