Silverfish are one of the hardest pests to detect. Whilst they do not pose a health risk to humans, they can wreak havoc on your property by feeding on important materials like paper, glue and fabric. Much like cockroaches, silverfish can contribute to spreading harmful pathogens and contaminants. Silverfish live in humid environments with easy access to food and water. Commonly inhabiting dark, damp, or hard to reach areas, silverfish often go undetected while infestation runs rampant.

Silverfish have a long, flat, silvery-grey coloured body that resembles the shape of a fish. They have long antennae at the front and back of their bodies and grow up to 15mm long. As a silverfish moves, its body wiggles side to side, appearing to be swimming like a fish. Silverfish prefer to live in dark, humid environments where they are not likely to be disturbed and most commonly come out at night, making them difficult to catch.

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Several Signs that Indicate a Silverfish Infestation

  • Seeing them live within your home.
  • Their droppings are an obvious indication. Silverfish droppings are often found in kitchens, garages or storage areas and resemble grounds of pepper.
  • As silverfish moult, they leave yellow-coloured stains or dust on surfaces. Sometimes you may even see the outer shells of their skin as they shed.
  • Lastly, if you notice small holes in items such as books, linens, cardboard items or carpet, you may have a silverfish infestation in your home. Silverfish will eat any source of carbohydrate, often causing damage to household items.

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Commonly, silverfish are unintentionally brought into the home in boxes of paper, books, fabrics or any items with a high sugar content. From here, depending on the climate of the home, it will produce anywhere from 1 to 20 eggs per day. Silverfish eggs can take up to 60 days to hatch. Once hatched, a silverfish nymph will emerge and undergo a series of moults before developing into an adult. This process can take anywhere from 3 months to 3 years. Once fully matured, silverfish can live for up to 6 years.

Silverfish Prevention

To prevent a silverfish infestation, ensure you are checking any boxes or materials that you are bringing into your home. This includes any second-hand furniture, clothing and bags. Keep your environment clean by regularly vacuuming, dusting and decluttering. Keep humidity levels and darkness to a minimum by using the air conditioner or fan during warmer months, keeping blinds open during the day to allow natural light in and use moisture absorbers in places where humidity is high.

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