Pest Identification: Silverfish
Most Common Types
There are two common species of insects belonging to the order Thysanura, silverfish and firebrats. Having evolved around 400 million years ago, silverfish are among the most primitive insects on earth and among the first creatures to live on dry land.
What They Look Like
As their name suggests, silverfish are covered with metallic-silvery scales. The antennae of the silverfish are as long as its body. Their bodies measure about ½ an inch in length. Sometimes referred to as bristletails or fringetails, silverfish have three tail-like appendages which protrude from the abdomen.
Where They Live
Silverfish are found throughout the United States and the world including South and Central America, Africa, Asia, Australia, and Pacific islands.
Where They Nest
Silverfish live outdoors in dark, moist areas under rocks and in tree bark. Indoors the insects prefer damp areas like basements, kitchens, and bathrooms.
Steps to Prevent
Dry out wet areas around toilets, sinks, pipes and foundations, and caulk cracks around exterior walls. Clean up clutter such as old boxes, magazines, and old clothes to deprive silverfish of potential nesting areas.
Are They Harmful?
Silverfish are mostly nuisance pests but can destroy food, papers, wallpaper, and starchy items with their excrement.