Naturespeak A naturalist's view of the world

April 11, 2010

Carpet Sharks in the Bathroom

Filed under: Uncategorized — wykes @ 10:05 pm

There are some critters that couldn’t care less about the advent of spring. For those select few, the ups and downs of the outside thermometer mean nothing as long as the inside thermostat is set at a tropically consistent 70 degree F. No, I am not talking about teenagers or cats, I am talking about those carbohydrate munching creatures variously called carpet sharks, paramites, or bristletails but more commonly called silverfish. These insects are a part of the inner fauna of nearly every home, yet they are little seen and never acknowledged. I was forced to acknowledge a few when I flipped on the bathroom light on the other day.

There, exposed to the blinding light, a few silverfish circled about randomly on the tile floor before dashing for cover. My eyes had barely adjusted to the light before I sprang into action. One silvery form, slower than the rest, was obliged to pay the price for his fellow fish and die for the cause. I didn’t squash it -that would be non-scientific and stain generating -but instead I corralled it with a plastic cup and popped it into the freezer. I wanted a closer look at one of these unique little co-habitants. Dead silverfish are easier to study than live ones.

If you are a member of the Silverfish Preservation Guild, by the way, I ask that you do not write me and complain about this act. I also would ask that you seek help while you still can!  Actually I have the deepest respect for silverfish. If I were a hat wearing man, I’d tip my chapeau and if I were a drinking man, I’d raise my glass to the lowly Lepisma saccharina as among the most successful creatures on earth. As it is, I am a twinkie eating man who doesn’t know what kind of acknowledgment to perform with this product. You don’t raise a twinkie, or tip it for that matter, but I guess you could pinch it a few times.

The pictures I bring you are of this dead little silverfish. Unfortunately, this one was not the best representative of his kind.  Both antennae, which normally are quite long, are busted and all of the tail bristles were cut off. This fellow was a stubbytail rather than a bristletail (there are normally three long bristles sticking out of the posterior end). The lack of “tail “probably explains why he was so slow out of the gate. To his credit, and another pinch of the Twinkie, he does display the silvery scales and almond shape that earn the common name of the tribe.

Admit it, he’s kinda cute isn’t he (see above and detail here). The entire body is covered with oval scales – making the sleek fish-like shape even sleeker looking. Since the scales detach so easily, it is likely that these are defensive paraphernalia meant to leave a predator with a mouthful of scaly dust. A pair of tiny compound eyes and six stout little legs are classic insect characteristics, however, a complete lack of wings or an easily discernible head-thorax-abdomen combo put silverfish into the “primitive” category. Keep in mind that primitive doesn’t mean backward or unsuccessful. They are found all over the planet.

Silverfish are chewing bugs that feast on carbohydrates such as starch and sugar. In the home, this can mean paper, glue, book bindings, or all that extra dandruff and hair you leave lying around. As much as I hate to admit it, Twinkies are fair silverfish food as well.

None of these eating habits endear them to us, but they don’t care. You could eliminate all the silverfish in your house by turning your furnace off in the winter and tearing out all your bathrooms and sinks (they are attracted to such moist places). You’d also have to move north, stop reading books, eating Twinkies, and growing hair in order to rid your home of carpet sharks. In short, you’d have to be a hairless moron living in an igloo in order to beat these bugs.

Chances are, your crack at this deprived state of living would be very short and you’d have to give it up before a month was over.  You’d move back into your home thinking that at least your prolonged absence had driven the hidden pests over to the neighbor’s ranch house. Unfortunately, the silverfish will wait you out. They can go without food for over a year. Besides, that one Twinkie you accidentally left way back under the stove will last over 25 years – enough to feed thousands of Silverfish generations. Silverfish: 1  Humans: 0.

40 Comments »

  1. Oy. I spent my high school and college years working summers in Special Collections in a library, and although that was many years ago, the sight of silverfish still makes me twitch. I did appreciate the close up shots, though – suddenly I see the remarkable resemblance to, well, a fish. Except with legs. And antennae. And an appetite for books.

    Comment by Holly — April 13, 2010 @ 11:16 am

  2. It’s a sign! I saw a silverfish zip across the garage floor over the weekend. Not a Twinkie in sight.

    Comment by Ellen — April 13, 2010 @ 4:38 pm

  3. Damn, very nice website. I actually came across this on Yahoo, and I am happy I did. I will definately be returning here more often. Wish I could add to the post and bring a bit more to the table, but am just taking in as much info as I can at the moment.

    Thank You

    Houses for Sale in Drogheda

    Comment by Oliver Zuleger — May 13, 2010 @ 3:32 pm

  4. Damn, awesome website. I actually came across this on Yahoo, and I am happy I did. I will definately be revisiting here more often. Wish I could add to the post and bring a bit more to the table, but am just absorbing as much info as I can at the moment.

