Silverfish are little, wingless insects that can measure up to an inch long. The get their name from their fish-like movements, and commonly are bluish or gray. Contrary to what many people think, they don't bite but they can ruin fabrics, wallpaper, books and other household items. To prevent silverfish, it helps to understand their life cycle.

The Reproduction Stage

The silverfish has an extensive mating ritual. It consists of three phases and can last up to 30 minutes. In the first phase, the male and female perform a dance in which they repeatedly touch antennae. In the second phase, the female chases after the male. Once she catches him, the final phase begins as the male releases his sperm to the female. Later, the female will release her eggs. The resulting baby silverfish are white.

Diet

During the growth stage, silverfish eat many different things. They are especially attracted to starchy foods and some adhesives. They may eat book bindings, photos, textiles, sugar and even human hair, but they are also known to survive for up to a year without eating. Silverfish can be found in cool and damp places around the home. The bathroom is a popular spot for silverfish, especially around sinks, baths and showers.

Habits of Silverfish

Yellow stains on fabrics are a sign of silverfish. They tend to stay near their food sources, and if uncovered, can move quickly. They are nocturnal creatures that prefer tight, dark places.

Lifespan of Silverfish

A female silverfish hcan lay over 100 eggs during her lifetime. The typical lifespan of a silverfish is between two to eight years, while the lifespan of an average insect is less then one year. One reason for the long lifespan is the silverfish's ability to go without eating for long periods of time.

Prevention/Solution

To prevent these creatures from living in your home and creating a nuisance, you must identify their habitat. Reducing humidity and moisture is the best step you can take. According to AllExperts.com, a simple dehumidifier might do the trick for you. Clean thoroughly and vacuum all around the area, especially inside any cracks and corners. After taking these measures, if silverfish still exist in your home, you may want to try to buy some commercial traps and baits. You can find these items at your local hardware store.