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Wednesday, 14 July 2021
How to get rid of silverfish in your house

How to get rid of silverfish in your house

Silverfish can be found in dark, damp areas of your house. They are not dangerous for humans or domestic animals, but they can do damage inside your house by destroying books, clothing, and anything else that has starch in it.

It takes longer for a silverfish infestation to develop than with other types of pests but once silverfish settle in your house in large quantities, the infestation can be hard to treat. Thankfully, there are different ways that can help you eliminate silverfish which we explore in this article. 

What are silverfish?

A silverfish is a wingless, flat, silvery-colored bug with two long and slender antennae on its head. On the back of its streamlined body, it possesses three long, stiff hairs. The adult size of these insects is 1.25 cm (1/2 inch). 

Adults are smaller replicas of the cubs. The eggs are pale and oval, measuring around 1 mm (1/32 in) in diameter. Silverfish have glossy silvery scales and a consistent color, whereas Thermobia (a silverfish-like bug) is grey in color and mottled with darker spots.


Guide to identify insects in your house 


Life and Behavior

Females can deposit 10 to 100 eggs in cracks, crevices, and even open areas as early as three months of age. Silverfish have a four-year lifespan. They can be found in any room of the house, but they prefer dark and humid environments. 

They follow the plumbing up from the basement and lurk under shelves, wardrobes, beneath baseboards, and behind window and door frames. These pests can survive for months without food but if there’s a food source nearby they will find it. Food crumbs, dead insects, starch, glue, wallpaper, and other paper products are possible food sources.

Fabrics, paper, books, and wallpaper can all be stained. If a heavy infestation has been around for a long period, silverfish can cause a lot of damage to your house.


Preventive tips to avoid a silverfish infestation 


What naturally kills silverfish?

The best way to get rid of a silverfish infestation is to call an exterminator. However, if you have a small number of insects in your house, here are some ways to help you get rid of these pests: 

Cedar shavings

Cedar shavings have a pleasant aroma so the scent in your home won’t bother you. Silverfish, on the other hand, are repulsed by their odor, so it's a great way to get rid of them. You can use cedar shavings to keep silverfish away from affected areas.

Cedar shavings, like any other type of wood shaving, are known to make a mess, so use them in locations where you don't mind getting a little messy, such as the basement or outdoor spaces. You should vacuum and refill the cedar shavings once a week. Another option is to blend cedar oil with water and spray it into silverfish-infested cracks and crevices, as well as other areas where these pests congregate in order to keep them away.

Essential oils

Silverfish, like other insects, are repulsed by the scents of lemon and lavender. Purchase a bottle of lavender or citrus essential oil and dilute it in a large bottle of water. Shake the bottle well before spraying it over areas where silverfish are likely to congregate, such as under sinks, in cupboards, and along the edges of rooms. 

Spice Packets

Putting spices in your cupboards will keep silverfish away while also making your cupboards smell lovely. Strong-smelling spices, such as cloves, cinnamon, and other overpowering spices, are repulsive to silverfish:

  • Cinnamon is well-known for its mild and pleasant aroma. However, silverfish are unable to withstand this odor. Cinnamon sticks can be placed in contaminated locations such as your study room, bathroom, kitchen cabinets, drawers, and so on. 
  • Citrus fruits are an effective silverfish repellent. To keep silverfish away, use orange and lemon peels. Keep the fruit peels in areas you suspect are plagued with bugs to keep. It's important to remember to change the fruit peels after a while.?
  • Alternatively, you can make a spray by mixing lemon juice with water, pouring the mixture into a spray bottle, shaking it well, and spraying the affected regions. You can use it in your bathroom, sink, gutters, as well as gaps and crevices where silverfish may be.?

Roll up newspapers

This is another easy-to-make but highly powerful homemade trap. Roll up some newspapers and secure it in place with an elastic band on either end. Soak the newspaper rolls in water or run them under the tap until they're moist but not soggy enough to turn to mush. 

Place the rolls around your home in spots where silverfish congregate before going to bed. Moisture, food, and shelter will entice them to come. Collect your traps in the morning and throw them away or burn them. If you unroll the newspaper before doing this, they will get away.

Boric Acid

Boric acid is a natural chemical that kills both silverfish and their eggs. Before going to bed, spread boric acid in silverfish affected areas and vacuum it the next morning. It's possible that you'll have to repeat the process until they're all gone.

Always use a face mask when working with boric acid, and make sure no dogs or children come into contact with it. If you inhale it, seek medical help right away.


What is pest management and how does it work? 


Tips to get rid of silverfish at home

1. Sprinkle Diatomaceous Earth?

Diatomaceous earth is a white powder made up of the fossilized remains of diatoms, which are a type of algae. Silverfish lose moisture and perish when they come into touch with diatomaceous earth, which destroys their exterior waxy coating. You can use it to treat areas where you have noticed silverfish. Because silverfish are nocturnal, it is best to use it in the evening and for several nights in a row for best results. 

2. Seal your Food?

To keep silverfish away, make sure to seal appealing food sources such as cereal, pasta, rice, quinoa, flour, sugar, and pet food. Make sure to seal food in  airtight containers.

3. Reduce Humidity?

Silverfish thrive in moist and humid conditions so it’s recommended to use a dehumidifier in wet basements and make sure your bathroom is sufficiently ventilated. You should also make sure gutters and downspouts are clear.

4. Clear Clutter?

Silverfish enjoy hiding in old papers, newspapers, and books, so make sure to clean up areas where these materials are likely to pile up. Keep your necessary documents and books in airtight bins, especially if the papers are in the basement or attic.

Need help dealing with a silverfish infestation?

Regular pest control is vital to keep undesirable pests out of your home or place of work. Even if you have the cleanest house on the planet, silverfish will find their way in. The best approach to ensure your house is pest-free is to schedule regular inspections with a pest management company. VExtermination's programs are designed to give you peace of mind all year long.

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