Silverfish, Lepisma saccharina, are primarily nuisance insects that usually causes little damage. They lack wings and propel themselves with a peculiar wiggling motion like that of a fish, hence their name. At full growth these insects grow to about ¼-½ inch long. It lack wings and has a carrot-shaped body, thick at the front and tapering towards the posterior. The young, while smaller, look identical to the adults. They have two long antennae on their heads and three tail-like appendages on the tips of their abdomens. The five appendages are approximately as long as the body. These insects have uniformly colored silver bodies and can move very fast when disturbed.
Capable of living two to eight years, they enjoy damp conditions. The potential exists for large uncontrolled infestations of silverfish that can cause extensive damage to books, paper, wallpaper, cereal, leather, fur, silk and rayon. These insects especially enjoy foods and products that are high in protein, sugar, or starch. This includes vegetable foods, such as flour and cereal; fabrics, including cotton, linen, silk, and rayon; sizing in paper; starch in clothing; and paste or glue. Their damage is usually recognized from their irregular feeding marks and the presence of feces. Active at night and hiding during the day, silverfish can go for months without feeding.
You can eliminate the majority of silverfish by correcting the moisture problems in your home. Use a dehumidifier or fan to remove moisture from the air. Seal concrete wall and floors and repair any leaks in the foundation or roofs. Be sure to seal all cracks and crevices, including those found in cupboards, baseboards, and walls.
When inspecting for silverfish be sure to check in closets, basements, attics and other storage areas. If you find signs of these silverfish, give Bug-N-A-Rug Exterminators a call at 910-254-9443 and we’ll come out and talk with your about extermination. Once your home has been exterminated, make sure to remove sources of food and provide adequate ventilation to avoid moisture and humidity.