13 Helpful Home Remedies to Get Rid of Silverfish

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Home Remedies for Silver Fish
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Lepisma saccharina or silverfish is a tiny, wingless, and carrot-shaped bug with silvery scales on its body. It is among those small active insects that have two or three bristles at the end of their abdomen. You can suspect their presence by noticing an uneven eating pattern on books and their leftover feces. They can be seen in kitchen, bathroom, laundry rooms, loft, underground store, and spaces with moisture. It does not harm humans directly. However, they feed on food items (like sugar, vegetables, flour, and cereals), wallpaper, wallboard, cardboard boxes, clothes, and things made up of paper, which make them a real nuisance. For getting rid of silverfish, we have some useful tips which are easy to execute. Try them out.

Home Remedies for Silver Fish

1. Boric Acid

Boric acid is a naturally occurring mineral, which is poisonous in nature and it kills insect by causing starvation. This method will drive out the silverfish wandering in your house. Sprinkle boric acid at the affected places. Once the fish moth eats it up, it will die (1, 2).

Caution – If you have pets in the house, then instead of sprinkling the boric acid powder, spray a solution of water and boric acid.

2. Diatomaceous Earth

Scatter the diatomaceous earth over the suspected places. When these bugs pass through this area, they will die of dehydration. You can also directly sprinkle it on the silverfish to kill them by thirst. One important fact is that it does not cause any harm to the mammals (3).

Note: This Inorganic dust is effective only in dry locations (4).

3. Cedar Shavings

Cedar oil is used as an insecticide (5). The shavings of the cedar tree smell very nice. You’ll love to have that aroma in your abode. But, to be true, silverfish dislikes this smell, and this is the fact for you to cheer. So, just place some cedar shavings at the silverfish infested areas and do away with all your worries.

4. Cinnamon

Cinnamon will fill your house with a pleasant fragrance, keeping silverfish at bay. Silverfish can’t tolerate the aroma of cinnamon. Put cinnamon sticks in the drawers, cabinets of the kitchen, bathroom, and study room. The fish moths will not visit these places (6).

5. Citrus Fruits

Citrus fruits serve as an excellent silverfish remedy. Lemon and orange peels will prove to be very useful to repel these nocturnal insects. Place orange or lemon peels at the suspected places or where you see them. They will vanish soon. Keep changing the peels from time to time.

Alternatively, botanical insecticides like Limonene can also be used. These insecticides are made from citrus oils of lemon and other citrus fruit peels (7).

6. Naphthalene Balls

Naphthalene balls can be kept in the clothing to get rid of silverfish bugs. Place them in your closet and bookstore, and these tiny creatures will become a matter of past. The smell of naphthalene balls is irresistible for them; hence, they will die (8, 9).

7. Cucumber

Your search on how to get rid of silverfish in your home is over now. Cucumber peels will prevent silverfish from sneaking inside your house. Silverfish do not like the smell of cucumber. Place some thick pieces of cucumber peel at the places from where they may enter, and you’ll not see them coming from that path.

8. Whole Cloves

Cloves contain Eugenol which is a natural insecticide and it is widely used to get rid of household pests (10). You can use whole cloves to get rid of silverfish naturally. Place whole cloves at the places of their arrival such as cracks, holes, and damp and dark places. The fish moth resists the smell of clove and will not dare enter your dwelling.

9. Table Salt

Table salt is another home remedy to kill silverfish. These little bugs cannot resist the salt and die due to dehydration. This remedy may take some time to destroy these insects, but it is quite effective. Serve some salt to silverfish and they will expire after dining it. Epsom salt can also be used.

10. Homemade Trap

Use a self-made trap to catch the silverfish.  Once they get ensnared in this trap, discard them out of your home. Take a mason jar and wrap it with a masking tape from outside (it will help silverfish to climb the jar as they lack any additional appendages to climb the smooth surfaces). Put a piece of food (it may be anything like wet paper, cotton, bread, etc.) inside the jar. Silverfish will smell the food and climb the jar. Since they are weak climbers, they will not be able to run away once they go inside the jar (11).

  • Alternatively, take a newspaper and damp it. Roll it and place rubber bands on both sides. What more silverfish wants? The moist paper is a perfect feast for them. Once they get entrapped in the paper, either throw or burn it to kill the moths.

11. Silica gel 

Silica gel causes dehydration. It kills silverfish by absorbing the waxy coating on its body (12, 13).

Herbal Remedies for Silverfish

12. Sage, Eucalyptus and Basil Leaves

Herbs are the natural remedies for silverfish. Keep the leaves of sage, eucalyptus, basil and rosemary at the affected places to deter these pests. Eucalyptus is a natural repellent (14). If you are worried about the cleanliness of your house as these leaves may roam here and there, use small sachets of these leaves.

13. Camphor Tree

Camphor plant is used as an insecticide and helps deter the silverfish bugs in a natural way. Grow a camphor tree in your garden, and you will not see these bugs at the nearby places.

14. Lavender Oil

To repel silverfish, use lavender oil. The strong smell of this oil is enough to drive them out. Take a tsp lavender oil and pour it in a spray bottle half filled with water. Mix well. Use it to wipe the surfaces where their existence is more evident like carpets, windows, kitchen slab, and walls.

Note- Do not use it on the fabric as it can cause damage to the cloth.

Do’s

  • Seal the cracks and crevices in the pipes, windows, and walls (15).
  • Keep the basements, roof spaces and other places clean and dry (16, 17).
  • Regularly clean the places like cupboards and cabinets where you keep your clothes and food items (18, 19).
  • Use a dehumidifier to lessen the moisture at the places which are generally closed (20, 21).
  • Store the food items in an air tight container (22).
  • Clean the dirty clothes without delay so as to curb the risk of silverfish infestation.
  • Placing the objects in the sun and air periodically will help remove the moisture and keep a check on the development of silverfish (23).

Don’ts

  • Don’t allow newspapers and other cardboard materials to pile up (24, 25).
  • Do not allow rubbish to accumulate in the crannies of the house.
  • Don’t let food items lie open in the kitchen (26).

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