What Are Silverfish?
Silverfish get their name from the insect’s silvery, metallic appearance and fish-like shape and movements. Silverfish are also known as “bristletails” because of their three long, bristle-like or tail-like appendages on the rear end of their body. Silverfish are found throughout the U.S. and are typically seen in moist, humid areas in the home, such as bathrooms, basements and attics. They tend to hide their presence from humans, which means any damage they have caused could go unnoticed as well.
What Do Silverfish Look Like?
Silverfish have no wings, but are able to run very fast. Adult silverfish have a body length of about ½-3/4” (12-19 mm) not including the tail. They have a flattened body and their shape is often compared to a teardrop, carrot or fish, tapering from head to rear and generally covered with scales. Silverfish are typically silvery or gun metal in color and have long, threadlike antennas. In addition, they have small compound eyes that are widely separated. Immature silverfish look similar to adults, except for size and their scales appear with the third or fourth molt.
Sign of a Silverfish Infestation
Keep an eye out for feeding marks, although they may be irregular whether they are holes, notches along an edge, or surface etchings. Yellow stains, scales and/or feces (tiny black pepper-like pellets) may also be seen on infested materials.
People have noticed silverfish when they come down on ceiling soffits and/or drop from skylights and canister light fixtures in the ceiling, likely entering through roofs.