The silverfish is a soft bodied insect with a metallic glow and fish like appearance. It is found in all types of habitats. In homes, it can be a nuisance.
Silverfish are nocturnal, meaning they spend most of their time at night. They live in moist and secluded areas, such as basements and attics. These environments are conducive to the silverfish’s ability to reproduce.
They reproduce in a fairly quick fashion, multiplying to a large number in a short amount of time. Their ability to do so is attributed to their ability to outrun predators such as spiders.
Female silverfish produce a complex mating ritual. The mating dance includes three stages.
The female silverfish lays eggs, which are deposited in cracks or under objects. The male silverfish then deposits sperm into the female ovipositor. This fertilizes the eggs.
The eggs are oval in shape, averaging about one millimeter long. The eggs hatch in a few weeks, depending on the climate.
The female silverfish produces about 60 eggs at a time. One to three eggs are laid each day.
While the female silverfish lays around 100 eggs in a lifetime, the male produces a spermatophore, which is a capsule coated in gossamer. He then releases the sperm into the ground to fertilize the eggs.
Although silverfish are not harmful, they can be annoying and a nuisance. It is important to avoid exposing them to dust, as the byproducts can mix with existing allergens and aggravate any existing allergies.