Silverfish are pest insects that look a little like fish with their silver, skinny bodies. These pests also have a scaly appearance, much like fish. The scales are a protection to them; they help them escape predators. Silverfish are about half an inch long. They have two long antennae and have a flat, thin body. They do not have wings.
Silverfish generally find their home outside—beneath bark or rocks or in bird or ant nests. Inside, they may dwell anyplace where water is abundant—sinks or bathtubs, for example. They also are commonly found in spaces like closets and basements—areas that are damp with a cool to warm temperature.
Silverfish are ferocious eaters and can feed on a variety of items—including paper, glue, books, curtains, paste, starch, linen, and cereal—though, they can last for months without any food at all. The insects are not harmful, but they can cause damage to books, magazines, and clothes. Once silverfish enter homes, it can be a challenge to kill them off. Keeping a sanitary home is the best way to control the pests. Sometimes an insecticide may be necessary to eliminate them from a home.
Silverfish have a distinguishing feature. They can consume cellulose without bacteria in their stomach to help digest it.