Silver Fish (Lepisma saccharina)
Silverfish adults commonly confused with Firebrats, have a flat,
elongated body, are about ½ inch long, and are silvery gray to pearl
gray in color. This insect is covered with scales and has two long,
slender antennae at the head and three long, antennae-like
appendages at the rear. These three appendages, one directed
straight back and the other two curving outward, plus the two
antennae, are nearly as long as the body. The young of this insect
resemble the adults but are smaller and white until they reach maturity.
The eggs of the silverfish are whitish, oval and 1/32 of an inch.
Silverfish have a very long lifespan, which can be up to 8 years if the
conditions are appropriate. A Silverfish female can lay 100 eggs in one
lifetime; she will lay these eggs either singly or in small clusters of two
or three. When the Silverfish first hatches it is white, and smaller than
the adult, its color will change in four to six weeks, and it will reach full
maturity in three to twenty four months. Unlike many insects this
Silverfish continues to molt even after becoming an adult.
The Silverfish prefers cool, dark, and damp areas to reside such as
basements and laundry rooms. Sometimes, they are found in a
bathtubs, sinks or washbasins, unable to climb out. They eat a variety
of materials in a home that after a long period of time could cause a
problem, such as glue, wallpaper paste, book bindings, paper,
photographs, and starch in clothing, cotton, linen, rayon fabrics, wheat
flour, cereals, dried meats, leather and even dead insects. Due to the
low reproduction rate of the Silverfish, it takes a long time for a large
infestation to occur, but if one was to notice many Silverfish in their
home, it is important to take care of the problem immediately.
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