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Pest SilverFish Lifecycle

From egg to adult, the life cycle of silverfish ranges from three to four months. Depending upon climate conditions and species, eggs may hatch as early as 19 days or over 60 days after being deposited. Humid conditions are preferable, though silverfish can thrive in almost any environment. Female silverfish can produce 1 to 3 eggs per day or clusters of 2 to 20 and, unlike some other insects, silverfish can produce eggs year-round. While silverfish do not procreate through direct fertilization, they do perform a mating dance comprised of three parts. First, the insects touch their antennae together. Second, the female flees. During the final stage, the male and female reunite and stand side by side while the male vibrates his tail. Males then deposit small packets of sperm known as spermatophores, which females take into themselves through their ovipositors. Silverfish young are miniature versions of the adults when they emerge from the egg. They go through a number of molts during development to become full-sized adults. They continue to undergo molts throughout their adulthood.


Female silverfish are capable of producing many eggs in their lifetime. The eggs are laid in groups of two or three a day or in clusters of 2 to 20, depending on species. They may be stored in a variety of areas throughout an infested home. Silverfish eggs are commonly placed inside tiny cracks or crevices, making them difficult to locate. Silverfish eggs are elliptically shaped and measure approximately 1 mm in length. Initially soft and white, silverfish eggs toughen and yellow after a few hours. Upon hatching, silverfish are white in color, although they develop to become silver or gray in adulthood. Silverfish emerge from the egg fully formed, but smaller than mature adults. Nymphs undergo several molts before realizing their full size, and silverfish continue to molt throughout their lives. A silverfish may experience over 50 molts during its life. Although silverfish eggs are rarely visible to humans, it is imperative that they be included in any customized extermination plan. Home silverfish control methods often prove ineffective against silverfish eggs. Contact your local pest control professional if adult silverfish are seen within your home.


Although silverfish have a creepy appearance and are occasionally mistaken for venomous centipedes, silverfish are not known to bite humans and do not carry diseases. In most cases, a silverfish will instantly flee to safety when it is disturbed. Also, there is a greater chance of your hurting yourself attempting to chase one down than of the silverfish hurting you if you catch it. This insect is quite fast over short distances and is capable of hiding in cracks and crevices that humans cannot access. They hide during the day and forage at night. When they find a food supply, they try to make their nest as close to it as possible. While silverfish are harmless to the human body, they do cause damage to clothing, books, papers, food in pantries and wallpaper. Silverfish leave small holes in materials they bite and may also cause yellow staining. Look for their presence in dark and damp locations such as bathrooms, under sinks and in garages. They tend to dwell in clothing and linen piles or plumbing. Should you locate an infestation, contact a pest control professional. Silverfish populations grow swiftly and can be difficult to control. Pest control experts can develop a strategy to combat the silverfish.