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Silverfish

How do I recognize a silverfish?

Silverfish are slender, tapering, wingless insects with long antennae and three-long tail-like appendages at the top of the abdomen. Colour is a silver-grey. Silverfish measure 12mm (1/2″) and young are identical, smaller versions of the adult.

Do silverfish cause damage?

Yes. Silverfish feed on carbohydrates, found in paper, clothing (especially cotton and linen) and certain gums and glues. Silverfish are a particular problem in multi-unit residential buildings. Because of their movement from unit to unit, the task of thorough elimination is a difficult one.

When are silverfish most common?

Silverfish are year-round pests.

When am I most likely to see silverfish?

Silverfish are nocturnal and are most active at night.

Where do you find silverfish?

Silverfish prefer damp, warm areas, especially washrooms, kitchens and storerooms. They are often found among their sources of food, such as books and clothing that have remained undisturbed.

Are silverfish hazardous to humans?

No. Aside from the damage they do to books and clothing they are considered more of a nuisance than a health hazard.

What are their breeding habits? Do they multiply quickly?

The female silverfish lays several hundred eggs in her lifetime, singly or in groups at a rate of two or three per day. Eggs are laid in cracks with the young maturing and reproducing three to four months after leaving the egg stage.

Do silverfish die off in cold months?

Unless there is a severe drop in the temperature of the infested area, they will remain present year-round.

Can I do anything to prevent a silverfish infestation?

Yes. Try to eliminate dampness where possible. Frequent use of a vacuum cleaner in storage areas will discourage their presence.

If I have an infestation of silverfish, what can I do to eliminate them?

Your local PCO Service and Products Centre has products and kits specially formulated for the control of pests such as silverfish. Due to the nature of their movement in multi-unit residential buildings, single unit control procedures may not be effective and a team of PCO professionals should be consulted to ensure thorough elimination.

Please remember all pesticides can be harmful if misused. Follow the label directions carefully.