How to get rid of Silverfish

Silverfish are pesky insects that can infest homes and cause damage to property. If you’ve noticed these small, wingless creatures scurrying around your house, it’s important to take action to eliminate them. In this article, we will explore effective methods to get rid of silverfish and prevent future infestations.

How to get rid of silverfish

What are Silverfish?

Silverfish are small, nocturnal insects that belong to the order Zygentoma. They are typically silver or gray in color, have a slender, elongated body, and move in a fish-like manner, hence the name “silverfish.” These pests prefer moist environments and are commonly found in bathrooms, kitchens, basements, and attics.

Signs of Silverfish Infestation

Before tackling a silverfish problem, it’s essential to identify the signs of infestation. Some common indicators include:

  1. Shredded or irregularly shaped holes in paper, books, and wallpaper.
  2. Yellowish stains or scales on fabric and clothing.
  3. Silvery excrement resembling black pepper.
  4. Presence of shed exoskeletons in areas where silverfish hide.

Causes of Silverfish Infestation

Understanding the causes of silverfish infestations can help you prevent future occurrences. Here are a few factors that attract and sustain silverfish populations:

  1. Dampness and high humidity levels in the environment.
  2. Accumulation of clutter and debris, providing hiding places.
  3. Availability of starchy materials like paper, glue, and fabric.
  4. Cracks and crevices that serve as entry points into the house.

Preventive Measures

To avoid silverfish infestations, follow these preventive measures:

Keep Your Home Dry and Well-Ventilated

Maintain low humidity levels in your home by using dehumidifiers and ensuring proper ventilation. Fix any leaks or plumbing issues promptly.

Eliminate Food Sources

Store food items in airtight containers to prevent silverfish from accessing them. Pay special attention to pantry items such as cereals, flour, and pet food.

Declutter and Clean Regularly

Remove unnecessary clutter and regularly clean your home, paying attention to areas where silverfish are likely to hide, such as basements, attics, and behind furniture.

Seal Entry Points

Seal cracks, gaps, and other entry points to prevent silverfish from entering your home. Use caulk to seal gaps around windows, doors, and utility pipes.

Natural Remedies to Get Rid of Silverfish

If you prefer natural methods to eliminate silverfish, try the following remedies:

Diatomaceous Earth

Sprinkle diatomaceous earth in areas where silverfish are present. The fine powder will dehydrate and kill them. Remember to wear a mask when applying it.

Citrus Sprays

Create a citrus spray by boiling citrus peels in water. Transfer the solution to a spray bottle and apply it to silverfish-infested areas. The strong scent repels these pests.

Cinnamon and Cloves

Silverfish dislike the scent of cinnamon and cloves. Place sachets or cotton balls soaked in cinnamon or clove essential oil in areas where silverfish are active.

Chemical Treatments for Silverfish Control

When natural remedies aren’t sufficient, consider using chemical treatments:

Insecticidal Sprays

Choose insecticidal sprays specifically formulated for silverfish control. Follow the instructions carefully and apply the spray to infested areas, cracks, and crevices.

Silverfish Baits

Use silverfish bait stations or gels that contain insecticide. These baits attract silverfish and effectively eliminate them.

Hiring Professional Pest Control Services

If the infestation persists or if you prefer professional assistance, consider hiring pest control services:

Research and Choose Reputable Services

Do thorough research and select a reputable pest control company with experience in dealing with silverfish infestations. Read reviews and seek recommendations if possible.

Professional Inspection and Treatment

Pest control professionals will conduct a thorough inspection of your property to identify the extent of the infestation. They will then provide targeted treatments to eliminate silverfish effectively.

Tips for Maintaining a Silverfish-Free Home

Once you have eradicated silverfish from your home, it’s crucial to implement preventive measures for long-term control:

Regular Cleaning and Decluttering

Maintain cleanliness and declutter your home regularly to eliminate potential hiding places for silverfish.

Proper Storage

Store belongings in sealed plastic containers to prevent silverfish from accessing them. This applies to items such as clothing, books, and important documents.

Regular Inspection

Periodically inspect your home for any signs of silverfish activity. Address any issues promptly to prevent a full-blown infestation.


Silverfish infestations can be frustrating, but with the right approach, you can effectively get rid of them and prevent their return. By implementing preventive measures, using natural remedies, or seeking professional assistance, you can create a silverfish-free environment in your home.


FAQ 1: How do silverfish enter homes?

Silverfish can enter homes through cracks, gaps, and other openings in the foundation, walls, or utility pipes. They are attracted to moist environments and can be carried inside through infested items or packaging.

FAQ 2: Are silverfish harmful to humans?

Silverfish are not known to bite humans and are generally considered harmless. However, they can damage property, including books, wallpaper, and clothing.

FAQ 3: Can silverfish damage property?

Yes, silverfish can cause damage to property. They feed on materials such as paper, glue, fabrics, and starchy substances, leading to holes and damage.

FAQ 4: How long does it take to get rid of silverfish?

The time it takes to eliminate silverfish infestations can vary depending on the severity of the problem and the chosen treatment method. It is important to be persistent and implement preventive measures to prevent re-infestation.

FAQ 5: Are silverfish attracted to any particular food?

Silverfish are attracted to starchy materials such as paper, glue, fabric, and food items like cereals and flour. They can also feed on dead insects or other organic matter they come across.

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