Silverfish 101

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Silverfish 101

Silverfish 101

What do silverfish look like?

  • Body is flat, long and slender, tapering towards the rear end
  • Covered with scales (like a fish)
  • bristle combs on back
  • long and slender Antennae
  • Wingles
  • Chewing mouth parts
  • Three long appendages
  • silver in colour, however variations can occur
  • Mature adults can range from 15-25mm
  • Young are similar in appearance to adults but smaller
  • Move Fast
  • Nocturnal –
  • Prefer dark undisturbed places
  • Are unable to climb smooth surfaces

What is the life Cycle of Silverfish?

  • Eggs are laid singly or in small batches from 2- 20 eggs
  • Eggs are light-yellowish and about the size of a pinhead.
  • Eggs hatch in 2-8 weeks.
  • Sexual maturity in 24-36 months.
  • Adult life span up to 4 years.
  • Adults will moult through their entire life.
  • Ideal breeding temperature 24 C.


What is the natural habitat of silverfish?

Silverfish prefer to live under bark, in rotting logs or under leaf matter.

They prefer warm temperatures, their activity decreases once the weather is below 13 degrees and death occurs about 40 degrees,

Silverfish can be found inside within roof cavities, subfloors, wall void and inside you home. They do prefer to stay near heat and an easy supply of water.

What does a silverfish eat?

Silverfish prefer foods that contain protein and carbohydrates such as flour, start, sugar, glue, fabric, and linens.

Silverfish can live long periods without food, and often do not feed until the end of their 3rd stage of their life cycle.

Pest Status

Silverfish will consume small amounts of human food, and can contaminate food with their scales and droppings.

They can cause damage to clothing, books and other paper products whilst trying to get to feed on glues and other starchy substances such as wallpaper

Silverfish can leave yellow stains on clothing and linen.

Both adult silverfish and nymphs are considered pests

Strengths Vs Weakness of the Silverfish

Strengths – Silverfish are agile and fast, they can feed on a variety of food sources and live in different habitats. especially in the human environment, can survive in cooler temperatures.

Weaknesses –  Silverfish lack the ability to be able to climb smooth surfaces which means they can be trapped in open places such as baths.

Because of a preference for darker, secluded areas, susceptible commodities such as books etc should be checked and if necessary storage of such items changed to environments less suited to silverfish.

Pest Control Treatment

Silverfish are covered under our general spray, which includes dusting the roof void, subfloor, internal barrier spray and external sprays where silverfish can harbour.

It is also highly recommended that any food sources that the silverfish have been feeding on be removed.

If you have an issue with silverfish please contact one of our helpful consultants on 1800 819 189