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Silverfish Bug Facts

General Knowledge | 7-14 yrs | Reading Pod, Interactive

What is Silverfish?

Silverfish are small wingless insects that are found in almost every corner of the world. They have a fish-like appearance and their bodies are covered with shiny silver scales, because of which they are known as ‘silverfish’.

Length and Vision

Silverfish are 13–20 mm long and have a pair of long antennae at the front and three tail-like structures at the rear. They also have two miniscule eyes that are too small for us to see with the naked eyes. Some species, however, are completely blind.

Location and Eating Habits

They love to dwell in damp and dark areas in your houses. You can find them living in your basements, laundry rooms or under the kitchen sinks. They love to eat anything that has starch in it like books, articles made of paper, flour, oatmeal and other kitchen wastes.

Life Cycle of a Silverfish

Unlike most of the insects that go through four stages of life, the silverfish goes through only three stages of life:

  1. Egg – Silverfish insects lay eggs all year round. The eggs take twenty to forty days to hatch.
  2. Nymph – The nymph is the smaller version of the adult insects.
  3. Adult – The silverfish insects reach maturity in just three to four months. These insects are white initially and turn silver only after reaching adulthood.

Are Silverfish harmful?

Silverfish bugs can cause a lot of damage to the household goods, especially books. To keep the silverfish insects at bay, you must vacuum your house thoroughly to eradicate the eggs and nymphs right away. All the holes or little opening near pipes and wires in the house should be carefully blocked. You must always keep your books and goods made of paper in a dry area in your home. Flour, sugar and other starchy food items should be stored in airtight containers. But, hold on! If you think it is easy to get rid of the silverfish in your house, think again! These annoying little insects can survive up to one year without food! If the infestation increases, you may even have to call pest control professionals to get rid of the silverfish for you. They can kill the silverfish once and for all with certain chemicals especially designed to kill these pesky insects.

5 Interesting Facts about Silverfish

  1. The average life span of silverfish bugs is 4 years.
  2. Silverfish insects are also known as ‘fish moths’.
  3. The most favourite food of silverfish is the glue in the binding of your books. If you have yellow stains on your books, you may have silverfish infestation in the house.
  4. Silverfish insects abhor the smell of citrus fruits like lemons and oranges.
  5. The silverfish insects are fantastic runners and it is very difficult to catch them red-handed eating your books or kitchen wastes.