Silverfish are primitive insects and are considered household pests, due to their consumption and destruction of property
Appearance, life cycle and habits
Silverfish are small, wingless nocturnal insects typically 13 – 25 mm long. Their abdomens taper at the end, giving them a fish-like appearance. Silverfish consume matter that contains starchy materials such as book bindings, carpet, clothing, coffee, dandruff, glue, hair, some paints, paper, photos, plaster and sugar. They will damage wallpaper in order to consume the paste. They are often found fallen into baths and sinks for they cannot climb smooth surfaces. Silverfish may live for up to four years and can live for a year or more without eating if water is available.
Useful tips on silverfish
- Inspecting goods brought into the home, like second-hand books, may help to avoid infestation
- Books, files and papers should be stored in light and airy conditions where possible
- Food in kitchen areas should be kept in sealed containers, and crumbs and scraps cleaned up
- Once controlled, the inspection of various articles like books and files should keep the house free from silverfish