Silverfish bugs are small wingless insects, which feed starch and sugar substances. Silverfish are harmless, but the presence of these creatures at home can be unpleasant.  They look like small, nimble, flat fish. Little bodies have a front thickening and equipped with long antennae. Behind and on each side silverfish have thin legs, more similar to the antennae. Thanks to legs and antennae, silverfish can move very quickly, hiding from danger in crevices of the house.

SilverfishThere are several types of silverfish. The main difference is in the color of the body – it could be silvery, yellowish, transparent and greenish color. The length of the adult insect is 0.8-1.9 cm. Most widespread type is the silvery silverfish. They are characterized by extreme fecundity, so the fight against silverfish should begin from the first days of the appearance of insects in the house.  You can also find other kind of silverfish – so-called Thermobia domestica.  It is characterized by the absence of silvery scales. Thermobia can harm the food supplies.

The habitat

Silverfish are widespread around the world. They are cosmopolitans. The most suitable habitat of silverfish is 21-26 ° C and humidity – 75-97%.

Habitat of silverfish:

  • Basement;
  • Bathroom or other place where you usually wash clothes;
  • Sink;
  • Under the refrigerator;
  • All kinds of cracks;
  • Attic.

Silverfish bugs like to eat starch, which is formed on the glue, book bindings, plasters and even on the glue for wallpaper. Besides starches, they can eat the cotton products (clothes, underwear, etc.), flax, silk and everything made of synthetic fibers, as well as dead insects. In such way every home where is food for them could become their place of residence.

Harm to human

Silverfish are not very harmful in comparison with rodents, but they certainly bring damage to human.  They feed primarily on products of plant origin, damages the sugar, flour and many other products. Silverfish infest products by excrements and molting skins.

Food diet of those, who like feast on starches, does not know borders. Therefore, “on their dinner table,” can easily be your library. It is noticed that these insects really like book covers. The composition of the books glue includes starch that attracts insects. Besides the books may suffer wallpapers, photos and even clothing made of starch-containing tissues.

Causes, why appear such insects in the houses

The main reason, that can attract silverfish in the apartment, is increasing humidity. If the room is dry and clean, you will not have the problem of deducing silverfish. Insects necessarily find home with more comfortable humidity indicators. Not surprisingly, that silverfish in the bathroom, under the sink or the refrigerator are far more common.

Also, insects can get into your home due to migration from the neighbors. Silverfish make it through the ventilation pipes and through the gaps and cracks in the walls. Please note, whether there is fine mesh at ventilating lattice on the inner side, that prevents the penetration of insects and is there enough dense grille adjoins to the wall. The second variant of migration – moving from dampened warehouse together with paper products (toilet paper, napkins, wallpaper, etc.).

Period of activity of the pests

For successful combat you need to know the features of the behavior of these pests. Silverfish avoid daylight and during the day hide in the crevices of furniture and other similar places. Silverfish need high humidity (optimum humidity – greater than 70%). They can dexterously move, but they can not rise to the high vertical walls. Silverfish can starve to 10 months. In cold weather, silverfish are inactive.

These insects exhibit activity mostly at night. When they have accidental contact with the light they quickly try to run and hide. Caught off guard insect is quite difficult, as silverfish move quickly.

Life Cycle

Life cycle of silverfish is simple: egg – nymph – adult. Development of one generation in unheated rooms lasts about three years. At a temperature of + 18-20 ° C development ends in a few months and at a temperature of +37 ° C – in 11 weeks. In the absence of food silverfish live up to 300 days. In the nest locations the female lays an average of 70 eggs. Eggs are oval, white, and about 1 mm. At the end of the incubation period, the eggs acquire a brown color.


The nymphs are white initially. Silvery scales form after the second change of skin. Before reaching the adult stage of the insect should be 4 – 5 changes of the skin. Adult insects are also regularly changing the skin. Before molting the color in silverfish is dark, after molting – become light silver. The life of silverfish is 4 years.

Methods of dealing

One of the important methods of silverfish control and preventing the emergence of pest’s colony is to keep in the cleanliness all premises, especially the kitchen and bathroom. You need to monitor the humidity in the house, carefully clean and check all the secluded places.

You can use several methods of pest control:

  • chemical methods
  • gas disinfestation (fumigation, aeration)
  • wet decontamination of premises (wet disinfestation)
  • aerosol decontamination premises (aerosol disinfection)

There are also a few proven popular recipes, which everyone can use, because such methods do not require financial costs and a lot of time: glass traps or wet paper traps.

Preventive means

silverfish-stopYou can also prevent the emergence and proliferation of silverfish following the simple rules. You need to constantly wipe the dust and avoid accumulation of condensation on the pipes. Dust and moisture is favorite habitat of silverfish.

Preventative measures:

  • Reducing the level of moisture in the house.
  • You need to close up all the cracks and crevices where silverfish can lay eggs.
  • Remove food sources in the house.