Family: Lepismatidae
Order: Thysanura

Silverfish have a torpedo shaped body which is covered with metallic, silvery scales. They are nocturnal, and prefer out of the way, humid, dark areas. They may be brought into homes in cardboard cartons, books or papers, that have come from infested areas.


Silverfish Identification

Silverfish and firebrats have a torpedo shaped body which is covered with metallic, silvery scales.

Silverfish Habitat

They are nocturnal and prefer out of the way humid, dark areas. They are brought into homes through books, papers, cardboard, cartons, etc. They feed on starchy substances such as glue, paper, textiles and they will eat crumbs of bread or biscuits. They also may be seen when objects they are under move.

Silverfish Life Cycle

The adult lays an average of 100 eggs and the best development occurs at a temperature of 22-27°C (72-80 degrees Fahrenheit) and at a relative humidity of 75 - 97 per cent. The silverfish does not breed in or live off garbage and are less likely to carry diseases.

Silverfish Prevention

The homeowner can control moisture levels to help eliminate/limit their presence. By fixing leaks, insulate sweating water pipes and dehumidify.

Preparation Steps for Silverfish Treatment

1. Removing Items and debris from moist dark areas such as under porches, in window well, around rock gardens, etc. to allow access to the technician.

2. Vacate the premises during service and do not re-enter until at least 4 hours after treatment or until the product is completely dry. Open windows for 20 minutes after re-entry if possible.

3. Before service, infants, pregnant women and people suffering from heart, kidney, respiratory ailments or allergies should consult a medical doctor.

Download Silverfish Preparation Sheet

Silverfish- Questions and Answers

Do silverfish carry germs and disease organisms?

No. Silverfish usually live in warm and humid places, in basements, around water pipes, and inside linen closets. The silverfish does not breed in or live off decaying organic matter (garbage). Therefore they are less likely to pick up disease causing organisms on their body.

What do silverfish eat?

They feed on starchy substances such as paper, glue, textiles, but they will also eat biscuit and bread crumbs.

How long do they live?

The majority live about 2 years at a temperature of 31 °C (84 degrees Fahrenheit).

How can I prevent a re-infestation of silverfish?

Where possible, change the physical environment, control or eliminate areas of chronic moisture, e.g. leaking plumbing (particularly laundry rooms). Reduce hiding places by strategically caulking, etc. vacuum and re-organize likely hiding places on a regular basis.

What time of the year are silverfish most commonly found?

Silverfish are year-round pests.

When am I most likely to see silverfish?

Silverfish are nocturnal and are most active at night.

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