A Brief Introduction To Silverfish

Silverfish are called this way due to them moving in a “fishwise” fashion. Also it is silvery in colour, often mixed with a blue & grey tone. However, when they are just born, they tend to be whitish. Their lengths range from 0.50 inches to 1 inch, along with having a flat body structure. They are nocturnal.

What are Silverfish?

Anteriorly, they possess 2 antennae and on their posterior part, they have 3 structures, resembling wires, protruding. They like staying in regions where the humidity level ranges 75% and upwards and they are most commonly found in places of storage, like cupboards or basements.

The Silverfish Life Cycle

Phase 1
  • The male and the female approach each other. They bring their shivering antenna into contact. They then cut off the contact and then repeat this process several times.

Phase 2
  • For some reason, the male tries to flee away and the female gets to his pursuit!

Phase 3
  • Then they approach each other in a sideways fashion and the male’s tail is vibrated on the female’s. At this point a sperm capsule is laid into the body of the female, where fertilization can now take place.
Nymphs have a similar appearance to the adults, but are smaller in size and have a whitish colour instead. As moulting occurs, their colour changes to the adult colour described above. It takes 3 – 36 months for them to grow into adults and may moult 17 – 66 times throughout their lifetime. Rare are the species of insects that continue doing that after mating, but the silverfish is one of them!

What Do Silverfish Eat?

They feed on materials made of polysaccharides, like photos or clothing. They are also known to occasionally its own moulten exoskeleton.

How Do You Prevent Silverfish?

Since they’re fond of moisture, a logical step would be to eliminate it. Plumbing leakages, stagnant water outside and all need to be fixed and removed. You can also use a dehumidifier inside. Make sure not to keep food at their reach – seal them. Fill up any crack you may have in your home. If you are infested, consider professional exterminators (if you have a lot of money to blow), or alternatively have a look at the numerous cheap professional pesticides that can be used to completely eradicate them.
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