New Jersey Silverfish & Booklice Control
Q: What are Silverfish?
A: Silverfish and firebrats are thought to belong to one of the most primitive of living insect Orders, the Thysanura or bristle tails (also called fish moths, tassel tails or fringe tails.) A fossil insect found on the northern shore of Quebec’s Gaspe Bay has been identified as belonging to the “Bristletails” – silverfish and firebrats. This insect fossil is believed to date from the Silurian Age, more than 400 million years ago.
Q: What do Silverfish look like?
A: Silverfish have a “carrot shaped” body when viewed from above, but are flattened top to bottom. From the tip of the abdomen or “tail,” the narrow end of the “carrot,” three filamentous appendages extend that are as long as the antennae or longer. The body of the common silverfish is covered with silver scales that are easily detached when the animal is touched.
Silverfish belong to those groups of insects that mature through the developmental process known as incomplete or gradual metamorphosis. They are egg layers and newly hatched silverfish look like tiny adults.
Silverfish are pests of paper, particularly paper that has a glaze on it. These insects often attack wallpaper, in which they may eat holes, or may remove the paste from behind the wallpaper.