Silverfish is used for the belongs to the order of the Thysanura which has a distinct carrot shaped body, short legs, long slender antennae and three tail-like appendages at the end of the body. The bodies are broad at the front, and gradually tapering toward the rear. They are wingless with scale covered bodies which are about ½ inch long. Nymphs resemble adults.
The female silverfish bugs deposits one to three 3 eggs per day or at irregular intervals depending upon availability of food. Eggs hatch in 43 days at 72 F and in 19 days at 90 F. Females may reproduce at 3-4 months of age. Nymphs are ⅛ inch in size and scaleless when hatched. The first instar lasts 7-10 days; successive instars are 2- 3 weeks long. Scales develop in the third instar. Adults may live up to 3 1/2 years, but most live 2 years under favorable conditions (72-80 F, relative humidity of 75%- 97%). Silverfish may pass through up to 59 instars in their lifetimes.
There are two known kinds of silverfish at homes. The fourlined silverfish and the gray silverfish.
The fourlined silverfish is the most common in homes because it lives indoors, often infesting attics, particularly if the roof is made of wooden shingles. It may be found outdoors during the summer.
The gray silverfish prefers drier areas than common silverfish, such as crawl spaces and attics, but may occur around water pipes in bathrooms. This kind of silverfish deposits its eggs in cracks in groups of 2-20. They hatch in about 60 days at room temperature. The nymphs are scaleless when hatched; scales appear in the fourth instar, and sexual maturity is reached in 2-3 years. This species may live up to 5 years.
Silverfish lives in a dark, moist environment and eat starchy foods or molds. Silverfish feeds on wallpaper pastes, natural textiles, books, and papers.It moves fast and can travel around the house. Once silverfish find a good source of food, they stay close to it.
They can also be found in basements, kitchens, sinks, bathtubs, in bookcases, on closet shelves, behind baseboards, wallpaper, window or door frames, wall voids, and sub-floor areas. They are most active at night or in dark places found throughout the structure. Attics are a favorite place for silverfish due to the abundant food sources such as paper materials like storage boxes and other things. Silverfish are trapped in sinks and bathtubs because they thrive on moisture and are unable to climb a slick vertical surface to escape.