How do silverfish eggs look like? Know more about the Life Cycle of silverfish by reading this article. Are baby silverfish also known as silverfish nymphs physically different from their parents?
Maybe the pictures highlighted here will help you find an answer to that. Finally, I examine the existence of silverfish larvae. I hope you enjoy the read.
Silverfish Life Cycle
Silverfish goes through three life cycle stages of 3-4 months, depending on the climate and the species. These stages are:
- Nymph or young/baby silverfish
These insects procreate through indirect fertilization. The mating process has three parts which culminate into a male silverfish depositing small packets of sperm- called spermatophores on the ground.
The female picks up the sperm via their ovipositors to insert into their genital to fertilize the eggs leaving behind spermatophores.
An adult female silverfish lays oval-shaped eggs in clusters, which hatches after 19-60 days depending on the condition of the environment they are in.
Even though silverfish can survive in almost any climatic condition, they are known to thrive well in humid, dark, and cool conditions. In contrast to other insects; silverfish lays eggs throughout the year.
They lay between 1-3 eggs daily in clusters of between 2-20 eggs.
Young silverfish are the small version of adults when they emerge from eggs. They undergo a number of molts as they develop into adulthood. They also continue to molt even in their adult life.
There is a lot you need to understand about silverfish eggs because they play a major part during an infestation. If you don’t get rid of these eggs, they will hatch and continue to live in your home.
They will never go away on their own magically until you take action. Your knowledge and understanding of silverfish eggs can play a key role in your efforts to eradicate and prevent silverfish from coming to your house and living areas.
Note that most methods, including over-the-counter products that are used to kill silverfish, do not address silverfish eggs – yet it is a key part of the infestation.
This is attributed to a number of factors that include:
- The ingredients in these products are not effective on eggs
- Lack of knowledge of how these eggs look like
- Lack of knowledge of where to find these eggs
- Incorrect application of these products
Even if you find these eggs, you also need to understand how to kill them. Otherwise, they could be too many and overwhelming to eradicate.
Please note that one female adult can produce as many as 3500 offspring in her lifetime.
How to Spot a Silverfish Egg Cluster?
An adult female silverfish lays 2-3 eggs each day and puts them in clusters of about 20 eggs. This depends on the species and prevailing environmental conditions.
Regarding physical properties, silverfish egg:
- Is soft and white in color when it is laid
- The egg turns yellow on exposure to oxygen
- The egg measures approximately 1mm in length
- Elliptical in shape- not quite oval
But don’t imagine you will just find these eggs in open for easy disposal. These eggs are usually hidden in small cracks and crevices within your home.
Even though considered primitive, silverfish hide their eggs to protect them from being damaged. They are protected from DIY pest control as well as your broom and vacuum.
This makes it even harder for predators to access and destroy it.
They also extra mile to bury them in cereals, dust, and clothes, meaning you may find tiny scurrying in your dresser drawers and kitchen scampering for cover.
Once silverfish find a safe breeding area, they signal other silverfish to come and lay eggs in your home to create a crowded gathering of insects.
In the mating process, a male silverfish deposits small packets of sperm on the ground.
The sperms are then picked up by the female silverfish via their ovipositors and inserted into their genitals to fertilize the eggs leaving behind the sperm packets (spermatophores).
Silverfish eggs hatch into nymphs after a few days leading to more breeding. Please note that crowded gathering of insects enables the eggs to hatch healthier, faster, and more effectively.
Depending on the environment, the eggs take 19-32 days to hatch into a plump of white nymphs that emerge from eggs.
These nymphs start to feed and molt as they grow into adult silverfish ready to lay eggs. They will eventually turn your house into their breeding ground.
This completes three stages of the silverfish life cycle. However, you may interfere with this life cycle using appropriate methods to prevent the procreation of these insects within your home.
Silverfish Larvae – Do They Exist?
How do silverfish larvae look like?
Silverfish larvae aka nymph is an immature miniature version of an adult silver bug. They are known to molt periodically by shading their old coating as they mature into an adult silver bugs.
It takes them roughly 6 weeks to mature into a fully grown adult, but this process may be a bit longer depending on the condition of their environment.
In the process, nymphs leave behind yellow stains as move around the house searching for foods for sustenance.
Nymphs are tiny, about a sixth and in length. Nymphs look similar to adult silverfish except for their light skin which is also not shiny.
This similarity is evident in their long antennas, three-tailed appendages on the rear, and six legs. These similarities are not surprising because silverfish do not undergo metamorphosis.
It develops into dark and metallic shiny skin with a hard skeleton after undergoing four molts. Until then, the nymphs are whitish in color and have soft bodies.
In contrast to most insects, an adult silverfish will continue to molt. This is why traces of skin on the surfaces may also indicate silverfish infestations.
Do silverfish larvae/nymphs cause problems?
Even in their early stages, silverfish nymphs aka larvae can cause the same problems as just their adult counterparts.
They damage your fabrics and paper products in your house and may also contaminate your cereals, flours, and grains. They punch holes in your fabrics, cereals, and papers.
Nymphs also defecate and leave behind yellowish stains on the surface as they move around your house.
How to control silverfish nymphs
The presence of silverfish nymphs in your house is an indication of an infestation. A high population of thriving silverfish can be difficult to eradicate.
In this case, you may be forced to get professional personnel with the skills to identify the source of the problem and help to free your home from silverfish infestation.
You may also consider using natural remedies to get rid of silverfish. These include homemade repellents like lavender spray, cedar shaving, and so forth.
Homemade sprays like rolled wet newspapers among others. Boric acid and diatomaceous may also be used to kill nymphs.
Upon hatching into baby silverfish also known as nymphs, it takes about 4 months to mature into an adult silverfish.
As stated above, silverfish baby is equally destructive as their adult counterparts.
- They chew holes in items within your house; especially clothes, carpets, sofas, wallpapers, books, and groceries.
- Silverfish babies are a clear version of their adult counterparts.
- They look more or less the same in physical features with minimal exceptions.
- They both have long antennas on the head and three posterior appendages. However, contrary to an adult one, a baby silverfish has a soft body and whitish in color.
Baby silverfish insect behaves in the same way as adult silverfish. They are also nocturnal and will come out in large numbers to search for foods at night.
If you spot silverfish babies in your house, then your house is already infested, and they are growing in number, and they will soon take over your home.
READ MORE: Are silverfish poisonous?
Featured image credit: Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University, bugwood.org | slight edits were applied | licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.