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Silverfish | Pest Control for Silverfish

Silverfish are tiny, wriggly insects with a knack for getting into the cracks and crevices inside homes and quickly multiplying. Similar to cockroaches, they have hard shells. Silverfish are silver in color and have fish-like attributes. These undesirable creatures are also known as carpet sharks and paramites. They are nocturnal and are not equipped with eyes. These creatures flail similarly to fishes when they walk, granting them their descriptive namesake.

Silverfish consume matter that contains polysaccharides, such as starches and dextrin in adhesives.[4] These include glue, book bindings, plaster, some paints, paper, photos, sugar, coffee, hair, carpet, clothing and dandruff. Silverfish can also cause damage to tapestries. Other substances that may be eaten include cotton, linen, silk, synthetic fibres and dead insects or even its own exuvia (moulted exoskeleton). During famine, a silverfish may even attack leatherware and synthetic fabrics. Silverfish can live for a year or more without eating.[2][4]

They are considered a household pest, due to their consumption and destruction of property.[2] Although they are responsible for the contamination of food and other types of damage, they do not transmit disease.[

The reproduction of silverfish is preceded by a ritual involving three phases, which may last over half an hour. In the first phase, the male and female stand face to face, their trembling antennae touching, then repeatedly back off and return to this position. In the second phase the male runs away and the female chases him. In the third phase the male and female stand side by side and head-to-tail, with the male vibrating his tail against the female. Finally the male lays a spermatophore, a sperm capsule covered in gossamer, which the female takes into her body via her ovipositor to fertilise the eggs.

The female lays groups of less than 60 eggs at once, deposited in small crevices. The eggs are oval-shaped, whitish, about 0.8 millimetres (0.031 in) long, and take between two weeks and two months to hatch. Silverfish usually lay fewer than 100 eggs in their lifetime.

When the nymphs hatch, they are whitish in color, and look like smaller adults. As they moult, young silverfish develop a greyish appearance and a metallic shine, eventually becoming adults after three months to three years. They may go through 17 to 66 moults in their lifetime, sometimes 30 in a single year, which is much more than usual for an insect. Silverfish are among the few types of insect that continue to moult after reaching adulthood.

The lifespan of a silverfish varies from two to eight years.


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