Silverfish are nocturnal insects which are silver-greyish in color and have a fish-like appearance. They consume substances containing polysaccharides which include starch and adhesives therefore, they’re regarded as pests as they’re known to destroy clothes, wallpapers, carpet, books etc. by feeding on them as they contain the nutrients they need.
The ultimate guide to control silverfish consists of east to follow step-by-step guides and procedures that will help you keep your home clear of this scary little creatures. Getting rid of silverfish needs to be handled by taking care of the adult silverfish and their young ones as well to ensure that you completely get to solve the problem.
Silverfish Control Guide
The first thing you need to do during a silverfish infestation is conduct a thorough inspection around your home identifying areas you spot signs of an infestation. Most home remedies will work for a short while hence will need regular reapplication. On the other hand, using traps might not completely keep the whole silverfish population under siege as most traps are designed to trap specific insects. Therefore, professional extermination of silverfish will do the trick to completely get rid of the creatures.
Home Remedies to Get Rid of Silverfish
- There are several organic substances and herbs which are known to repel silverfish and they detest their smells. This include camphor, peppermint, citrus and rosemary among other herbs.
- There are various methods you can apply this substances the most common being creating repellent sprays by mixing a few drops of their oil and using a spray can to spray around the infested areas.
- Similarly, you can dip some cotton in the oils and use it to wipe around the infested places or leave some soaked cotton balls around the areas where the silverfish might be hiding.
- You can also use the herbs on their own. You can crush the herbs and sprinkle the powdered form on the silverfish nests to repel them.
- Alternatively, place the herbs leaves in sachets and hang them around closets, on bookcases, shelves, cabinets and any other dark moist places within the house.
- Silverfish love dark and damp areas where the humidity is high. Therefore, reducing the humidity will work in driving away the insects from their hideouts.
- Buy a dehumidifier machine and use to reduce your home’s humidity.
- Alternatively, use an air condition or fans to decline the humidity levels inside your house.
- In addition, seal cracks and crevices where the silverfish may hide away into using caulk then dehumidify the infested area.
- Vacuuming is a great way to get rid of silverfish and any other insects.
- This will help you get hard to reach areas and suck out the silverfish as well as their eggs.
- Choose a vacuum cleaner with a sucking hose and on turning it on, vacuuming the infested areas.
- Vacuum regularly to get rid of any carcasses left and incase of any surviving silverfish by chance.
- Dispose of the sucked silverfish properly in a sealed plastic bag and throw them out into the trash can.
How to Get Rid of Silverfish Naturally by Trapping
- When trapping silverfish, identify areas where they lurk and have made their home. Since they’re nocturnal, they’ll often appear during the night thus making it difficult to spot them during the day.
- Look for areas where there are visible signs of silverfish infestation and mark them so as to know where to place the traps.
- Create several DIY glass silverfish traps. Take a medium-sized glass container and wrap using a masking tape.
- Place bait (bread) at the bottom of the glass containers and place them in the affected areas.
- The silverfish will climb onto the glass and fall inside and since the inside of the glass is slippery, they’ll not crawl back out.
- Throw out the silverfish in the morning and properly dispose them to prevent them from coming back into your home.
- To kill the insect, you can apply some boric acid on the bait and that will be the end of its life.
- Alternatively, create a silverfish trap using a newspaper. Since they love paper, they’ll be tempted to consume it.
- Roll up several newspapers, band the ends and moisten it a bit to offer a comfortable place to stay.
- Place them in the affected areas and the silverfish will crawl up into the rolled up newspaper.
- When morning comes, throw out or burn the newspaper traps.
- Repeat this each and every night until they’re completely gone.
You can as well try manufactured Silverfish trap that have proven to be valid to many people. Click the image below to purchase the Silvership Trap:
How To Kill Silverfish
Using food grade Diatomaceous Earth
- Purchase food grade DE from a pest store and pour it into a small container. Wear a mask and some gloves before applying diatomaceous earth.
- Sprinkle some around the silverfish infested places as well as dark damp areas where the silverfish may make their nests.
- Since this creatures will crawl over floor surfaces, their bodies will come into contact with the powdered diatomaceous earth.
