Silverfish Life Cycle

Stages of Life

Egg
Silverfish begin their lives in tiny, white, oval-shaped eggs. Usually deposited into cracks and crevices in damp environments, silverfish eggs are laid in groups of 1 to 200. When environmental conditions are adequate, they hatch within a few weeks. If temperatures drop below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, eggs can lay dormant until warmer conditions speed up the developmental process.

Nymph
Newly hatched silverfish are white and squishy as the pests do not grow their characteristic silver scales for several weeks. Once the scales come in, young nymphs have the appearance of tiny adult silverfish. The insects continue to molt throughout their lives, maturing through over 60 instars and growing to an average size of 3/4 of an inch. Silverfish feed on cellulose matter and objects rich in starch or protein. Nymphs can cause just as much damage to books, paper products, stored foods, and clothing as adults since they need to feed in order to grow.

Adult
When temperatures are favorable, silverfish grow from eggs to sexually mature adults in the span of a couple months. However, in colder climates, the process can take as long as two years. Silverfish are one of the few insect species that continue to molt even after reaching maturity. Adults congregate in dank areas to mate, and female silverfish are capable of producing thousands of offspring over the course of their lives. Adults live up to three years in ideal conditions.

Control & Removal
To avoid damage to stored goods, books, wallpaper, and personal property, homeowners should contact pest control experts. Our specialists are trained to handle silverfish at every stage in their life cycle. Not only do professionals address immediate threats posed by the pests, but they help identify and fix underlying factors causing infestations in the first place.