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Silverfish

Category

Actual Size: ½ to ¾”

Characteristics:  Flattened body, metallic steel gray; covered with dull gray-silver scales

Legs: 6

Antennae: Yes

Wings: No

Tails: 3

Habitat: Silverfish are usually in moist or humid areas on properties, including basements, bathrooms, etc.

Habits:

  • Silverfish are also known as firebrats.
  • They do not have wings and move in a swift fish-like manner.
  • Silverfish are known for destructive feeding habits, damaging clothing, paper and wallpaper.
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Silverfish in Atlanta, GA

Silverfish possess enzymes in their digestive systems that enable them to break down cellulose, making them prone to inhabit spaces like bookcases, closets, and areas with books, clothing, starch, or dry foods. Renowned for their agility, silverfish can move rapidly and demonstrate the capability to move sideways or even jump when encountered. Due to their flattened bodies, silverfish can seek shelter in extremely narrow cracks and crevices, infiltrating spaces within narrow book bindings, among the loose pages of books, and within corrugated cardboard.

Silverfish Habitat

Silverfish feed on both carbohydrates and proteins, and they can exhibit cannibalistic tendencies, consuming the cast skins of deceased or injured individuals. These nocturnal creatures are dependent on humidity for survival and tend to conceal themselves during daylight hours in moist locations such as laundry rooms, beneath kitchen and bathroom sinks, and in crawl spaces. Primarily pests of paper, especially those with a glazed finish, silverfish have a particular affinity for the sizing agents found in paper products. These sizing agents often include starch, dextrin, casein, gum, and glue, making such materials particularly attractive to them.

Silverfish Behaviors, Threats, or Dangers

Silverfish lack wings. Instead of flying, they exhibit a rapid fish-like movement to travel from one location to another. When disturbed or when the object they are sheltering beneath is moved, silverfish swiftly relocate to another concealed spot. While silverfish do not possess the ability to bite or sting, they can inflict notable damage to personal belongings and food supplies. Their weak jaws result in a scraping motion rather than a biting action, leading to fabric and clothing damage, as well as discoloration in books, paper products, and wallpaper. Dry foods like cereals, flour, pasta, and pet food are susceptible to contamination by silverfish. If your property is dealing with an excess of silverfish, seeking assistance from the experts at Inspect-All Pest Services is highly recommended.