Identification and prevention of harmful insects

The Silverfish

Appearance

Silverfish is an insect measuring from 9 to 13 mm long. The body is covered with silver scales and is shaped like a flattened cone with three hairy filaments called cerci at the end. The head has two long antennae and small compound eyes set wide apart.

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Life Cycle

The female silverfish lays her eggs during a period of several weeks, at a rate of one to three eggs per day, and can lay up to several hundred eggs. The incubation period lasts several weeks, and can last up to six months. A silverfish adult can live as long as 3 years.

Habitat and Food

Silverfish normally prefer to live in cool humid basements, attics and around water pipes. This insect feeds mainly on starch, so it is attracted to glossy pages, photos, glue for bookbinding, upholstery and curtains and some clothes. It can also feed on grain and dried meat.

Undesirable Effects

The silverfish feeds on books and paper therefore damaging them. It can also leave yellowish stains on clothes.

Signs of Infestation

Marks and holes in paper and in bookbinding as well as traces of dark yellowish feces are signs of the presence of silverfish. They are usually seen during the night or when they are stuck in the tub or sink.

Preparation Steps for a Treatment

  • Clear away dark and damp areas in your home to allow easy access for the technician.
  • Plan to leave your home for the duration of the treatment and return only after 4 hours. Wherever possible, open windows for 20 minutes upon your return.

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