Silverfish Infestation

An infestation of silverfish can easily destroy book bindings, paper documents and food that contains high amounts of protein.

Appearance

Your first indication of a silverfish infestation may include finding the molted shells or fecal matter produced by these insects.

Mature silverfish measure between 1/2 and 3/4 of an inch and have two long antennae appendages. These insects exhibit a gray or silver coloring and appear to have three long spikes that originate from the lower abdomen.

Habits

Silverfish infestation activity occurs at night and these insects favor household areas that remain cool and damp, like basements and bathrooms.

Breeding

Female silverfish can lay approximately 100 eggs that hatch in four to six weeks over their two to eight year lifespan, according to Patricia Alder and Michael Waldvogel, from the North Carolina State University Entomology Extension department.

Solution

You can place strips of tape face up around areas where silverfish frequent to trap the insects. In cases of severe infestation an exterminator may apply liquid or powder chemical insecticides to the affected area of your home to kill them.

Prevention

You can remove possible food sources for silverfish such as piles of old newspapers and boxes of books. Reducing the humidity in the affected area of the house will discourage silverfish from taking up permanent residence.

About the Author

Lolo Parker is a freelance writer specializing in pet care, beauty products, accounting, telecommunications, religion and gardening. Parker holds a Bachelor of Metaphysical Science from the University of Metaphysical Sciences and is pursuing her master's degree in the same field at U.M.S.