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How to Get Rid of Silverfish and Everything Else You Need to Know

What is a Silverfish?

Silverfish are tiny insects, measuring a measly 13-25mm long. They can be creepy to come across in the middle of the night, as the three long cercei attached to their abdomen are often mistakes for stingers. Silverfish get their name from both their colour and the way they move – they have a light sliver, blue sheen and get around your house with a fishy wiggle.

How Do Silverfish Get in the House?

Despite their minuscule size, or maybe because of it, silverfish are master burglars. They’ll enter your home without breaking a sweat, invading through crawl spaces, foundation cracks, torn screens or large gaps under and around doorframes. Silverfish also stowaway in cardboard boxes and plastic containers, particularly if the box originally came from a silverfish infested area. If you’re trying to figure out how to avoid silverfish in the future, sealing up these potential entry highways will go a long way in controlling any invading populations. All it takes is a few minutes every week and a keen eye for detail, filling any cracks, gaps and holes as you go.


What Are Silverfish Attracted To Inside Our Homes?

Since silverfish are attracted to moisture, having a moist environment inside a home will make silverfish feel right at home. A humid environment, leaky pipes or fixtures, or any other condition that causes moisture or water build-up, will attract moisture-loving pests. But silverfish are also attracted to several other things, namely, things that they like to eat:

  • Silverfish love to eat a good book. And they don’t care if that book is something you plan to donate to Goodwill or a treasured keepsake that has been in your family for generations. Silverfish love to get inside a book and eat away at the glue that holds that book together.
  • Silverfish will also nibble on fabrics, especially if that fabric has food or drink spilled on it, or if it contains starches or adhesives. But they also enjoy chewing on cotton, linen, silk, and even leather items. If you have special clothing items stored away, such as a wedding dress, then it is not a good idea to have these destructive insects roaming around in your home.
  • If you are fond of your wallpaper, silverfish are even more fond of it. Silverfish love to eat the paste off of the back of wallpaper. This will eventually cause it to sag and peel off the walls, and put a small, or perhaps not-so-small, dent in your wallet when you need to re-paper or paint.
  • Pantry items. Silverfish love to chew through packaging, exposing food to the air. This will either allow the food to spoil or get stale or, worse, you could find yourself face to face with a silverfish floating around in your cereal bowl.
  • Old photos. Silverfish will sometimes eat old photos and, literally, deface them. If you have memories stored away in a box of old photos and you have silverfish in your home, know that those memories could be erased.


Common Mistakes Homeowners Make Regarding Silverfish

If you are wondering why silverfish have chosen your home, keep reading. Many homeowners don’t realize that certain conditions attract moisture-loving pests such as termites, earwigs, and silverfish.

  • Broken or obstructed gutters can cause water to collect along walls or foundations which will attract moisture pests.
  • Bushes or vegetation up close to a foundation can also cause moisture problems.
  • Leaky spigots make it nice and wet for moisture pests.
  • Holes, gaps, and cracks in foundations and walls are a sure way silverfish and other pests find their way inside.
  • Humid or moist areas in your home will make these insects feel right at home.


How to fight the infestation of silverfish?

Make no mistake, silverfish much prefer new homes than older. So no matter what type of property you found them, control means are the same.

The best way to fight against silverfish is to maintain moisture free places , for example clog the pipes leak, redo the window seals if necessary. In short, avoid water seepage. Remember to vacuum regularly and rigorously in corners. Also, clean the table scraps and crumbs, even in the most hidden and less accessible places, such as drawers, bottom of wardrobe, etc.

In addition to repel silverfish, as you move away from other insects such as cockroaches or ants that are attracted to the same things.

– Biological Control

It is easy to get rid of silverfish, at the same time you have a controlled environment using the above advice.

For the biological control against silverfish, you can use diatomaceous earth, a non-toxic to humans or pets. Used for its abrasive properties on insects, the insecticide bio can be sprinkled along baseboards, behind furniture and under appliances, under the sink, along the walls and on the route taken by silverfish. So that insects will scrub their bodies, they will die, but not automatically by dehydration.

– Homemade Methods

If you have found a small amount of silver fish inside your home or another building, you can try a homemade tip to capture pests. Know that this thing will not work if you are infected!

Take a glass jar covered with masking tape (masking tape) and place it in the most frequented places by insects. Silverfish will climb naturally on the pot and go refuge. Since they can not climb on smooth surfaces, they can not crawls out of the pot. Therefore, you can put in the pot some soapy water to kill them. Here you go!


How can I get rid of silverfish and firebrats?


Cleaning is the most important part of controlling silverfish and firebrats, as it is for all crawling insects.

  • Vacuum often to help remove food particles and insect egg masses.
  • Regularly clean around and behind appliances and machinery, inside cupboards, drawers, and pantries.
  • Keep countertops clean.
  • Also clean beneath sinks and other dark or humid locations.
  • Wrap or insulate pipes that have too much moisture. Repair leaky faucets and pipes. Ventilate bathrooms and dehumidify areas of excess moisture.


Silverfish and firebrats can be easily trapped in small glass containers (like baby food jars). Wrap the outside of the glass with tape and set the container upright in areas where you have seen silverfish or firebrats. The insects will climb up the taped surface, but they will be trapped in the glass container, because they cannot climb smooth surfaces.