    Thank You

    Property For Sale Ireland

    Comment by Mitchel Soito — May 13, 2010 @ 4:02 pm

  5. Love the blog, I love Original Movie Posters 😀

    Comment by quad movie poster — May 21, 2010 @ 10:17 am

  6. Thanks for the post. I will forward it on to a few friends.

    Comment by Phil Souers — May 25, 2010 @ 8:56 am

  7. Muy buen artículo! Me gustó leerlo y me sirvió, mil gracias. En el caso de que sea tu interés, yo administro un blog con mucha información sobre Reducir Abdomen.

    Comment by Excelente artículo — June 13, 2010 @ 1:51 am

  8. good blog – cheers

    Comment by Brant Mckennzie — June 18, 2010 @ 3:37 pm

  9. You have brought up some valid and interesting points. I’m glad to find your blog and will definitely drop by more often in the future. Thanks!

    Comment by Rug Steam Cleaners — July 1, 2010 @ 9:25 am

  10. Do you have a spam issue on this website; I also am
    a blogger, and I was curious about your situation; we have developed some nice practices and we are looking to
    trade techniques with other folks, be sure to shoot me an email
    if interested.

    Comment by interior design — May 8, 2014 @ 9:33 pm

  11. I really love your website.. Very nice colors
    & theme. Did you develop this site yourself? Please reply back as I’m
    planning to create my very own website and would like to find out where you got
    this from or exactly what the theme is called. Kudos!

    Comment by ikea furniture — May 9, 2014 @ 1:50 am

  12. Definitely imagine that which you stated. Your favourite reason appeared to be on
    the internet the easiest factor to bear in mind of. I say to you,
    I definitely get irked while people consider concerns that they plainly do not realize about.
    You managed to hit the nail upon the top and defined out the whole
    thing without having side-effects , other folks can take a signal.
    Will likely be back to get more. Thanks

    Comment by home renovation books — May 14, 2014 @ 4:57 pm

  13. I am curious to find out what blog platform you are working with?

    I’m experiencing some minor security issues
    with my latest website and I’d like to find something more safeguarded.

    Do you have any suggestions?

    Comment by interior design makeover — May 14, 2014 @ 5:41 pm

  14. Hi there would you mind sharing which blog platform you’re using?
    I’m planning to start my own blog in the near future but
    I’m having a tough time deciding between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution
    and Drupal. The reason I ask is because your design
    seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for something unique.
    P.S My apologies for getting off-topic but I had to ask!

    Comment by antique oriental carpets — May 15, 2014 @ 2:29 am

  15. Hello! Do you know if they make any plugins to safeguard against hackers?
    I’m kinda paranoid about losing everything I’ve worked
    hard on. Any tips?

    Comment by Home Renovation Loan — May 15, 2014 @ 4:04 am

  16. Its like you learn my mind! You appear to understand so
    much approximately this, such as you wrote the book in it or
    something. I believe that you simply can do with some % to pressure
    the message home a bit, but other than that, that is fantastic blog.

    An excellent read. I’ll certainly be back.

    Comment by garden bridge — May 15, 2014 @ 4:18 pm

  17. These are actually great ideas in regarding blogging. You have touched some
    fastidious factors here. Any way keep up wrinting.

    Comment by policyanalysiscenter.org — May 15, 2014 @ 6:59 pm

  18. Its like you read my mind! You appear to know so much about
    this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you could do with some pics to drive the message home
    a little bit, but other than that, this is excellent blog.
    A great read. I will certainly be back.

    Comment by antique persian rugs — May 16, 2014 @ 1:52 am

  19. You are so awesome! I don’t believe I’ve read a single thing like this before.
    So good to find somebody with a few original
    thoughts on this subject. Seriously.. thank you for starting this up.
    This site is something that is needed on the internet, someone with some
    originality!

    Comment by badcock home furnishings — May 16, 2014 @ 3:51 am

  20. I pay a visit each day a few web pages and information sites to read articles, except this web site offers feature based articles.

    Comment by e3la.org — May 16, 2014 @ 5:12 am

  21. Hello, I think your blog might be having browser compatibility issues.
    When I look at your blog site in Opera, it looks fine
    but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping.
    I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then that, excellent blog!

    Comment by http://rajusells.com/blog/?p=168 — May 16, 2014 @ 6:18 am

  22. It’s hard to come by educated people for this subject, but you sound like you know what
    you’re talking about! Thanks

    Comment by bamboo flooring — May 16, 2014 @ 6:57 am

  23. I have been exploring for a bit for any high-quality articles
    or weblog posts on this kind of area . Exploring in Yahoo I
    finally stumbled upon this web site. Reading this info So i’m glad to express that I have a very just
    right uncanny feeling I found out just what I needed. I such
    a lot for sure will make sure to do not overlook
    this web site and give it a glance on a continuing
    basis.

    Comment by rugsonline.weebly.com — May 16, 2014 @ 8:01 pm

  24. Hi there! I’m at work browsing your blog from my new apple iphone!
    Just wanted to say I love reading through your
    blog and look forward to all your posts! Keep up
    the fantastic work!

