Lepisma saccharina, frequently called silverfish or fishmoth is a small, wingless insect in the order Thysanura. Its common name derives from the animal’s silvery light grey and blue colour, combined with the fish-like appearance of its movements, while the scientific name ‘L. saccharina’ indicates the silverfish’s diet of carbohydrates such as sugar or starches.
Silverfish are noctural insects typically 13–30 mm long. Their abdomens taper at the end, giving them a fish-like appearance. The newly hatched are whitish, but develop a greyish hue and metallic shine as they get older. They have three long cerci at the tips of their abdomens, one off the end of their body, one facing left, and one facing right. They also have two small compound eyes, despite other members of Thysanura being completely eyeless, such as the family Nicoletiidae. They are found in Africa, America, Europe, Australia, Asia, and other parts of the Pacific.
Silverfish consume matter that contains polysaccharides, such as starches and dextrin in adhesives. These include glue, book bindings, plaster, some paints, paper, photos, sugar, coffee, carpet, and clothing. It can also cause damage to tapestries. Other substances that may be eaten include cotton, linen, silk, synthetic fibers, dead insects, etc. They are considered a household pest, due to their consumption and destruction of property.
Silverfish eat the glue around book bindings which can damage our books. The silverfish bug is well known for the damage that it does in libraries and places that house papers. The silverfish damage the wall paper by boring holes through in it. Damage is also seen around the edges of the wall paper, this could be from the silverfish bug eating the glue which holds the wallpaper to the wall. Paper items can be a major food supply for the silverfish bug.
The Silverfish bug can damage clothing but only specific clothing made up of cotton and linen. Proof of silverfish eating our clothing is usually yellow stains or small holes. They are harmless to humans and are not carriers of any known disease so far. They damage to wood and paper. Silverfish consume carbohydrates and sugars as their main diet and the cellulose in wood and paper serve as nutrition for them. If the wooden cabinets have powdered wood, that is a sign of silverfish infestation.
The silverfish bugs can also get into our house through cracks and unseen holes in roof. They are attracted by wet, damp conditions that may be caused by a leaky and damp roof. It is not unusual for silverfish to enter newly constructed homes arriving with insulation, lumber, and drywall. Silverfish will eat insulation and drywall and destroy them.
Many prevention methods used to control silverfish infestation are-
- Physical control can be easily achieved by cleaning, vacuuming, steam cleaning, altering the temperature to make the room hotter or colder, dehumidifying and trapping. Physical control has to be done in a particular interval of time.
- A glue board may also be used to trap silverfish but it’s not very effective in preventing silverfish infestation.
- Fumigation- which may kill silverfish for that particular area but it will also damage the area because the chemicals used are harmful to the wooden structure and are poisonous to human being too.
- Ultrasonic devices- these devices provide an ultrasonic sound which repel the insects from the application area but the sound emitted by this device irritate human too.
These methods are not effective in preventing silverfish infestation. We at C Tech Corporation provide you Termirepel™ to control silverfish infestation. Termirepel™is an excellent solution for silverfish infestation. Termirepel™ is a non-toxic, non-hazardous and environmental friendly insect aversive manufactured by C-Tech Corporation in India. It does not kill insects just keeps them away from the application. It is available in LDPE or EVA forms and also in liquid form. It is compatible with different kind of polymers. It has a shelf life of 25-40 years depending on the application. It can also be applied on the wooden application to prevent silverfish infestation.