silverfish basics habits identification

Silverfish Insects: Basics, Habits and Identification

Written by BooAdmin on . Posted in Tips

While our primary insect control services at Bug Busters involve the most common insect types, from various ant types to boxelder bugs, spiders and more, we’re also here to provide pest control and extermination for less common types. There are numerous such varieties, one example of which is the silverfish.

Certainly not one of the most common pests in Utah, and not really that populous in too many areas of the country, the silverfish may still be an annoyance in certain homes without the proper prevention methods. This two-part blog series will go into everything you need to know about the silverfish pest, from what it is and how to spot it to prevention and removal methods.

Silverfish Basics

The silverfish, which is very similar to the firebrat and may even be termed that way interchangeably by some, is one of the single oldest insects on the planet. It dates back all the way to the prehistoric era, showcasing its survivability in a number of settings.

It’s important to note up front that unlike certain other pest types, silverfish are not a risk to human health. However, they can still create several issues on your property, including those that will cost you significant sums to remedy, and preventing an infestation of silverfish is important even if such an infestation won’t threaten your health.

General Habits

Silverfish tend to be attracted to various papers, cardboard and food objects, all of which contain sugars and carbohydrates they need to live. They will commonly chew on these items incessantly, creating holes and cracks in numerous areas made of these kinds of materials.

From a nesting perspective, females generally lay their eggs in various home crevices, or on a cloth surface. They may also bury eggs in food or dust, usually in moist or warm areas or where paper is present. They’re often spotted in locations like vending machines where there’s a combination of moisture, heat and paper, and are perhaps more common in commercial buildings than residences for this reason.

How to Spot Them

Silverfish are shiny gray insects that are generally between a half-inch and three-quarters of an inch long. They have scales and slender, wingless bodies. We mentioned firebrats above – for those who care to differentiate these from silverfish (they have very similar habits, so many don’t), firebrats tend to be brown or gray while silverfish are shiny silver or pearl gray.

As we noted above, you’ll often find these insects in areas where paper or cardboard are present. They may nest in book collections or libraries, for instance, and will often show up in pest monitors as well.

For more on how to spot and identify silverfish, or to learn about any of our pest control services, speak to the staff at Bug Busters today.