What is a Silverfish?

by Anza Goodbar
(last updated February 17, 2012)

Silverfish are small insects with elongated bodies that have a fishlike shape. This insect is wingless and moves about in a wiggling motion resembling a fish. They are hatched white but there color changes from light gray to light blue with a metallic shine. They have six legs and to long antennae. They also have three long cerci at the tips of their abdomen, one protruding straight from their body and one facing right the other facing left. They have two compound eye, despite the fact others in their species are eyeless. They are also called fishmoths, carpet sharks, or paramites. Silverfish have a life span of two to eight years.

Silverfish are found primarily in Africa, North America, Europe, Australia and Asia. However, they can also be found in other part of the Pacific region. They thrive in areas where humidity ranges between 75% and 95%. In urban area they can be found in attics, basements, garages, closets and bathrooms. They love the dark and will scatter when the lights come on.

Silverfish reproduce less than 50 eggs each time they mate. The eggs are deposited into crevices until they are ready to hatch. It takes between two weeks and two months for the eggs to hatch. A silverfish will usually lay less than 100 eggs in her lifetime. Silverfish molt as they grow and may molt up to sixty-six times as they mature to adulthood. Full maturation can take up to three years. Silverfish exhibit a rare trait of molting even after they have mated.

A silverfish's diet is mostly sugars and starches. These compounds can be found in everyday items like glue, bookbinding, plaster, paper, photos, sugar, coffee, hair carpet, clothing, and dandruff. They may also consume cotton, linen, silk and synthetic fibers, other dead insects and even their own exoskeleton. In times of famine, they can live up to a year without eating.

Many people consider silverfish household pests as they are capable of causing considerable damage to property. They can be responsible for contaminating food products; they do not transmit disease of any kind. Earwigs, centipedes and spiders are natural predators of silverfish.

Firebrats are similar to silverfish in shape and coloring. They prefer higher temperatures and humidity. They can be found living in bakeries or other industrial environments that have boilers or furnaces. Just like their counterparts, they are mostly harmless and do not spread disease.

Author Bio

Anza Goodbar

Anza is a single mother of four who makes her home in Colorado. She enjoys writing, hiking and is an avid football and hockey fan. She is the owner of a virtual business services company; writing is just one of the many services her company offers. ...

MORE FROM ANZA

Who Performs Botox Procedures?

Botox treatments should only take place in a clinical environment with trained medical staff that can deal with ...

Discover More

Chemical Peels for Acne

Alpha and Beta-hydroxy peels can be successful in treating acne by reducing the amount of sebum produced from hair ...

Discover More

Compensating for Thick Legs

As with any body type, it is important to learn how to accentuate your best features and create illusions to hide your ...

Discover More

Keep Mice Away! Rodent Defense Mice Repellent is a must-have tool for eliminating or preventing mice. All-natural ingredients are nontoxic and can be used safely around children and pets. Create a barrier to mice around your home! Check out Rodent Defense Mice Repellent today!

More Pest Tips

Dealing with Beetles

While there are many species and varieties of beetle, certainly the most destructive is the flour beetle, or pantry ...

Discover More

Preventing Household Bugs

While it might be nice to learn methods you can use to remove bugs from your home, wouldn't it be better to learn how to ...

Discover More

Ridding Your Home of Silverfish

The best way to rid your home of silverfish is to create a non-friendly environment for them to live in. Keep your home ...

Discover More
Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 3 + 3?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)