Pest Advice - Silverfish

What are they?


Silverfish are slender, wingless insects, shiny silver in appearance, approximately 10 mm long with three, long bristletails at the end of their body.

They can be found in moist places such as kitchens and bathrooms, underneath floors, sinks, in cupboards, and along pipes where they hide during the day and feed during the night. They are extremely fast runners and are sometimes seen trapped in wash hand basins or baths as they are unable to climb out.

Silverfish are scavengers and can cause damage in the home by eating materials such as wallpaper, or books and other starchy materials. They seldom damage fibres of animal origin such as wool or hair. Damage often appears as irregular patches removed from wallpaper or irregular and notched edges on wallpaper or other paper products.

Tell tale sign of silverfish include scales, excrement, or yellowish stains on paper or fabric.

A female will lay less than 100 eggs during her lifetime depositing them in damp and warm places such as cracks and crevices or behind skirting boards.

The eggs hatch after two to eight weeks depending upon conditions. The lifecycle being completed within three to four months in warm humid conditions, or within two to three years in cooler dryer conditions. Newly hatched insects are about 2 mm long and look like miniature adults. They live for between three or four months in warm humid conditions but for between two and three years in cooler, dryer areas.

The insects and their eggs can be brought into the home in cardboard boxes, books, papers, starched and rayon fabrics, and other carbohydrate materials.

Can I treat them?

Prevent silverfish by clearing up areas where wood, cardboard boxes, old papers or books are stored, and where there is evidence of insect activity. You can treat silverfish with insecticide*, applying it to areas such as cracks, crevices, under shelves around sinks, skirting boards, window frames, and where pipes pass through walls.

*Always refer to the product instructions BEFORE use and follow these at ALL times.



Last Updated on Wednesday, May 8, 2024