One of the aspects that we miss most in this quarantine is certainly the social one. Video calls partially compensate for this lack, but presence and physical contact are essential. For example for whom, come me, he was two weeks in self-isolation, as returning from abroad, the amazement for the three-dimensionality of loved ones was certainly impressive.

A small consolation is that, in addition to our family members, companions and pets, at home we are never alone. There are so many critters! Many of you would probably prefer solitude to the above. Unfortunately, however, we must be realistic and learn to be satisfied.

So let's get to know a couple of roommates to appreciate them (or maybe not) better.

Let's start with the silver fish (Lepisma saccharina), insect belonging to the order Tysanura. It is commonly called in this way because the body takes on a metallic color deriving from silvery scales that form after the third moult. It is a lucifuge insect (it is active in the absence of light) and synanthropic (suitable for survival in environments altered by man, like buildings).

A feature that does not make it appreciable is its nutrition, which can be traced back to its scientific name "saccharina". His favorite food, they are substances that contain starch and polysaccharides, for this reason it can feed on book bindings, photo, postage stamps. In fact, they can cause considerable damage to the book heritage and to paper documents in general. In buildings, silverfish survive only in the presence of humidity and crevices in which to hide; therefore it is good practice to eliminate them in case of infestation.

But here comes a second roommate to help us: the scutigera (Scutigera coleoptrata).

It is an arthropod, originally from the Mediterranean basin, which has also spread successfully to other parts of the world (it is. Asia and North America) being in turn synanthropic. Ok, aesthetically it is less appealing than albeit unattractive (certainly for many of you) silverfish. It has many long legs, it's snappy, it also has an evil face and is not even silver. However, it is an exceptional predator. Not of human beings.

In particular, it is insectivorous and likes to eat spiders, Beatles, the aforementioned silver fish e (hear, hear) bedbugs. I repeat in capital letters: GOODS BED BUGS. For me this, popularly, it is already an excellent reason to avoid starting a fire in the house when you see it. Furthermore, being a taster of silverfish, will protect your book heritage. It is harmful to the human being? No. It is poisonous? Yup, but but it is not an aggressive animal towards us and uses its weapons only if in danger of life. Furthermore, the poison will have the effect of a bee sting on you, nothing more.

in conclusion, one way or another, we are never alone. There are thousands of little creatures very proud of our home. And remember: protect the books from silverfish and cheer scutigera!