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What do silverfish look like?

silverfish crawling near tucson az home

Silverfish are gray to light brown and have scaly exoskeletons typically 1/2 inch to 5/8 inch.  They have three long taillike appendages extending from the tip of the abdomen.  When viewed from the top, silverfish are shaped like carrots. They have chewing mouthparts and long antennae.

Habits of silverfish

  • Diet: Carbohydrates and proteins. Glue, starchy items. Paper and rayon. Human foods. Can survive weeks without food and water.
  • Activity: Will travel distances in search of a food source. Once found they will harbor nearby. Nocturnal.
  • Preferred Climate: 45 to 85 degree temperatures.
  • Defense: Live in aggregations (clusters) due to pheromones that are released attracting other silverfish to a prime harborage area.
  • Cautions: Can damage clothing, paper items including wallpaper, foods.
  • Home Invasion: Can be found in cracks and crevices indoors including behind molding, wallpaper, under rugs, wall voids, attics, crawl spaces, linen closets, bookshelves, etc.

Are silverfish dangerous?

Silverfish are not known to bite people and do not carry diseases. There is more of a chance of hurting yourself attempting to chase one down than of the silverfish hurting you if you catch it.

Where do silverfish live?

Silverfish prefer dark, damp areas such as basements, kitchens, and bathrooms. 

Helpful hints for silverfish

The best way to prevent a silverfish problem is to keep these pests out; you can do this by implementing these prevention tips:

  • Practicing good sanitation 
  • Reduce moisture 
  • Store food in tightly sealed containers

Interesting facts about silverfish

Silverfish have been found infesting attics in Tucson.  These areas often reach temperatures of 130 degrees with less than 15% moisture.

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Cochise County, AZ
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