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silverfishSILVERFISH
Lespisma sacchrina (Linnaeus)

This insect gets its name from its silvery, metallic appearance and fish-like shape and movements. Silverfish have no wings, but are able to run very fast.

They tend to hide their presence from humans which means any damage they have caused could go unnoticed as well. Silverfish tend to feed on paper items, glue, clothing and food items, such as flour and rolled oats. Silverfish can live up to a year without food, but require a high humidity environment. They move fast and are typically nocturnal. Silverfish are found throughout the U.S. and are typically seen in moist, humid areas in the home, such as bathrooms, basements, and attics.

While silverfish are mainly a nuisance pest, they can contaminate food and damage paper goods such as wall paper and books.

Consider a dehumidifier for your home, repair leaky pipes and drains and eliminate or repair any moldy or wet wood. Don’t keep old books and magazines in areas where silverfish are usually found like basements, attics and garages. It’s also important to keep food items such as flour and sugar in tight containers.

This page is intended as a quick reference. Pest experts should be contacted for case-by-case evaluation if you believe that you have a pest problem that requires professional assistance.

Some information found in this overview has been compiled from household pest information sheets published by the Ohio State University Extension Office: HYG-2099-97, and by the Penn State University Extension Office. This information is included on this web site strictly to help in the identification of various pests, and no profit is directly derived there from.

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