“Silverfish” is the popular name given to lepisma saccharina because it has a cigar-shaped body covered with silvery scales. It is, in fact, an insect with six feet but no wings. It has two long antennae on its head and at the other end of its body are three narrowed appendages (a central filament located between two cerci). Our homes can also be host to the firebrat; it resembles the silverfish, but its marbled body is more beige and brown. Other species of silverfish and firebrats live indoors, although most take advantage of warm and humid climates to live outdoors in birds’ nests or hidden under rocks and bark.
These insects feed on starch and are therefore attracted by glossy pages, the gum used to bind books, wallpaper, and some types of clothing or curtains (cotton, linen, silk, rayon). They also feed on cellulose that they find in cracks of houses, as well as grain and dried meat.