What Are Silverfish Insects?


Someone who goes into their attic and opens a box full of their old newspaper clippings can find that silverfish have been at work. These insect pests frequently will invade dark places and cause damage within a home.


  • The silverfish lacks wings but does possess minute scales all over their flattened bodies. The silverfish is silver to brown in color, has two long antennae and is about three-quarters of an inch long.


  • A female silverfish might lay as many as 100 eggs during her lifespan, depositing them in tiny crevices and cracks in her environment within a home.

Time Frame

  • It takes about three weeks for silverfish eggs to hatch and another four to six weeks for the insect to mature. The insect constantly molts as it grows, and a silverfish adult can live as long as eight years.


  • The major ingredients of a silverfish diet are proteins and carbohydrates, making such things as oats, flour, paper and the glue in book bindings a common target of the insect invader.


  • The silverfish is able to avoid detection by staying active only at night and running rapidly when out in the open. Basements and other damp places are prime real estate for silverfish, which often travel from room to room within the walls and by following water pipes.


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