Despite their resemblance to fish, silverfish are not aquatic. They are hexapod invertebrates, belonging to the family Rhyniognatha. The common name is derived from their silver-colored coloring.
Silverfish are not venomous to humans, although some people may experience a reaction to the scales. While they do not bite, they can damage your property.
Silverfish are very nocturnal insects and tend to live in damp and dark areas of your home. Their eggs are laid in dark, humid areas. These are typically found in the attic, basement, bathrooms, and kitchens.
As they grow, silverfish develop a metallic sheen on their bodies. Silverfish do not have wings, but have three bristles on their rear end. This is how they can hear their environment.
The antennae on silverfish are very sensitive and help them navigate. Their compound eyes are also very sensitive to light. If you find silverfish, their feeding marks can help you know if they are present.
Silverfish live on all continents except Antarctica. They are also found in Pacific islands.
Silverfish are nocturnal, but will sometimes emerge at night to forage for food. They feed on plants, dead insects, and decomposing material. They are particularly attracted to under-sink areas in the kitchen.
Typically, silverfish will only eat foods that are high in starch and protein. They will also eat sugars, grains, and fabrics. In fact, they have been known to eat leather during times of famine.
However, they are not venomous, and are considered to be a nuisance. Their presence can cause serious damage to personal belongings. You should check for signs of their infestation and keep them away.