Silverfish, scientifically known as Lepisma saccharina, is a tiny, wingless insect with silver scale body.
Silverfish is not directly harmful to humans. However, they feed on foodstuffs, clothes, wallpapers, cardboard boxes and pretty much anything made of paper. We don’t want that to happen.
You could find silverfish anywhere in your home including in your bedroom.
Here are some good practices, to consider, when dealing with silverfish infestation;
- Seal cracks and crevices around windows and walls.
- You could use a dehumidifier to reduce moisture in rooms that are often closed.
- Don’t allow paper-based materials like cardboards, newspapers, and cartons to pile up as these could invite silverfish.
- Frequently clean compartments and cabinets you keep your clothes.
- Try to wash dirty clothes and linen as soon as possible to reduce any chance of silverfish infestation.
- Periodically expose your materials to sun and air to reduce dampness.
- Do not allow junk to accumulate in your house. Try to declutter your home often.
Below are 18 home remedies and natural ways to get rid of silverfish and silverfish eggs;
1. Citrus Fruit Peels
One of the best home remedies to get rid of silverfish is using citrus fruit peels. Silverfish can’t stand the smell of citrus fruits like oranges and lemons. You can easily use its peels, which you usually throw away in the garbage, to deter the insect from your home.
Place them in corners and around affected places. Replace the old ones with fresh peels until you see the insect vanishing.
2. Diatomaceous Earth
This white powder works wonder in killing a wide variety of insects and pests. It is harmless to humans yet has a powerful effect on tiny insects.
Sprinkle diatomaceous earth all around the affected areas and corners of the house where they tend to hide. When the silverfish come in contact with the powder, their bodies get dehydrated and they die.
3. Table Salt
Table salt works in the same way as diatomaceous earth and kills the silverfish by leaving their body dehydrated. The remedy may take a few days time to work effectively but can help you to completely get rid of the silverfish from your house.
Sprinkle the salt directly on their bodies and at the places where they are noticed most. Epsom salt is equally effective in killing them.
4. Get Rid Of Moisture
Silverfish thrive and breed in humid environments. So, if you see damp areas in your house, its time to reduce moisture and humidity to eradicate the insect from your home.
Repair leaks and seal pipes that are causing damp walls. Also, keep your basement and bathrooms well ventilated.
If required, use a dehumidifier in the places of high moisture and humidity. A dry environment in your home will make it unsuitable for a silverfish to thrive.
5. Naphthalene Balls
Putting naphthalene balls in places which are invaded by a silverfish will deter them in a natural way. Since silverfish are mostly found in piles of clothes and books, spread a few naphthalene balls in closet and bookshelves to keep them away.
The strong and pungent smell of naphthalene is annoying for the insect and they leave the place in no time. Also, place a few in the damp areas like the corners of your bathroom and in the basements.
6. Silica Gel
Silica gel can be used in powdered form to get rid of silverfish. As the insect comes in contact with the silica gel, it gets attached to their bodies and removes the waxy coating present in them. Soon they die out of dehydration.
Silica get does not cause any harm to humans unless it is eaten. So make sure you do not have small children who can accidentally ingest it.
7. Camphor Tree
Growing a camphor tree in your yard can provide you an increased protection against most types of insects and pests. The strong smell repels insects including silverfish. So, plant a camphor tree and get rid of bugs and pests in a natural way.
8. DIY Silverfish Trap
This homemade trap is quite effective in getting all the silverfish out of your home.
Wrap a glass jar with a masking tape that will help the insect to climb up to its neck. Place a bait in form of some food inside the jar. The silverfish will get attracted to the bait and will fall inside the jar. They will not be able to climb back and you can discard their bodies out of your home.
Silverfish hate the smell of cucumber and gets repelled by its presence. Collect some cucumber peels and put it in places where you spot them most including closets, drawers, cabinets, and in high humidity places such as bathrooms and basements.
Replace the peels with the fresh ones every few days or as soon as the smell fades.
10. Boric Acid / Borax
Boric acid is one of the easiest and best remedies to get rid of silverfish. Inspect for places that are infested by the tiny creatures and sprinkle some boric acid directly on their bodies and all over the affected areas. As soon as the bug eats it, it will die. Boric acid helps in killing their eggs which completely eradicates the infestation.
11. Flour And Water
This remedy will work best if you are able to find the nests of the silverfish.
All you have to do is just mix some flour with water to make a thick paste. Now take some pieces of cards and coat both the sides of each card with this paste. Let it dry and place these coated cards near the nest of the silverfish. You will soon find them vanishing from your home.
Silverfish cannot stand the pungent smell of cloves. It contains a compound, known as eugenol, which is a great natural insecticide. Just place a whole clove in places where you find the silverfish most. Also, spread a few cloves in places that are prone to silverfish infestation such as closets, cabinets, bookshelves and near the drains.
There is nothing better than keeping your home clutter free when it comes to getting rid of insects and pests. Silverfish finds clutter a great place to hide and thrive. Keep your house clean and free from things that are not required.
14. Lavender Oil
The smell of lavender is not liked by insects. Silverfish finds it repulsive to live in a place with a lavender scent. Put a few drops of lavender oil in water to make a solution.
Use a spray bottle to apply this solution in the affected areas to get rid of them. However, do not use lavender oil on fabrics as it might damage them.
15. Cedar Oil Solution
The scent of cedar oil is highly disliked by the silverfish. To make a natural insecticide with cedar oil, add a few drops of it in water. Spray this water near their nests to ward them off your house. You may also use cedar shavings around the infested areas.
Cinnamon is yet another effective remedy that works well against these tiny insects. Besides filling your home with a sweet aroma, it helps in eliminating the silverfish from every nook and corner. Put aromatic cinnamon sticks in places like cabinets, bookshelves, closets, and drawers where the silverfish are found most.
17. Natural Herbs
Certain herbs such as rosemary, eucalyptus, sage, and basil have great insecticidal properties. These herbs are harmless to humans but are irritating to small insects including silverfish.
The dried leaves can be made into small sachets for placing them in the infested areas. It will provide a refreshing fragrance to your home items while making it difficult for the silverfish as well as other insects and pests to thrive in your home.
18. Seal Up Your Foods
Sealing up your foodstuffs, especially your dry foodstuffs, is a great way to prevent these annoying insects from rendering your food inedible. Your best bet would be to use airtight containers to prevent silverfish from accessing these foods.
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