You are probably interested in learning how to get rid of silverfish if you see the small and silver bug within your living space. Are silverfish harmful? Well, they aren’t dangerous to humans, but when it comes to carpets, old papers, clothes, wallpaper, and books, it’s a different story. Their droppings are pretty destructive as they destroy those things. If you suspect your house has been infested by them, it doesn’t hurt to take extra precautions. Knowing how to remove the bugs – by force or naturally – can bring you peace of mind.
Silverfish and their Nature
Lepisma Saccharina, or Silverfish Bug, isn’t a type of fish or whatsoever. They are called that way because of their silver color. Not to mention that their body has a unique way of moving – side to side, back and forth – resembling the fish. With the tapered antennas and tails, the small insects do look like the land-version of the fish.
The insects aren’t all bad. They can do some ‘good deeds’ for your environment when they are still in a small and limited number. They not only maintain the insect’s ecosystem in your house, but they also provide food for spiders and predatory insects. However, when they grow and they have become an infestation, they can be problematic and pose a huge issue. Silverfish won’t sting or bite you even within a close encounter. They don’t carry any disease either.
Silverfish like to make homes in unsealed cereal packets, oat, or pasta as they love dark places. If you happen to love this kind of food and often leave this around, the bug will take the chance to take over it. Not only will they ruin your things, but they also make a home from your favorite food. Don’t you find it highly annoying? That’s why a lot of homeowners want to know how to get rid of silverfish immediately.
The insects are nocturnal creatures, meaning that they will be most active at night. They are quick insects – which make it difficult for them to catch. They are highly likely living in kitchens, garages, basements, and attics where they can have a huge feast on clutters (such as papers and old items), unsealed dried food, and dust.
Why You Have Silverfish?
There are many answers to the question ‘Why do I have silverfish?’ First of all, these insects love polysaccharides, the sugary substance found in various household objects, like furniture, fabrics, paint, glue, carpet fibers, and book glue. They would eat it and naturally cause damages to those items. To even make it worse, then their droppings will do even more damage.
Second, they need dark places to hide and to leave their eggs. The eggs look like yellow and white bulbs. Silverfish need to store those eggs in safe spots – spots that aren’t only dark and hidden, but also moist and humid. They won’t survive in a dry environment – as most insects love humid conditions. They need a place to shelter, which is the main reason why they come to your house in the first place.
If you see that your clothes (from synthetic fabrics) have yellowish stains, and you also spot small holes and tiny droppings on wallpaper and old paper, then it is a sure thing that you have silverfish bugs at home. It is more confirmed when you see them move quickly across the floor – or such thing alike.
How to Get Rid of Silverfish Completely from Your House
- Glass Jar Trap
How to get rid of silverfish? You can create a simple trap that will rid them without spending a fortune. You can place a starchy substance or food inside a container, preferably a glass one, and then wrap the outer side with tape. Starchy food will attract silverfish. The bug should be able to get to the jar by making use of the textured (and sticky) surface of the tape. But once they are in the jar, they can’t get back outside because of the smooth surface. That’s why this trap will work perfectly with the glass container.
- Sticky Paper
You can make sure of the sticky paper to trap them. These sticky papers can be purchased at the home improvement stores – they usually have such products. You only need to remove the cover and then place the traps at most potential spots around the house. If you have seen the most significant damages around the house, then you should place your traps there. Make sure to check them once every 2 to 3 days. If the traps work and capture the insects, replace them. If you do this regularly, then you may be able to get rid of the insects.
- Use the (Roll up) Newspaper
This is another trap using the old and unused newspaper. Wet it – it would attract the silverfish. Once they crawl into it and they like it, they will make it their houses. After several days, or around a week, throw it away. Remove it carefully by day – remember that they are most active at night. You can either burn it or throw it so you are free from the bugs.
- Bay Leaves
If you have dried bay leaves, you can spread them thoroughly around the house – focus on areas where the insects are often present. Silverfish, as well as other insects, really dislike the oil – it repels them greatly. If you check for cracks, holes, or crevices around the house, it is also helpful to spread the leaves there to prevent them from coming into your house.
- Cedar (Oil)
Do you know that you can also use the essential oils to get rid of silverfish? One of them is the cedar – or cedar oil. If you have the diffuser, have some drops of the oil so the silverfish won’t be interested in living (or making nest) in your house. Or, you can mix cedar oil and water, and put it into the spray bottle. Spray the mixture in every dark and hidden corner, as well as places that you suspect, are being the active spots for the insects. Since they hate the strong smell of pheromones in it, they will likely avoid the places. If you can spray the oil all around the house, then your home won’t be an interesting spot for them anymore.
- Silverfish (Poison) Bait
Using (poison) bait is quite an effective way because once you put it on a strategic place, then the bugs will take it back to their nest where the food will be eaten by others. This will ensure their removal effectively and efficiently, but it does have its catch. If you have pets or kids at home, this poisoned bait isn’t advisable as they may eat or touch the bait.
- Seal the Food up
You need to make sure that all foods are in the dry state – put them in sealed and tight containers. You need to place quinoa, pasta, sugar, cereal, pet food, and floor in airtight containers. The silverfish won’t be able to have access to the food. If you have any food, it’s a good idea to place it inside the cupboard. But make sure that you have placed them in the containers first before placing them in the cupboard.
- Control the House’s Humidity
As it was mentioned before, the insects like the humid and moist conditions. If you can cut them off their favorite environment, then they may find your house not so pleasing anymore. As was mentioned before, the dehumidifier is an alternative way to deal with the bugs. You can also make sure that all bathrooms are well-ventilated. If you can regularly air the bathrooms, you can significantly reduce the humidity problem. Check for leaks, especially leaky plumbing. If there is any, repair them.
- Close all Entry Points
You should check your perimeter for holes and crackers. Any tiny crevices can be the potential entry-points for the insects. If you find any possible crevices, seal them up with caulks. Combining the cedar spray and the caulks can be quite efficient. Check for downspouts and gutters. They should be clear, causing the water to run smoothly down. When water runs down without any obstruction, the possibility of water pooling and water leak can be slim. It will prevent humidity from happening. Don’t forget to put the weatherstrip on windows and doors, preventing the possibility of any holes or cracks.
- Deal with Clutter
Whenever there is clutter, there is a possibility of silverfish residing in it. Clear out any clutters. If you don’t need them, simply remove them. If you still need some of the papers, then you can always put them in airtight folders or bins so the insects won’t be able to access those papers. Make time to do some clearing and make sure to remove the old and unused items. Check the attic and basement – make sure that you get rid of the stuff.
- Diatomaceous Earth
Another possible way on how to get rid of silverfish is to use the DE or Diatomaceous Earth. The white and crumbly powder is the fossilized diatoms that remain, which is a type of ancient algae. Although it comes in a fine powder texture, it has sharp edges that are painful for the insects. If they make contact with the Diatomaceous Earth, they will feel pain. Not to mention that the powder can cause extensive damage to the bugs. The powder would tear the insects’ exterior coat, resulting in moisture loss, and then the insects would die from dehydration.
You only need to sprinkle it on the potential spots around the house. Food-grade DE is quite safe even when there are pets and kids at home. There is also the poisonous type which is more dangerous and toxic. Sprinkle the powder in the evening and do it several nights so it works efficiently. You can always buy DE at your local home improvement shops.
If you want to enjoy effective results from your attempts, you should combine several methods. Using only one method alone won’t ensure success. If you want to have bigger chances, you should have several methods at once. You only need to choose one (or several) among these methods on how to get rid of silverfish so your house can be free from the infestation.