Silverfish are strange looking and common household insect pests, and they often congregate in large numbers within homes on particularly hot days during the summer months, and during the fall when silverfish struggle to secure warm shelter before the winter freeze. While outdoors, silverfish can be found below bundles of plant-matter, beneath rocks, under tree bark, in bird nests, within crawl spaces, and in moldy areas. While indoors, silverfish seek out shelter in areas where moisture levels are high and the temperature does not exceed 80 or 85 degrees. The indoor areas where silverfish pests are most commonly found include water-heater closets, laundry rooms, cellars, basements, kitchens, bathrooms and any areas where plumbing is located, such as beneath kitchen and bathroom sinks.
Silverfish will also seek out human food sources while indoors, which is why they are often found in kitchen cupboards where they feed on food crumbs and dry foods. Silverfish also congregate in closets and attics in order to feed on boxes, stored books, clothing, paper and other sources of carbohydrates. The lack of airflow in these areas allows silverfish to retain moisture, and avoid dessication. Silverfish will feed on just about any indoor item that contains carbohydrates, starches and/or proteins. Silverfish consume portions of clothing and rayon fabrics in order to retain starch, and they sometimes infest pantries where they feed on cereals, moist wheat flour, oatmeal and other grain products.
Silverfish eggs are often brought into homes accidentally within boxes that had long been kept in storage areas. Silverfish females also place their eggs within narrow crevices indoors, and larvae emerge from these eggs within three weeks. The larvae mature into adults within three to four months, and as long as silverfish adults can secure moist indoor shelter and proper harborages for their eggs, the pests can remain indoors for several generations.
Have you ever spotted a silverfish, or silverfish-induced property damage in your home?