Silverfish (Lepisma saccharina), their name comes from their scary, silvery gray appearance and squiggly, wiggly fish like motion. Finding ways to kill silverfish bugs and get rid of them quickly is a common reaction when faced with a silverfish infestation.
Fortunately you can choose to eliminate silverfish naturally without chemicals or you may decide to use insecticides. Read on to learn how to get rid of silverfish now.
To eliminate silverfish bugs it is important to know a little bit about them. Here are four initial questions many people ask:
- What are silverfish? One of the lesser pest invading homes is the silverfish bug. It is a small insect with a flat, segmented body measuring one half to an inch in length
- What do silverfish bugs look like? Silverfish are long, flat tapered insects that rarely get over 1 inch. They have 2 long antennae, 3 tail-like projections and are wingless. The name suggests the insect is silver in color but may be red or brown.
- Where do silverfish come from? A form of "work" literally get rid of silverfish has to do with their sources. Silver fish come out at night. They love moisture and that’s why they’re seen more in bathrooms, attics, basements, and garages. They love carbohydrates including flour, glue, paper, pictures, carpet, oats, sugar, coffee, carpet, clothing and draperies. While they can go up to a year without eating, they must have warm temperatures and 75-90% humidity to survive.
- Why it is called Silver Fish? This pest is called silverfish because its movements are the same as a fish. If you don't get rid of silverfish then it won't be long before they destroy your books, textiles and tapestries such as curtains, sheets , carpets etc.
Are Silverfish harmful?
Silverfish occur a lots of harm in the home and furniture.
They are sometimes get behind wallpaper and feast off the glue. They occasionally feed on the binding of books and can even get in cupboards and cereal boxes. While they do not transmit diseases, they can play a role in food contamination.
Why Do You Need to Eliminate Sliverfish?
There are several reason anyone may want to eliminate silverfish. There are some key reasons:
- Appearance–The appearance of a silverfish infestation around the home is not a good sign since they cause a lot of damage from chewing and consuming personal property.
- Damage Domestic Goods– Although silverfish do not cause the impressive damage as termites, they can damage paper items, wallpaper and even invade foods such as sugar and cereals. That is why pest control is necessary.
- Embarrassment–Now this one may sounds funny, but it's true. When your guests come to your home and see little bugs scurrying up the wall that may create embarrassing situation for both of you.
- Damage Look– When silverfish eat clothes they leave small holes. Silverfish also leave yellowish stains on fabric. That way they damage the looks of your clothes.
Although silverfish do not cause the impressive damage as termites, they can damage paper items, wallpaper and even invade foods such as sugar and cereals. That is why pest control is necessary.
How to get rid of Silverfish?
There are several different types of ways that you can do it yourself to eliminate silverfish bug. You can purchase a dust that is not harmful to children or pets, and there is a spray that is perfect for spraying in cracks and crevices to find where the silverfish bug may be hiding. We covered every possible solution here.
1.Kill Silverfish in Natural Ways
Looking for a non-toxic way to get rid of silverfish? You have at least a couple of options...
Use Diatomaceous Earth
Kieselguhr or Diatomaceous Earth is white powder that will kill silverfish. Now, this powder kills silverfish by physical action. It scratches off the waxing coating and causes the pest to dehydrate. Diatomaceous Earth is safe for humans and pets and it works also for other pests like roaches, ants, bedbugs and even spiders. It`s well worth of trying to get rid of silverfish naturally by using diatomaceous earth.
You know, silverfish hate the smell of citrus and that`s good news for you! Use citrus spray in areas where you see silverfish and see what happens! Perhaps you can get rid of silverfish bugs by using citrys spray! this works well with small infestation
You can also try to use technology to eliminate silverfish. Ultrasound devices won`t kill silverfish or other bugs but they can help you to keep them away as they create sound that makes silverfish uncomfortable. Note: some people report these devices to work well while others say they do not work too good with serious silverfish infestation. Still, if you only have a small silverfish problem, you may want to try ultrasound devices
Although it is organic, it is best to keep boric acid away from children and pets, as it can be harmful if swallowed. Using dust as an insecticide is as simple as spraying on the silver minnow path. Alternatively, it is mixed with water and, through an aerosol bottle, sprays the solution into the hard-to-reach cracks.
These insects destroy valuable contents in your house and are downright embarrassing. Getting the right traps can be a big help in getting rid of silverfish. Silverfish traps are helpful in both controlling and providing an indication of how much of an infestation you have. Silverfish infestations can start slow and build up to big problem if not handled quickly.
