This is not something that you’ll find in a pond or lake, but is another common creepy crawler that finds its way into our homes.  Their bodies are flattened, long and slender; broad at the front and tapering gradually toward the rear.  The antennae are long and slender.  Three long, slender appendages are found at the rear of the body – this is why they are sometimes referred to as “bristle tails.”  Fully grown silverfish are about 1/2 inch long and covered by a sheen of silvery scales.

They prefer temperatures between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit and require high humidity.  Adults can live from two to three years – this is a relatively long time for a bug.

Silverfish can live for long periods of time without food, but when they do feed, they can eat a wide variety of foods containing proteins or carbohydrates.  Such things as rolled oats, dried beef, paper, cotton, some synthetic fibers, sugar, beef extract, and even dead insects, are all normal items of their diet.

They also enjoy starchy substances, such as:

  • flour
  • starch
  • glue
  • paste
  • starch sizing on textiles and papers

Silverfish can build up around the areas they are feeding on such as:

  • spilled flour in cupboards
  • corrugated cardboard boxes in damp basements
  • insulated glue
  • stored books in unventilated attics

Their feeding leaves irregular yellow-stained holes in textiles and paper, and surfaces are often removed from cloth-bound books.  Damaged products will often have a dark fungus growing on them as a result of the humidity and insect fecal deposits.

Large populations of silverfish spread out into other humid areas.  Silverfish are often trapped in was basins and bath tubs in bathrooms to which they migrate from the basement or out of wall voids penetrated by pipes.


Habitat Alterations

The following is a list of things that you can do.  Together, with our treatment, we’ll be able to dramatically reduce the silverfish population in your home.

  1. Locate and reduce, or eliminate, moisture sources
  2. Mend pipe leaks
  3. Ventilate closed rooms, attics, and crawl spaces
  4. Eliminate standing water
  5. Make changes in grade and guttering where water runoff causes damp basements and walls
  6. Eliminate stored materials that harbor silverfish
  7. Dispose of infested storage boxes and relocate stored materials in dry spaces after inspection of materials