Silverfish


Click here for photo ęClemson University - USDA Cooperative Extension Slide Series
SILVERFISH
Most of us see silverfish at one time or another. These are one of the insects that can damage natural materials, cloth, paper, or book bindings. If you have, say, a collection of old piano rolls, you are intimately familiar with silverfish. They'll eat your whole collection in a hurry, if you're not careful.
So called because of its shiny gray appearance, most of us see a silverfish at one time or another. These are one of the insects that can damage natural materials, cloth, paper, or book bindings.
These soft-bodied, wingless insects scurry about at night. They are nocturnal and you won't see them in the daytime unless there's a heavy population or they're disturbed. They can easily climb rough surfaces, but not slippery surfaces, such as your bathtub or sink. Torpedo-shaped, with three long bristles at the rear, they subsist quite happily in your attic, feeding mostly on starchy materials, book bindings, wall paper, cotton cloth and linens. While not a serious pest, they can dispense with some of your stored treasures.
The female can lay over a hundred eggs, and places them in many favorable places, in cracks and crevices, and leaves them alone. The nymph molts eight times, at which point they are able to reproduce. The adults also molt throughout their entire lifetimes, enabling them to regrow lost appendages. They are also quite long-lived, often living more than three years.
Fabric and carpet


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