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Quick Pest Control
Silverfish

Putting a Halt to Silverfish
Silverfish are a type of starch feeder which can damage fabrics, paper and other organic materials by feeding from it. Silverfish have also been known to damage some synthetic fabrics, such as silk.

These types of insects tend to inhabit areas which are not frequently used such as roof spaces, basements, storage rooms, bookcases and wall cavities. They can roam through large spaces in a facility fairly quickly due to their small shape and size. Typically, they prefer to live in dark and quiet spaces and as a result tend to be most active during nighttime hours. Silverfish may be frequently found in bathtubs, toilets and sinks due to falling in while seeking moisture and becoming trapped.

Silverfish are typically small, soft insects and do not possess wings. These pests derive their common name from their silvery blue color along with their somewhat fish like appearance during movement.

Although silverfish are known to feed on paper products they will feed on practically anything as it is available including food products such as dried meat and cereal products.

Species in Australia
While there are only four families of silverfish found worldwide, consisting of approximately 370 different species, in Australia only two of the four families are found. These two families represent about 28 different species. These two Australian families of silverfish families can be differentiated from others due to one having small compound eyes and the other being completely eyeless.

Life Cycle
A silverfish infestation begins when the adult lays eggs. Eggs are laid in small groups which may consist of only a few up to fifty eggs. These eggs are quite small and are typically deposited into cracks in the habitat area. During her lifespan, which consists of two to eight years, a female will commonly lay less than 100 eggs. The eggs will hatch in two weeks in ideal conditions; however, if the conditions are not right, the eggs may take up to two months to hatch.

Young nymph silverfish appear much like a smaller version of their parents. It will take several years before they are sexually mature. Silverfish must mate after each molt in order to produce viable eggs. Due to the slow development rate and the small number of eggs laid, silverfish populations do not tend to build up rapidly, as with many other pests.

In many cases, silverfish are brought into a facility in furniture, cartons and cardboard boxes which have become infested.

Health Hazards to Humans
While silverfish do not cause damage in terms of infection and bites like other pests they can cause damage to personal belongings by feeding on food as well as non-food items.

Prevention
Once you have a silverfish infestation, it can be difficult to eradicate it without professional pest control assistance. A complete inspection should be conducted by the pest control professional to determine where the habitats are located as well as the extent of the infestation.

The location of the habitats as well as the extent of the infestation may help to determine the control methods which are necessary to eradicate the infestation. Roof and wall cavities, for example, may require a synthetic dust treatment while other areas such as basements may require a spray.

Generally, sanitation alone will not eliminate an infestation of silverfish. Good sanitation procedures; however, can be helpful in prevent re-infestation. Take care to remove old papers, books, boxes and clothing to eradicate both hiding places and food. Typically, a large infestation indicates the facility has been infested for quite some time due to their small development rate and the small number of eggs laid during the life cycle.