Silverfish are so named because they have silver coloured bodies that are covered with scales and taper toward the rear similar to fish. They are small creatures, up to 15mm long and are very agile and fast moving. Their food preferances are starchy materials like paper,cotton, linen,and most types of things that contain starch or glue. They will also eat human foods. They are usually found in dark undisturbed places, being nocternal they move quite widely throughout the house at night. The life of a silverfish can range from three months up to two-three years depending on environmental conditions. They tend to breed in roofs and subfloors and are often found comming out of cracks in concrete areas after a service.
Lesser known facts about Silverfish:
1. Silverfish do have eyes! However they may appear blind to human eyes since their eyes are almost microscopic.
2. Can you guess the alternative name for Silverfish? If you guessed Fish Moths, you get all the points.
3. Silverfish can survive very long without food. The time period is approximately almost one year!
4. They are usually found in areas that rarely get light and are highly humid.
5. The average lifespan of a Silverfish is around 3 years.
- Check second hand books and clothes if brought into home
- Store books and papers in light airy conditions
- Store food in air tight containers. ( this is the case for many bugs )
- Keep the kitchen clean and free of food scraps
Humid areas like bathroom, kitchen and basement are what attract the silverfish most. Congregation around plumbing fixtures to gain easy access to leaky pipes, sinks and drains.
Silverfish hunt for mostly protein, sugars and starch for foraging purposes hence destroying books, paper, glue and fabrics as they are the most common sources.
Are Silverfish Harmful to People or Pets?
Silverfish do not bite humans or common pets. They are not carriers of diseases.
However, they feed on the skin cells and hair follicles we shed.
Silverfish commonly shed their scales, which can mix with dust and lead to an allergic reaction. A study found that it is difficult to reduce the number of such allergy-inducing particles.
Here are some natural ways to get rid of silverfish:
① Clove can naturally kill silverfish.
② Spreading diatomaceous earth in the affected area can exterminate silverfish.
③ Using cedar oil or shavings can naturally repel and kill silverfish.
④ You can purchase silverfish traps for minor infestations.
⑤ Use a dehumidifier for your home, as silverfish cannot thrive without humidity.
⑥ Spraying citrusy, cinnamon or lavender oriented oils or fragrances keeps away silverfish.
⑦ Consult R.I.P Pest Management if the infestation gets out of hand.