How to get rid of silverfish – the nine tips to keep them at bay

How to rid your home of silverfish

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Silverfish are relatively harmless indoor insects, but when they grow in large numbers they can destroy valuable items and become quite a nuisance. For those with allergy issues, silverfish can also have a very detrimental impact on their health. But how can you get rid of silverfish effectively?

Silverfish, also known as a fish moth, urban silverfish or carpet shark, are very small insect which have a flattened and slender body.

These creatures, which take their name from their silver colouring and the movement they make which is akin to a fish, measure up to an inch and are light in colour.

These insects are disturbing to encounter and can also prove damaging to belongings.

They are most often found in damp, moist or humid places inside your home or around the outside of your home.

Silverfish can live up to eight years and reproduce frequently throughout their lives.

This is how they can become a nuisance because over time they reproduce creating many more of them.

These creatures like to eat sugary substances called polysaccharides which are found in many household objects including book glue, carpet fibres, household glue, paint, fabrics and furniture.

They do not bite or sting and are not known to carry any diseases, but the debris they create can be allergens.

Often those allergic to dust will also find they are sensitive to silverfish.

How to get rid of silverfish

Keep dry food concealed

As silverfish like moist environments, keeping your dry food in sealed containers will keep them free of moisture and likely help to avoid these critters.

Dust often

Dusting your home on a regular basis can help to reduce the number of allergens left by silverfish.

Cleaning in this manner can also help to remove debris and particles from your house which may contain starches and saccharides which silverfish like to eat.

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Spread dried bay leaves around your home

Silverfish and other insects do not like the spell of bay leaves and therefore spreading dried bay leaves about your home can help reduce the number of these creatures inside.

Use cedar or cedar oil inside

Another popular technique to keep silverfish at bay is to use cedar or cedar oil.

You should put the oil in a diffuser or spray bottle filled with water and cedar oil.

Silverfish hate the strong-smelling pheromones in cedar and will avoid your home as a result.

Get a dehumidifier

As silverfish like moist and humid environments, buying a dehumidifier can help to make the environment in your home less enticing.

If you reduce the indoor air to 60 percent or lower you should be able to effectively prevent silverfish from living or thriving in your home.

Open windows

For those rooms which are naturally prone to getting warm and moist, you should try to open windows and doors to clear the moisture from the air as much as possible.

Wet a newspaper

If you wet a newspaper, you can turn it into an effective enticement for silverfish.

The insects will then crawl into the newspaper to make it their home.

After a few days, you should throw the newspaper away or burn it to get rid of any silverfish who have set up their home in this wet newspaper.


There are specially designed silverfish traps which can help get rid of these insects.

Usually, they work by enticing the silverfish to crawl into them, where they get stuck.


You can also buy special silverfish poison to get rid of them.

However, you should not use this method if you have children or pets in your home as they may eat or touch the poison.

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