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Silverfish are considered to be primitive insects and belong to the insect order Thysanura. Several of these species may enter buildings. Silverfish have flattened scaly bodies and medium to long antennae.The introduction of cavity brick and veneered styled homes with tiled roofing has created a more favourable living environment for the silverfish. The introduction of fibreglass ceiling insulation has also created ideal breeding grounds for the silverfish.
Silverfish shun light, are mostly omnivorous and eat a variety of foods containing carbohydrates and proteins eg clothes, glue, pastes, starches, flour linen etc. They will not eat animal based materials such as wool unless a vegetable-based product soils it.
Capable of thriving in most climates, silverfish prefer to dwell in dark, damp areas such as basements, attics, kitchens and bathrooms. They are especially attracted to paper and damp clothing. Commonly found in stored boxes in garages and sheds.Silverfish feed on carbohydrates, particularly sugars and starches. Cellulose, shampoos, glue in books, linen, silk and dead insects may be food sources. Have been found in unopened food packages.
Silverfish undergo love dances prior to mating. Males lay spermatophores, which are taken into the ovipositor of female specimens. Females’ egg numbers and habits vary, depending on species. One species lays a few eggs a day where as another species lays clusters of 2 to 20 eggs.Most often, homeowners detect silverfish when they find one on the floor or in a sink or bathtub. Their feeding damage also can indicate their presence, along with their tiny pepperlike feces.
Centipedes, earwigs and spiders are known to feed on silverfish.
Female silverfish are capable of producing many eggs in their lifetime. The eggs are laid in groups of two or three a day or in clusters of 2 to 20, depending on species. They may be stored in a variety of areas throughout an infested home. Silverfish eggs are commonly placed inside tiny cracks or crevices, making them difficult to locate.Silverfish eggs are elliptically shaped and measure approximately 1 mm in length. Initially soft and white, silverfish eggs toughen and yellow after a few hours.
Upon hatching, silverfish are white in color, although they develop to become silver or gray in adulthood. Silverfish emerge from the egg fully formed, but smaller than mature adults. Nymphs undergo several molts before realizing their full size, and silverfish continue to molt throughout their lives. A silverfish may experience over 50 molts during its life.
Although silverfish eggs are rarely visible to humans, it is imperative that they be included in any customized extermination plan. Home silverfish control methods often prove ineffective against silverfish eggs. Contact your local pest control professional if adult silverfish are seen within your home.
Silverfish are nocturnal and move very quickly. They are secretive, and the severity of an infestation may go unnoticed for long periods of time, allowing for exponential growth. Silverfish reproduce quickly.Silverfish are known for their destructive feeding habits, oftentimes ruining papers, clothing and wallpaper. They commonly infest dark, damp areas around paper and linen sources. Silverfish infestations can be found in kitchens, laundry rooms, bathrooms, attics and basements.
Silverfish can survive in almost any environment, but they prefer areas with high humidity. Nymphs develop faster in areas that are humid. Therefore, one of the best ways to prevent an infestation is to control humidity. In crawl spaces, open vents and in basements, use baseboards with caulking. Silverfish consume a variety of foods, and stringent housekeeping practices may help prevent an infestation by limiting potential feeding sites.
However, if your home already hosts a silverfish population, hiring a professional who can create a customized approach is recommended. Traps and insecticides sold in stores will only kill individual insects and cannot address an entire infestation. Some people try to use cinnamon to repel silverfish from certain areas, but it does not kill the insects or their eggs.
Addressing a silverfish infestation requires treatment of both adult silverfish and their harborage. Most do-it-yourself remedies prove ineffective over time, with brief periods of relief followed by another infestation. There are a variety of silverfish traps on the market. However, these traps target individual insects and cannot prevent entire silverfish populations.Your local pest control expert will be able to assess the situation within your home and determine the most effective methods of extermination for your specific problem. At the first sign of a silverfish infestation, contact your local pest control professional.
The key to control is the timely mechanical removal of spiders and webs, but especially the egg sacs with a vacuum, both inside and outside; seal and dispose of the bad immediately. If a broom is used for the removal, then it is suggested that if a spider is present on the web that an appropriately labeled insecticide be used for a quick contact kill before removal of the web.
If desired, chemical control consists of the application of appropriately labeled dusts, wettable powders, microencapsulated, or lacquer pesticides in typical spider harborages. Perimeter treatments are helpful. If web-building spiders are the problem, lightly dusting the web with a non-repellent dust is very effective. Control of spider insect food is desirable but will only help in long term as spiders can go for weeks or months without food.