A Complete Guide To Silverfish Pests

The name might mislead you into thinking that these insects are related to fish: far from it. They actually got this name from their silvery colour and the fish-like appearance of their movement.


Silverfish, otherwise known as fishmoths are small wingless insects that feed on starches, sugar, dextrin in adhesives and other carbohydrates/polysaccharides. Although capable of surviving most environments, Silverfish prefer to live in moist areas such as bathtubs, sinks, attics, and showers.

If left unchecked silverfish could eat/destroy your books, clothing made of natural fabrics such as cotton and silk, carpets and photos. They could even go as far as consuming your synthetic fabrics and leatherwear in times of famine.

They are very hardy creatures and can survive for up to a year without feeding.

Image Source: – Christian Fischer via Wikimedia Commons

The Silverfish Life Cycle

The fertilisation of a female silverfish is preceded by a ritual involving three phases. This ritual could go on for as much as an hour. In the initial phase, the male and female engage in a dance (I do not kid) in which they touch antennae, then repeatedly back off and then return to the same position. After the dance the male runs away with the female following in hot pursuit. That’s the second phase. In the third and final phase, the male and female stand side by side with the male vibrating his tail against the female’s body. The male then lays a spermatophore which the female takes into her body for egg fertilisation.
After ‘mating’, the female then lays her eggs in small crevices. The oval-shaped eggs take between 14-60 days to hatch.

The hatched nymphs come out white in colour with the rest of their looks resembling those of the adult silverfish but on a smaller scale.  The nymphs will start moulting and gain their silver colour as they mature – a process which will take three months to three years. Silverfish will continue moulting for the rest of their lives.


Do you have a silverfish infestation? View the range of silverfish control products available from Pestrol.

Signs Of A Silverfish Infestation:

If you see even some of the following signs then you may potentially be facing a silverfish infestation:

  • live silverfish or larvae- small, silver/grey cylindrical insects
  • silverfish droppings resembling small pepper corns or pellets
  • damage to your homes or possessions such as holes in walls, books, papers or cardboard storage boxes
  • yellow staining or dust
  • shed exoskeleton/skin

Silverfish are small wingless, silver coloured insects that consume sugar starches and other products in your pantry. They will damage items such as books, fabrics,, photos carpets, wallpaper and leather wear and they can contaminate surfaces as they move around. Silverfish are nocturnal and can survive up to a year without food and they do thrive in moist environments. It is interesting to note they are not related to fish! Check out the entire range of silverfish control products available at Pestrol and stop the problem today!

Do you have a silverfish infestation? View the range of silverfish control products available from Pestrol.

Preventing Silverfish

If you don’t already have silverfish in your home, you should take the following measures to ensure that these destructive creatures do not find a home in your home.

  1. Eliminate any sources of excess moisture in your home such as condensation and faulty plumbing that leaks.
  2. Dehumidify your home. Just like the first measure, this measure also deprives silverfish of humid areas to dwell in. Use a dehumidifier to reduce the humidity in your home. Other methods you could use to reduce your home’s humidity include:
      • Running the air conditioner or the fan to reduce humidity.
      • Drying any standing water inside the house.
      • Ventilating attics and other closed rooms.
  3. Eliminate Silverfish food sources. Store cardboard boxes on shelves where they are less likely to get damp, keep stored food in sealed plastic containers rather than boxes, replace old wallpaper with new wallpaper or paint, and place clothing you do not wear in plastic bags.
  4. Vacuum regularly to get rid of eggs and adult silverfish. If silverfish have already invaded your home, there is no need to worry. Our silverfish control products will help you get rid of these nasty creatures without breaking a sweat.

Do you have a silverfish infestation? View the range of silverfish control products available from Pestrol.

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