There are a variety of silverfish traps on the market. Some traps are sticky and attract insects into them with pheromones. Many of these types of traps are poison free and can be used around pets and children. When placed in the right places silverfish traps will attract silverfish causing them to get stuck on the sticky glue and die. It is also important to place these silverfish bug traps behind stoves, water heaters, and other out of the way places. Poisonous Bait Traps Other traps are a combination of trap and bait because they poison silverfish when they eat the contents.
You could say these are more like bait than traps. Bugs eat through the bait packs and ingest the contents which kills them. It is also important to place these traps behind stoves, water heaters, and other out of the way places. Silverfish traps are very effective when placed close to wall baseboards and other cracks and crevices in your house. Most of the bait traps contain intoxicants meaning they should be placed out of the way of children and pets. Silverfish traps are easy to use by simply placing them in areas of infestation and locations where you frequently see silverfish. Places to put silverfish traps:
- Under sinks
- In boxes containing books
- Book cases
- Basements and crawl spaces
- Close to cracks and crevices frequented by silverfish
Silverfish bug traps are a less expensive way to control silverfish that are crawling around your home. There are a number of ways to trap silverfish, it depends on what route you want to go.You can buy traps or make your own traps. Some people put smelly wet dish rags inside of a jar,wrap masking tape on the outside of the jar so silverfish can crawl up and fall in.Others prefer to simply buy silverfish traps.
3.Best Insecticide For Killing Silverfish
To get the best insecticide for killing silverfish you should know its habits. It is important to pick the best insecticide for your particular need. It is likely that the insecticide you choose to get rid of silverfish will also eliminate other crawling insects in your house.Control of silverfish pests requires the right approach. Various types of insecticides have different methods of applying them.
Using the best insecticide for your problem improves chances of success. It also reduces risk to family and pets. The best insecticide comes in the form of sprays, baits, dust and powder.
To match an aggressive infestation with aggressive treatment, look for a commercial pesticide formulated to treat silverfish.
Use this method when you see the signs that your problem with the silverfish has gone from minor to major
To match an aggressive infestation with aggressive treatment, look for a commercial pesticide formulated to treat silverfish.
The active ingredient in many flea pet collars and Tick-pyrethrin can be successfully used to exterminate silverfish. Compared to other, very similar treatments, pyrethrin may be somewhat safer to use, and because it is made from the seed cases of certain species of chrysanthemum, it is biodegradable. Having said that, there is no doubt as to its toxicity. Apply the chemical with caution, keeping it away from all children, pets and food preparation areas.
Available in liquid and powder form, Propoxur is like pyrethrin in that it is effective against a variety of insects, including silverfish. But in the meantime they kill adult silverfish in contact, not one works to eradicate the eggs. For this reason, the use of propoxur often requires a sustained campaign, particularly in the case of serious infestations. Before applying any product containing the chemical, do not skip reading the instructions on the packaging, and always be careful while handling this type of toxic treatments.
Having the best insecticide spray can be very effective in killing silverfish. There is often confusion about what bug sprays are most effective.
Sprays that remain for a longer while are best.Due to insect body structure contact insecticides can quickly reach vital areas of their body. This leads to insect paralysis and death. Bug sprays that just kill insects on contact with no residual left on surfaces are less effective.
Lack of residue means no lasting effect. Insects commonly hide in cracks and between wall boards to avoid direct contact from sprays. If the insecticide spray has no residuals remaining on surfaces silverfish bugs can emerge from hiding without harm. Spraying insecticides come in a variety of forms.
Some brands kill bugs on contact and leave a residual. This continues killing bug for an extended period of time. The best insecticide sprays are usually effective for killing silverfish and most crawling insects as insects move around sprayed areas they continue to come in contact with spray residue and die.
Dry insecticidal powders are effective because the bug does not have to eat it for it to work. They just have to walk close to or over it. Products containing boric acid and diatomaceous earth are commonly used to kill crawling insects. These products are readily available in the marketplace. They are dry and do not need to be mixed with water. The light powder and method of application make them easy to be placed in hiding places such as cracks and crevices. They work best when dry and should not be placed in wet of moist places.
Boric acid is used as an insecticide and kills silverfish when they eat it or their bodies comes into contact with the dry powder. Although considered reasonably safe to use inside the home their can be some risk to humans with over exposure.
Diatomaceous earth is used as an insecticide because of its abrasive qualities it damages the outer layers of the insect skeleton. The damage done by this fine abrasive powder to the insect skeleton causes them to dehydrate and die. Diatomaceous earth is considered a low risk insecticide for humans.
The most effective insect traps come with attractants. Pheromones attract insects to the trap. Once inside the insect is stuck or trapped and cannot leave. It eventually dies.
