Pestgon FactSheet
“ If they fly they die…if they crawl they fall”

SILVERFISH (Lepisma saccharina)


Description:
Silverfish like firebrats, are small, slim, carrot-shaped insects without wings that normally live outdoors. They are soft-bodied about 1/2 to 1 inch long and are silver-gray to pearly-bronze in color. Apparently they get their name from their shininess like a fish. Extending from the rear of the tapered abdomen are three antennae-like filaments. Seeking food or moisture, occasionally, silverfish are found trapped in the sink or basin in an office.

Biology:
Silverfish are not often seen because they are nocturnal and can run very swiftly. Silverfish and firebrats are active at night and hide during the day. When objects are moved where they are hiding, they dart out and seek new hiding places. The silverfish lives and develops in cool places with sufficient humidity, often storage areas, bathrooms and kitchens. Firebrats prefer warmer, dry environments, often near heaters. New buildings where the walls are still damp from plaster and green lumber may have increased numbers of silverfish. They can live for up to one year without food.

Economic Impact:
When trapped indoors silverfish will feed on almost anything. They seem to have a preference for starch, paper, gum, glue, cotton, linen and other common fabrics as well as food tuffs. That makes the furniture, wall coverings and many office supplies vulnerable to silverfish damage. They are often found among books because they feed on the paper and the glue in the binding.

Their very presence suggests that something is being eaten and destroyed. So besides being a general nuisance they are also destructive little pests.

Management Methods:
Removing old papers, corrugated boxes, books, and fabrics from storage areas will help remove food and hiding places. Although it is a good preventative measure, from years of experience, Pestgon has determined that sanitation alone will not eliminate an infestation. A large infestation usually means the facility has been infested for some time. An insecticidal dust, residual aerosol insecticide or silverfish bait stations will usually eliminate these pests.

http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7475.html