What is the Silverfish?

The silverfish is an insect that lives in sub-Saharan Africa, Madagascar and Central and South America. It is one of the oldest species in the world, millions of years older than the first flying insects.

Silverfish are wingless insects with a wide abdomen and three long appendages. They can molt several times during their lifetime.

Adults are generally 0.85 cm (0.3 inches) in length. Their antennae are quite long. They can be curved or straight.

Adults are omnivorous, feeding on a range of materials including sugar, starched cotton, linen, flour and wallpaper. Some silverfish are even reported to feed on vegetables, glue used to hold up clothing and dead insects.

In addition, adult silverfish can survive without food for an entire year. During this time they produce eggs. These egg-shells lack silver scales, which makes them more difficult to spot.

The adult silverfish has a body that tapers at the rear. The front and back of the body are covered with small, glistening scales.

Long-tailed silverfish live in damp environments. They are commonly found in kitchens, bathrooms and other moist locations.

They are a common nuisance in commercial buildings. They can damage textiles, papers and books. However, they are not harmful to humans.

Several silverfish species are known to invade museums. This includes the invasive C. calvum. Since the species is closely associated with human activities, it is estimated that it is spreading rapidly in Europe.

A silverfish infestation is not a pleasant experience. Typically, silverfish only come out at night. If they are disturbed, they will dart away quickly.