Silverfish are wingless insects with flat, long, oval bodies covered in silver to brown fine scales. Adults grow about ¾ of an inch long and have three long tail projections and two long antennae. Silverfish can be found in lower levels of the home, in closets, near bookcases, and in attics. Food sources for silverfish include carbohydrates and protein, such as flour, dried meat, rolled oats, paper and even glue. Unfortunately, silverfish can survive long periods of time without food, sometimes even a year. However, they are quite sensitive to moisture and require a high humidity of 75 to 90 percent to survive without food. Silverfish are fast critters and are mostly active at night. Females lay eggs continuously after reaching the adult stage and may lay over 100 eggs during her life time. Eggs are deposited in small cracks and crevices and hatch in 3 weeks. They develop to adult within 4 to 6 weeks and have a life span of 2 to 8 years.
Silverfish are a nuisance pest inside the home as they can contaminate food, damage paper goods and stain clothing. However, they are medically harmless. They can also damage book bindings, curtains, and wallpaper. Silverfish have similar habits as cockroaches and appear to be more common in drier parts of the state. They are very common in southern California. Sanitation should be used to avoid infestation of silverfish; however, sanitation cannot be the only means to eliminate infestations. Examining old books and clothes that have been untouched for long periods of time is recommended for damage and infestation. Cleaning closets and vacuuming on a regular basis can also prevent infestation. It is also recommended to reduce humidity in your home by using air conditioning, fans or dehumidifiers. Furthermore, repairing plumbing leaks will cut off water sources for these insects. It is advisable to use professional help when the infestations are large or hard to find. Accurate Termite and Pest Control has the means to perform effective control, please do not hesitate to call for help!