- Food grade DE is made from sharp algae fossils which will cut through the silverfish’s exoskeleton causing them to die.
You can purchase the food grade Diatomaceous Earth from the below;
Using baking soda
- Measure a cup of water and pour it into a bowl.
- Add baking soda and some honey and stir thoroughly with a wooden spoon.
- Apply the paste on affected materials such as books, cardboards, closets and any other areas where the silverfish are likely to lurk.
- The silverfish will die when they consume the mixture and it is efficient in areas that are hard to reach especially on book shelves.
Things You did not know about Silverfish
Silverfish Life Cycle
To know the brief description of Silverfish’s life; Click Here
Silverfish belong the Lepismatidae family of the class insecta which means silverfish will reproduce by laying eggs and the hatched young ones will undergo gradual incomplete metamorphosis until they’re fully grown adults. Silverfish have a unique way of mating. They’ll perform love dances beforehand and they’ll proceed to mate later on. The mating ritual involves three faces, the first being that the male and female stand facing each other with their trembling antennae’s coming into contact and will repeatedly back off and return to their initial position. The male then runs away and the female will chase after him in the second phase. Finally, they will stand side by side and head to tail and the male silverfish will lay spermatophores which are deposited on the female’s ovipositor.
The female then lays eggs which varies depending with the species. There are those which will lay eggs one by one on a daily basis while others will lay the eggs in small clusters of 2-20 eggs. In a lifetime, the female silverfish lays less than 100 eggs. Silverfish reproduce at a high rate which makes their infestation quite a scary experience. The eggs will hatch in six weeks or so and the nymphs will come to life. They’re whitish in color and they resemble the adults only smaller. As they undergo through the various nymph instar stages, they’ll molt and start gaining a greyish silver color and in three months they reach the adult stage. In their lifetime, they are capable of molting 17-66 times making them among the few insects which molt even after reaching adulthood. Their average lifespan is three years but can live up to 8 years.
Characteristics of Silverfish
Silverfish are wingless insects which have a fish like appearance and are silver-greyish in color. They’re soft bodied and are flattened from top to bottom with a metallic shine due to presence of fine scales on their skin. They’re about 0.5-1 inches long with a broad head and a slender body which has a tapered abdomen at the end giving them the fish like appearance. They have two long antennae’s and a filament on their abdomen tips and small compound eyes. They’re frisky little creatures which avoid well lit areas and they like damp humid places.
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Do Silverfish Bite?
As much as silverfish can give you the creeps due to their appearance, they’re docile insects and do not bite and neither do they carry disease-causing germs. They’re not attracted to humans neither do they see humans as a source of food, however they are attracted to clothes, books, papers, glue among other starchy materials.
Are Silverfish Harmful?
They are also harmless and will not attack you in case they fell in danger. On the contrary they’re run away from you in search of a favorable place to hide. As much as they’re harmless to human beings, they’re unpleasant creatures which will be in attack of your property. Similarly, they contaminate food substances but since they do not transmit diseases, they do not pose a threat to your health.
Silverfish Infestation Signs
Most are the times you’ll spot one of this fish-like insects on the bathroom or kitchen floor or around the sink and bathtubs. Silverfish will thrive in most climatic conditions however, they prefer dark and damp areas with high humidity e.g. basements, attics, bathrooms, kitchen and the likes of such areas. They are attracted to materials with carbohydrates which they’ll destroy by chewing on them and leaving them in a tattered condition which is one of the major signs of a silverfish infestation. Another evidence of their existence in your home is their tiny black pepper-like feaces which they’ll leave around areas where they lurk. At times, they’ll also stain your clothes leaving behind yellow marks on the affected clothes or books. A silverfish infestation can go unnoticed for a long time period as they’re quite the secretive creatures and will hide away during and be active during the night.
Where Do Silverfish Come From?
The household silverfish species is commonly found indoors and will rarely be seen outside. Most people wonder where they come from and well, they’ve been in the world for millenniums. The most common way you’ll get silverfish in your home is when they’re introduced into your homes unknowingly through carriage luggage from an already infested place. They also use small cracks and crevices found on walls to get into your house. They will crawl up on the walls and get right into your house.