Catching Silverfish

Edward L. Manigault,

The warm, humid weather of Houston is perfect for insects of all kinds to flourish. Being a born here, I am not usually bothered by the ones that cross my path. In my mind there was only three types of insects, the harmless ones, the stinging ones, and the smelly, gross ones that I avoid smashing and if they weren’t the latter two I didn’t have a problem. However, two years ago, I learned that even the harmless ones can be startling.

The incident I am referencing happened in the summer of my sophomore year. I was about to change into a new shirt in my bathroom when I felt my armpit itch a little. Confused, I reached under my armpit and felt a bump. Thinking it was a bit of deodorant, I looked into the mirror and then I saw some silver bump on my armpit. Then it moved. Naturally I screamed my head off before grabbing the closet toilet paper to wipe it off my armpit.

Before sending it to a watery grave in the toilet, I decided to look at the perpetrator. It was a small long insect with silvery body that resembled a clawless lobster. To Texans like me, they are known as silver fish and I had enough presence of mind to know that even with the y way they creepily slinked across floor, they were completely harmless. However, it invading my personal space had crossed the line, and I unceremoniously flushed it down alive.

After that day any silverfish that slinks into my site makes me check my clothes to see if any of them are latching on to me. I won’t seek them out or kill them on sight because I know that as harmless insects they are an important part of our ecosystem so as long as they leave me alone. I leave them alone.


Works Cited

  1. Edward L. Manigault, Clemson University Donated Collection,


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