Silverfish: Help! There's Sharks under the carpet!

Picture of adult Silverfish!

Best get rid of them earlier!
Best get rid of them earlier!

Cute, but can be pests


I was sitting on the throne the other day, gazing expansively around my bathroom after enjoying a modicum of success, passing what felt like a football, when I detected movement of another kind under the edge of the hall carpet, which finishes at the bathroom door.

As I watched with no little fascination a tiny fish-like critter wriggled out from under the carpet and proceeded to “swim” in my direction over the bathroom lino.

As it closed with the giant on the potty, he extended a huge foot and the “fish” turned smartly and swam back from whence it came - under the hall carpet.

I remembered what it was from seeing them as a child (I marvelled that evolution had allowed them such a tenure on the planet!).

It was, of course, a Silverfish, also called “Carpet Sharks, Fishmoths and Paramites.”

The scientific name of these interesting chaps is “Lepisima Saccharina,” a title which refers to their diet.

They are far from having any relation to the finny world, or course, and are really small, wingless insects. Their shape and their method of movement reminds of fish, hence the best known title.

The name, saccharina, relates to their preferred diet, so does the sobriquet carpet moth, as they can eat material like the Clothes Moth if they can’t get any sugar or substances like glue, which they love.

They are tagged as being pests, because silverfish will eat just about any organic material around the house or in your wardrobe, although they won’t be often found in the dry, central heated parts of the house. They enjoy medium to high humidity: your garage, laundry room, bathroom, etc.

They have the most fascinating mating dance which ends when the male discharges a gossamer-wrapped “spermataphore.” The female then takes this up into her own body allowing her to fertilize her eggs, subsequently laid by her.

Silverfish can live to 8 years of age and grow to about 3/4” in length. “Jaws,” (my own pet silverfish) is only about 1/8” and must be a teenager.

Silverfish are completely harmless to us although they can be a menace to our clothing; they are associated with no diseases.

Cute little fellas actually; add interest to a trip to the bog!...

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Comments 14 comments

writeronline 5 years ago

Bob, you gotta delete this Hub, wait until November, and resubmit just the opening.

Re-post it as the ultimate creative thought starter for people wanting to enter the prose competition. Who could fail to be inspired to finish the story, after an opening like this..."I was sitting on the throne the other day, gazing expansively around my bathroom after enjoying a modicum of success, passing what felt like a football, when I detected movement of another kind under the edge of the hall carpet...."

Unreal attention grabber!

Cheers


nemanjaboskov profile image

nemanjaboskov 5 years ago from Serbia

I agree with writeronline! A great way to start a hub :)


diogenes profile image

diogenes 5 years ago from UK and Mexico Author

Thanks WOL and Neman...I cant open emails with hubbers stories, etc. There is a thread on it...no blue link any more just the name and details in heavy print. Please follow thread...Bob

I got lots more creative thoughts, WOL, I'll think of something! Bob


Lady_Tenaz 5 years ago

This was funny and a great write my friend. I remember seeing those little pests when I was a kid, never knew anything about them before now. Good read.


diogenes profile image

diogenes 5 years ago from UK and Mexico Author

Hola preciosa: Thank you for comment...Bob


carcro profile image

carcro 5 years ago from Winnipeg

That's what they are, every now and then we'll see one in the laundry room, but to me they are anything but cute, I usually give them a ride on the porcelain express, at least they have fun on the way out....


sweetoneangel profile image

sweetoneangel 5 years ago from New Jersey

Great hub, I agree I do not find them cute, but it has been many years since I have seen any around.


diogenes profile image

diogenes 5 years ago from UK and Mexico Author

You're both right, carcro and 'angel. As I don't see as well these days, I often think I am looking at the world through a film-maker's soft lens. They are probably horrible little varmints! They don't bother me, though...Bob


Sunnie Day 5 years ago

My goodness Bob watching this little silver fish seems better than reading a newspaper or maginzine on the throne..lol

I probibly have seen one but didn't know what it was..This was very interesting..I would rather see one of those little creatures than the huge scorpion I found the other day..YIKES!

Thanks for a great, funny, informative hub,

Sunnie


diogenes profile image

diogenes 5 years ago from UK and Mexico Author

Ha! I used to get scorps every day when I lived in Mexico; they seem such mindless creatures. I was only stung once and it was quite enough! But they aren't really aggressive, they just get underfoot or under your hand on a stone wall. None in UK just silverfish and their ilk...Bob


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 5 years ago from London, UK

That was a lovely story as well as interesting and informative. You have so much knowledge about all these creatures.


diogenes 5 years ago

Half is a life full of life and study and half resourses. Cheers dear...Bob


Teresa Schultz profile image

Teresa Schultz 3 years ago from East London, in South Africa

What a superb start to a hub; well done. Interesting info too. I think I've seen fishmoths before, not sure, but whatever little insect or creature came wriggling into a bathroom while I was otherwise engaged, I would freak!


diogenes profile image

diogenes 3 years ago from UK and Mexico Author

Fishmoths...they are really harmless but people say you are dirty if you have them

Bob

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