The silverfish is a cigar-shaped, silver-grey, wingless insect about 12mm long, found in damp areas, commonly in kitchens and bathrooms. They are nocturnal in habit, but often trapped in baths, basins or chinaware, as cannot climb the smooth surfaces. Silverfish move quickly and have three long bristles at the tail end.
Eggs are laid in cracks and crevices and the nymphs grow by an indefinite number of moults. Silverfish can grow a new leg if they lose one and the adults can live for over three years.
A closely related species is the Firebrat, which is flatter and speckled, without the metallic appearance, and favours hot, dry situations. An infestation can be treated in the same way as its cousin.
Act immediately: Silverfish can lay eggs at any season of the year and grow from larva to adult in 3-4 months, so it doesn’t take long for one of these pests to turn into an infestation. Correct any persistent dampness and spray harbourages with a household insecticide or insect powder labelled for control of silverfish.
If you do have a room that is particularly damp, the use of a dehumidifier will help avoid creating an environment attractive to Silverfish.
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