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To lots of people, creepy crawlies inside of the home elicit an emphatic "no, thank you," and this is not just restricted to cockroaches, spiders and ants. Silverfish (Lepisma saccharina) also are common household nuisances. These order Thysanura bugs inhabit diverse regions all over the planet, including Australia and North America.
These wingless creatures are brown in coloration. When mature, silverfish can reach a maximum of 0.75 inches in length. They have flat physiques that are adorned in subtle silver scales, hence the name silverfish. As far as limbs go, silverfish are equipped with six of them. One memorable aspect of typical silverfish behavior involves their extremely fast movement -- they are far from sluggish insects. The manner in which they move is reminiscent of fish, another important component behind their naming.
Silverfish are frequent, but usually unwelcome, guests in residences practically everywhere. They gravitate to moist and dim settings. If an area of a home often is soggy or dank, then there's a strong chance that a silverfish might be drawn to it. Kitchens and bathrooms are commonly wet locales, so they are typical "in-home" silverfish living environments. It isn't unusual to see them caught in sinks, shower stalls and the like. Silverfish also enjoy places in homes that are quiet and calm, such as cabinets, in the backs of sofas and closets. Basements also are typical settings for them.
Although silverfish thrive on being inside, many of them also live outdoors. They often are tucked away below decaying logs, below stones, in caves or in the midst of piles of foliage. Some silverfish even spend time in holes that were dug out previously by other animals.
Diet is one thing that allows silverfish to become used to life indoors easily alongside people. Even if a home is immaculate, with secure trash cans and spotless counters galore, silverfish usually can find something to eat. Some silverfish food staples are paper, shampoo, garments, mold, dandruff, hair and glue, for starters. Paper in many forms is particularly big with silverfish. They also readily consume remnants of actual "people" foods, from cereal to flour. Flesh even sometimes emerges in their feeding plans, namely beef and dead bugs.
- Texas A&M AgriLife Extension: Silverfish
- Memorial University Department of Biology: Silverfish
- Memorial University Department of Biology: How Do I Get Rid of Silverfish?
- University of Michigan Animal Diversity Web: Lepisma saccharina
- University of Hawaii at Manoa College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources:
- University of Minnesota Extension: Silverfish and Firebrats
- Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images