Silverfish: methods to get rid of them

Have you noticed the presence of silverfish in your home and you don’t know how to get rid of them?

The silverfish is a species that arouses astonishment in more ways than one. With its poetic name, it looks like it came straight out of a children’s book. And yet, the reality turns out to be much less rosy. Indeed, it is an animal that we would do well without at home. Discover the peculiarities of this unusual insect. And follow our advice to eliminate it and prevent its return. Everything you need to know to get rid of silverfish forever, a harmless but harmful insect.

Silverfish: definition

No, the silverfish, also called silverfish, is not a fish, but a small slender insect of about 1 cm. It owes its rather poetic name to its body covered with tiny silvery scales. Silverfish also have long, thin antennae.

This non-flying insect lives in warm, humid places. Quite naturally, he likes to walk around the kitchen, bathroom, laundry room or toilet at night. But it can also live in less shiny places such as cracks, empty spaces inside walls or under baseboards. Either way, they shun the light.

It is an omnivorous animal. It feeds on crumbs, sugar, starch, paper, glue, hair, fur, dust but also dead insects.

How long does he live?

Silverfish can live for at least five years. And if necessary, he can go without eating for a year!

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On the other hand, know that the female lays tiny eggs. They hatch in two to four weeks.

The dangers of silverfish

Silverfish is an insect that poses no danger to humans. Indeed, this small animal is completely harmless because it does not bite and does not carry any disease.

On the other hand, it can cause significant damage in a house by attacking books, papers, wallpapers, fabrics and clothing.

And finding yourself face to face with this insect is not necessarily a very pleasant experience.

Detect its presence with clues: the warning signs

As the silverfish only comes out at night, it is not always easy to detect its presence in an apartment or a house. However, some elements should alert you:

  • small black spots the size of a peppercorn (these are his excrements);
  • small holes and yellow stains on books, boxes, clothes;
  • residues of dead skin (they shed regularly).

How to get rid of silverfish: treatments

boric acid

This natural solution proves deadly for silverfish. Make a bait based on this product available in pharmacies in powder form.

For this, mix boric acid with water, sugar and honey. Then place it in a saucer.

The liquid pyrethrin spray

This chemical solution is known to be effective against silverfish. Using a liquid pyrethrin-based spray, sprinkle cracks and baseboards to get rid of harmful insects.

Be careful to follow the instructions in the manual before using this product.

By making homemade traps

One of the most effective techniques for fighting silverfish is to use homemade traps.

Cover the outside of small glass jars (baby jar style) with insulating tape. Then place the containers upwards, in strategic places (near the baseboards, near the cracks, etc.).

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Thus, the silverfish will climb the ribbon and fall into the pot without being able to come up. He will then be trapped as if he had fallen into a sink.

The other possible homemade trap requires the use of an entire log. Wrap it with two rubber bands and pass it under water. Then, lay it overnight in a room popular with silverfish. Wet paper will attract them. In the morning, burn the newspaper without bothering to unroll it. If necessary, repeat the operation.

diatomaceous earth

Diatomaceous earth is made up of microscopic sea algal debris. You can use it in powder form to chase silverfish from your home.

This product has abrasive properties because it wears down the membrane that covers the insect’s body. Thus, the silverfish dies of dehydration.

Know that diatomaceous earth is not dangerous for humans. So you can sprinkle it on your baseboards without fear. Also place it in other strategic places such as behind furniture or under appliances.

Natural solutions

There are all-natural silverfish repellents available. Non-toxic solutions include cedar chips and citrus or lavender spray.

Preventive measures

Dry the parts

To eliminate silverfish, you can start by drying the rooms through an aeration system. This device purifies the ambient air and prevents the stagnation of humidity which favors the proliferation of pests in a house.

If necessary, install an electric dehumidifier in rooms likely to harbor the insect. There are several devices on the market. Choose the model that best suits your room.

Apply glue to the baseboards

To prevent the occurrence of silverfish in your kitchen or bathroom, apply strips of glue around the skirting boards.

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Spray essential oils

If silverfish appear in cracks or under baseboards, spray those areas with essential oil mixed with water.

You can use sweet almond, lavender and peppermint EO on the affected areas.

To clean

Where you find silverfish, clean thoroughly. To do this, carefully vacuum the rubbish, cracks, baseboards, shelves, nooks… Don’t feed them anymore!

For this, also remember to carefully close the packaging. Close all food containers tightly to prevent the insect from entering them.

In the same way, control the sources of humidity, leaks, water infiltration…

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