The insect’s name comes from its silvery, metallic sheen as well as its fish-like form and motions. Because of its three long, bristle-like or tail-like appendages on the back end of their bodies, silverfish are also known as “bristletails.” Silverfish don’t have wings, yet they can run incredibly rapidly. Silverfish adults have a body length of around 12-19 mm excluding the tail. They have a flattened body that resembles a teardrop, carrot, or fish, tapering from head to tail and covered in scales. Adult silverfish have scales that occur after the third or fourth molt, while immature silverfish have scales that appear after the third or fourth molt.
Silverfish are quick and adept climbers. They can stay for weeks without food or water, but they need a high humidity of 70 to 90% to live. They prefer to hide or relax in tight cracks or crevices during the day since they are nocturnal. They frequently enter buildings through cardboard containers containing books and papers from an affected place. They will go a long distance in quest of food, but if they locate something they like, they will stay near to it.
Silverfish are common in wet, humid regions of the home, such as bathrooms, basements, and attics, and may be found across the United States. They prefer to keep their presence hidden from people, which means any harm they inflict may go unreported.
Silverfish do not bite or transfer illness, hence they are not considered a hazard to people. They can, however, injure personal possessions, particularly those made of paper. Because silverfish are known to infest goods like wallpaper, books, and envelopes, these materials may be harmed over time as a result of an infestation. Food products like rolled oats and flour, as well as glue and clothes, can be eaten by them. Silverfish are mostly a bothersome pest. Chewing holes in fabric, upholstery, and paper items, such as wallpaper and books, can cause property damage indoors.
The key to silverfish management is a comprehensive inspection of preferred habitat locations and the presence of adequate feeding supplies. If the infestation is contained on the inside, it is likely that it is new, having been brought in by contaminated products or as a result of an outside invasion. If the infestation is severe, emphasis should be focused on the outside. Silverfish may quickly climb up walls and find ingress around window and door frames, utility pipes, and vents, thus anything stored against or near the house’s exterior should be relocated or removed. Every other year, shake roofs should be cleaned and sealed.