Silverfish Life Cycle Facts

Image of a Silverfish

Life Cycle Stages

The silverfish process from egg to adult usually takes about four months. They are hemimetabolis insects, which means they develop through three stages:

  1. Egg
  2. Nymph
  3. Adult

While silverfish do not reproduce through direct fertilization of the eggs, they do perform a mating dance.

  • The insects touch their antennae together.
  • The female flees.
  • The male and female reunite. They stand side by side while the male vibrates his tail.
  • Males then deposit small packets of sperm into the female ovipositors.


Depending upon climate conditions and species, eggs may take between 19 to 60 days to hatch. Humid conditions are preferable, though silverfish can thrive in almost any environment.

Female silverfish produce one to three eggs per day, or clusters of two to twenty. The pests deposit eggs in cracks around the inside of a home or attic, making them difficult to find. Unlike some other insects, silverfish can produce eggs all year.


When they emerge from the egg, silverfish nymphs are miniature versions of the adults. They go through a number of molts during development, and continue to molt throughout their lives. Some species may undergo more than 50 molts.


Typically, silverfish become adults in about three or four months. In cool climates, it may take up to two years to develop into a mature adult.

Encounters & Concerns

The surrounding environment has a major influence on silverfish development and how long silverfish live. In ideal environments of high temperatures and humidly, these insects can live for about three years.