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Common Name: Silverfish, firebrat Scientific Name: Lespisma sacchrina (Linnaeus)
Silverfish are always wingless and are silvery to brown in colour because their bodies are covered in fine scales. They are generally soft bodied. Adults are up to 3/4 inch long, flattened from top to bottom, elongated and oval in shape, have three long tail projections and two long antennae. Life Cycle: Females lay eggs continuously after reaching the adult stage and may lay over 100 eggs during her life. Eggs are deposited singly or in small groups in cracks and crevices and hatch in 3 to 5 weeks. Silverfish develop from egg to young to adult within 4 to 6 weeks and continue to moult throughout their life. Immature stages appear similar to adults except they are about 1/20 of an inch long when they first hatch and whitish in colour, taking on the adults’ silver colouring as they grow. Silverfish are long-lived, surviving from two to eight years.
Simple metamorphosis :egg, nymph, adult. Habitat
Food Source(s): Silverfish are chewing insects and general feeders but prefer carbohydrates and protein, including flour, dried meat, rolled oats, paper and even glue.
They and can survive long periods, sometimes over a year, without food but are sensitive to moisture and require a high humidity (75% to 90%) to survive. They also have a temperature preference between 70 and 80 degrees F. They are fast running and mostly active at night and generally prefer lower levels in homes, but may sometimes be found in roof voids.
Pest Status, Damage: Primarily a nuisance pest inside the home and may contaminate food, damage paper goods and stain clothing; medically harmless. Many of their habits are similar to cockroaches but they appear to be more common as household pests in the UK. Occasionally damage book bindings, curtains, wallpaper. Silverfish are know to live under linoleum and may feed on mould growth in damp conditions.