Insect baits consist of food attractants containing toxic granules. This is different than insect traps that do not contain poisons. Bait application usually consists of sprinkling granules in desired area. Some crawling insect may carry the toxic granules to its nest.
4. Silverfish In the Books
Your books are your invaluable assets, you need to take care of them because silverfish are prone to damage. To address this problem, put books in a zip lock bag with a little desiccant. Keep books in the freezer for three days. The temperature kills two silverfish and firebrats. Sometimes, the silverfish will also cause damage to your library. If this occurs, diatomite develops in the back of the books when displaying them on their shelves. Firebrats diatomaceous earth helps kill, lepismas and other insects that feed on paper. It also reduces the moisture level in your books.
At a glance, 21 different things you can do Get Rid of these pesky little creatures.
- Wipe up spills and crumbs immediately. Silver fish love to eat starches and proteins.
- Remove any excess water sources like leaky pipes or drippy faucets.
- Ventilate attics and basements.
- Buy a dehumidifier and use it daily.
- Remove any sources of mold you might have around your house.
- Use a foam sealer for any gaps between the pipes and walls under your sinks inside and outside your home.
- Make sure all wallpaper edges are firmly glued down.
- Heat the infested room above 80 degrees if you can stand it.
- Cool down a room to 60 degrees or below. If you are going on vacation you can leave an obscure window open and really cool it off in the winter.
- Put all food in your pantry into plastic and tightly sealed containers.
- Vacuum frequently cracks and crevices in the furniture, walls or the floors. They are good places for silver fish insects to hide.
- Place any important books and papers you want to preserve into plastic storage boxes and make sure they are sealed tightly.
- Don’t stack the plastic boxes directly on the floor and keep them away from walls.
- If you hang clothes in your attic place them in zippered plastic garment bags.
- Purchase chemical spray with liquid pyrethrin.
- Spray ceder shaving where they may grow
- Use Chalk on craves and clefts where they may lay eggs
- Table salt is an essential home remedy to eliminate silverfish.
- Silica gel is another effective element to kill them as it causes dehydration
- Sprinkle boric acid around the baseboard of your home where they live
- Make a jar trap. Clean a mason jar and cover the outside with masking tape so that the pests can easily climb the outside once at the top they will fall in and be unable to climb out because the inside is smooth.
Best Methods for Permanent Solution
The best methods for silverfish elimination is controlling places they may inhabit and eliminating possible sources of food. This would include keeping moist areas of the home dry. For example, pipes that typically collect moist condensation should be well insulated and leaky pipes fixed. Moist areas of the basement should also be kept dry.
To prevent Silverfish infestation, it is important to maintain plumbing so there aren’t any leaks. Dehumidifiers can be used in damp basements and cellars. Old books, newsprints and magazines should not be left lying around. Stored fabrics and clothing should be checked often. Food substances like cereals should be in air tight storage containers so silverfish can’t feed on them.
Silverfish infestation control requires finding the main nest and destroying it using various insecticide sprays, dusts or baits labeled for silverfish control. These should be placed in cracks around the baseboards and in the attic and closets making sure they are not accessible to children or pets. For total eradication of a silverfish infestation the task is best referred to a professional exterminator.
The Wrong Way to Go
Silverfish are very long-lived insects. The adult can live up to 3 years, and during this period a female silverfish will have multiple offspring, laying hundreds of eggs in hidden crevices around your home.
When most people set out to kill them, they just go to the DIY store and get them first position and return to home with it. When many of them will certainly kill a lot of silverfish even adult bugs there is always chance to remain some eggs. Unless you try to break their life cycle and make your home completely clean you will have to deal with the tiny insects again and again after few days break.
What more if you don’t find how they are entering your home in the first place and block it off, then there is nothing to stop more from coming it. You might also be offering these little creatures welcome home.
In fact, the best way to live free of silverfish is to prevent them from entering your home in the first place. Silverfish require and look for a specific set of living conditions, the following guidelines can help you make your home an unwelcoming place for these hungry, moisture-craving creatures.
- Locate and repair leaking pipes or other sources of excess moisture.
- Use a dehumidifier to reduce the moisture content of the air in your home.
- Regularly vacuum cracks and crevices along baseboards and behind appliances.
- Remove easily accessible food sources by storing food from the pantry in airtight containers.
- Remember that as a regular homeowner, there is only one expert exterminator, there are just so many things you can do.
Ultimately, what you can do, may not be enough to get rid of silver minnows altogether. If the worst happens, call a pest control specialist and leave the work to professionals who are well trained and well equipped to handle any infestation, large or small.