The Common Scales: Small Insect, Big Trouble

The common silverfish, which inhabited the earth as early as three hundred million years ago, has now become a permanent guest in apartments. These small insects belong to the type of arthropods and the bristle-tail family. They are not harmful to human health, but they can cause damage to the house by gnawing through bags, spoiling books and curtains. Although these insects are perfectly safe for humans, they can lay eggs in food, which greatly reduces the quality of the product. They also pick up dirt and dust particles and carry them around the house.

Appearance and behavior

The Common scaleworm is a very small insect with a body length of 0.8 to 1.9 centimeters. The body itself is flat and tapered at the end. The coloration is predominantly silvery gray. However, this color appears after the third molt. Because of the scaly cover, the insect is called the “scales”. The insect has a tail with three filaments, two on the sides and one in the middle. There are small tendrils on the head. The common silverfish has no wings, but only a body and three pairs of legs.

The Common Ladybird selects moist and dark places as their habitat. In nature, they live mostly under fallen leaves, snags or stones. In houses, they prefer humid and warm places, and as a rule, they live in bathrooms. Because of their body structure, they can’t get higher than the second tier, so they usually live on the ground or on the floor. The activity of these species occurs in the dark hours of the day, and they spend the daytime in the dark. It has been suggested that the genus of silverfish comes straight from the tropics, as that is where they have the best conditions for existence. Also, common silverfish are extremely fast.

Feeding and reproduction

As a habitat, the common silverfish choose plant foods that are high in starch and polysaccharide content. Their diet includes such types of products as sugar, glue, flour, paper, starchy fabrics. The common wood scaleflies feed mainly on plants, which also contain starch and polysaccharides.

Common silverfish have a pronounced sexual dimorphism. Males leave their spermatophores, which females then find and fertilize on their own. After direct fertilization, the eggs are laid. As a rule, about 50 eggs appear, but the number can vary from 20 to 70. It is determined by the environmental conditions. The more humid the climate and the warmer the temperature, the more offspring are born. The lifespan of the common silverfish can be more than 4 years.

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