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  • Color: silver to grey.
  • Size: 1/2 inch long
  • Silverfish are primitive (older than cockroaches), wingless insects.
  • Covered with scales; flattened and somewhat “carrot” shaped.
  • Three long, slender “antennae-like” appendages project from the end of the abdomen, giving them the name “bristle tails.”
  • Young silverfish look identical to adults but are smaller.

Habits of Silverfish:

  • Females lay one to three eggs per day in crevices or under objects.; they feed on the same foods.
  • Developmental time (egg to adult): three to four months, and under poor conditions up to two to three years.
  • Life span: typically at least three years.
  • Silverfish are unlike other insects in that they continue to molt after they become adults.
  • They are tropical insects which easily adapt to their structural environment.
  • They live in warm (71-90 F), moist locations within structures, hide during the day, and rest within tight cracks and crevices.
  • They roam great distances looking for food. Once a food source is located, however, they remain close until the food supply is exhausted.
  • They are able to survive for weeks without food and water.

Damage Caused by Silverfish:

  • Readily feed on books, cloth, and sometimes dried meats or dead insects, silverfish seem especially fond of the binding on books and paper as well as the glues and pastes found on wallpaper, labels, and paper products.  SilverFish

Look for:

  • Silverfish throughout a structure, i.e., in the basement, on individual floors, in attics, and bathrooms.
  • Silverfish outdoors in mulch and under siding and roof shingles.
  • Droppings (small black specks) and damaged goods, such as books, papers, fabrics, etc.
  • Areas that provide moisture, harborage, and food.

How to Control and Kill Silverfish:

  • Moisture should be reduced, the temperature should be lowered, and/or infested items should be removed.
  • Seal exterior entry points around windows, doors, and pipes.

Innovative Pest Management serves the Washington, D.C., Northern Virginia, and Maryland area. Call us at (240) 755-0077 to schedule a free quote or appointment.