    Comment by lowe's home improvement store — May 16, 2014 @ 10:29 pm

  25. I am sure this post has touched all the internet viewers, its really really
    fastidious piece of writing on building up new website.

    Comment by logo Design — May 18, 2014 @ 9:21 pm

  26. Hello, Neat post. There is a problem along with your
    web site in web explorer, may test this? IE nonetheless is the
    market leader and a big component to people will leave out your magnificent writing because of this problem.

    Comment by http://www.santacruznetworks.com/ — May 19, 2014 @ 3:48 am

  27. These are truly impressive ideas in regarding blogging.
    You have touched some pleasant points here. Any way keep up wrinting.

    Comment by Kathie — May 23, 2014 @ 9:28 pm

  28. Hello there, just became alert to your blog through Google, and found that
    it is truly informative. I’m going to watch out for brussels.
    I will appreciate if you continue this in future. Many people will be benefited from your writing.
    Cheers!

    Comment by http://www.ellenkent.com/ — May 24, 2014 @ 5:51 pm

  29. Asking questions are truly nice thing if you are not understanding anything fully,
    but this piece of writing presents nice understanding yet.

    Comment by Mattie — May 25, 2014 @ 1:35 am

  30. It’s great that you are getting thoughts from this post as well as from
    our discussion made at this time.

    Comment by rugs at target — May 27, 2014 @ 2:37 am

  31. Its such as you learn my thoughts! You seem to understand
    so much approximately this, like you wrote the e-book in it or something.
    I think that you simply can do with a few p.c. to pressure the message house a little bit,
    but instead of that, this is wonderful blog. An excellent read.
    I’ll certainly be back.

    Comment by http://traditionalrugs.blog.com — May 29, 2014 @ 12:54 am

  32. It’s perfect time to make some plans for the future and it is time to be happy.
    I have read this post and if I could I wish to suggest you some interesting things
    or tips. Maybe you could write next articles referring to
    this article. I want to read even more things about it!

    Comment by Jonas — May 31, 2014 @ 2:48 am

  33. Hey! This is kind of off topic but I need some help from an established blog.
    Is it very hard to set up your own blog? I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty quick.
    I’m thinking about setting up my own but I’m not sure where to start.
    Do you have any points or suggestions? Cheers

    Comment by Tiffani — May 31, 2014 @ 2:08 pm

  34. I think this is one of the most important information for me.
    And i am glad reading your article. But should remark on some general things, The website style is wonderful, the articles is really excellent
    : D. Good job, cheers

    Comment by jillkamil.com — June 6, 2014 @ 8:30 pm

  35. Does your blog have a contact page? I’m having a tough time locating
    it but, I’d like to send you an email. I’ve
    got some creative ideas for your blog you might be interested in hearing.
    Either way, great blog and I look forward to seeing it develop over time.

    Comment by www.theholiergrail.com — June 7, 2014 @ 6:34 am

  36. I drop a comment whenever I especially enjoy a article on a site or I have something to add to
    the conversation. Usually it is caused by the sincerness displayed in the article I browsed.
    And on this post Carpet Sharks in the Bathroom Naturespeak.
    I was actually excited enough to leave a thought 😉
    I actually do have a few questions for you if it’s allright.
    Is it only me or do a few of these comments come across like written by brain dead visitors?
    😛 And, if you are writing on other online sites, I’d like to follow you.
    Could you list every one of all your community sites like your
    linkedin profile, Facebook page or twitter feed?

    Comment by Grazyna — June 7, 2014 @ 10:45 pm

  37. What’s Happening i’m new to this, I stumbled upon this I’ve found It positively helpful and it
    has aided me out loads. I’m hoping to contribute & assist
    different customers like its helped me. Great job.

    Comment by garden shed — June 9, 2014 @ 11:19 am

  38. I’m no longer positive the place you are getting your info, however
    great topic. I must spend a while studying more or working out more.
    Thannk you ffor excellent info I was in search of
    thios information for my mission.

    Comment by how to jailbreak ps3 4.31 — June 9, 2014 @ 8:25 pm

  39. A dog obedience training in San Bernarddino may teach baasic and
    complex techniques that will help improve your dog’s
    obedience. Obedience training has many benefitts for the sbih tzu ass well
    as the handler. Signin your dog up for classes can bee useful iff he’s chewing
    on furniture, barking excessively, or if he just has to
    bbe socialized wiith other dogs and people.

    Here is my blog post: solving dog Aggression

    Comment by solving dog Aggression — June 11, 2014 @ 9:18 pm

  40. Hello! Do you know if they make any plugins to assist
    with Search Engine Optimization? I’m trying to get my blog to rank for some targeted keywords but I’m not seeing very good gains.
    If you know of any please share. Appreciate it!

    Comment by refurbished computers — September 6, 2014 @ 3:51 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment

Powered by WordPress