Zygentoma (silverfish, fishmoths)
> Eukaryotes >
Metazoa (animals) > Bilateria > Ecdysozoa
> Panarthropoda > Tritocerebra > Phylum:
Arthopoda > Mandibulata >
Atelocerata > Panhexapoda >
> Insecta (insects) > Dicondyla
(family: Lepismatidae) - eats your books!
Fishmoths fall within two families, the Lepismatidae and the Nicoletiidae. The former
family contains the most familiar-looking species and these have compound eyes. Ctenolepisma
longicaudata is the most common species found in homes in South Africa where it
consumes paper, glue of bindings, starched clothing and dry foods. This species was
introduced to South Africa prior to 1900. The nicoletiids are only found in ant and
termite nests and have no eyes.
- 5 parts gum Arabic
- 5 parts sodium fluosilicate
- 4 parts flour
- 6 parts sugar
- 40 parts water (enough to make a thick paste)
Let the gum Arabic stand overnight in water to
soften so it will mix easily with other ingredients the next day. Sodium
fluosilicate does not dissolve easily and needs to be stirred constantly. Once
mixed, dip strips of card into the paste, hang up to dry. Label poison and place
in affected areas. Replace yearly.
Irish, J. 1985. Order: Thysanura. In: Insects of Southern Africa (Eds C.H.
Scholtz and E. Holm). Butterworths, Durban, pp. 31-32.
Skaife, S.H. 1979. African Insect Life. C. Struik, Cape Town, pp. 31-32.