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Silverfish Pest Profile

silverfish_02 silverfish_01Common Name:
Silverfish

Scientific Name:
Lepisma saccharina

Order and Family:
Lepismatidae, Silverfish

Description:
3/8-1/2″ (9-13 mm). Tapering, carrot-shaped. Silver-gray, coated with scales. Threadlike antennae and 3 tail filaments, all shorter than body. Small black eyes. Maxillary palps.

Food:
Dried cereals, flour, glue, and starch, including stiffeners used in clothing and bound books, and coated papers used in magazines.

Life Cycle:
Oval white eggs are dropped in a few places week after week. Eggs hatch in 2-8 weeks. Nymphs, 1/8-1/4″ (4-5 mm), have the same body form as adults. In the South full size is attained in about 2 years, longer in the North.

Habitat:
Indoors in warm, dry or damp places, including closets, bookcases, behind baseboards, in partitions, or in bathtubs.

Range:
Worldwide in temperate climates.

Discussion:
This insect has a scaly covering that helps it to escape from the grip of ants and spiders. Silverfish can survive without food for months.

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