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How to Get Rid of Silverfish Bugs

Finding out how to eliminate silverfish bugs in your home can be irksome because they tend to crawl around at night and are fast to hide when you switch on the lights. People often don’t even know they have silverfish bugs until they see small holes in clothing or a book with its pages half-eaten.

With the above in mind, you would have to be alert 24/7 to eliminate the silverfish bugs in your home. These small tenebrous pests are devious and will crawl into different areas of your home, including your bathroom, bedroom, and kitchen.

If you’re wondering how to get rid of the silverfish bugs in your home, then you’re in luck. This silverfish bug removal guide discusses some proven (even natural )ways to get rid of these tiny pests.

How to get rid of silverfish bugs

Bed bugs seem to get all the attention today. However, silverfish bugs are equally problematic.

While they are not as innocuous as bed bugs, silverfish bugs are hideous and can make puke at first sight.

You wouldn’t want them anywhere near your burgers, sandwiches, turkeys, etc., if you don’t want to see your perfectly planned backyard lunch with your family ruined.

Another reason to keep them out of your home is to protect your clothing, books, bedsheets, towels, etc., from getting ruined.

Silverfish bugs prefer and enjoy gathering in the dark, chilly, and waterlogged places in your home, such as your basement or the area underneath the sink in your bathroom.

If you have recently noticed one of these ugly creatures crawling in your home, you can get rid of the silverfish bugs naturally using the following 11 methods.

1. Seal doorways and cracks

Blocking points of entry is a huge step towards stopping silverfish bugs from entering your home in the first place.

Close all gaps, openings, door handle breaks, service access points, and wall cracks (wailing holes). Seal any place from where the silverfish bugs could get in.

You can use good-quality caulking to block the openings. If you have bigger openings, use door sweeps or weather-stripping.

2. Seal up food

Not only do you need to seal the entry points into your home, but you also need to seal up jars and containers that house potential food sources for silverfish bugs.

If these bugs find food sources in your home, they are more likely to stick around. Additionally, they’ll invite other silverfish bugs into your home as well.

You wouldn’t want to splash out a bucket of your preferred cereal to discover that these slithering pests are frolicking in it.

That would be disgusting.

So, what should you be doing to prevent this? Penn State suggests securing dry goods such as sugar, cereals, flour, pet food, pasta, quinoa, and rice into robust, sealed containers to deter silverfish from entering such enticing food sources.

3. Use a Mason jar to trap the silverfish

You must establish where the pests are residing for any silverfish traps you use to succeed.

Because these insects are tenebrous, you might not encounter them during the day. However, you will certainly know about their presence in your home due to the things they leave behind.

Search for them in damp, gloomy, high moisture places, and look for tiny areas of feces that appear like black pepper. After identifying where the silverfish reside in your home, you can begin setting up homemade traps.

Use a quarter-sized mason jar or another glass container; fasten the glass jar’s outside using masking tape. Position a slice of toast at the jar’s bottom. Keep the jar in the place you believe the silverfish live in.

4. Lower the humidity

Silverfish flourish in warm, damp conditions. Eliminate their preferred environments by using a dehumidifier in a waterlogged basement, enclosing leaky pipes, and ensuring well-insulated bathrooms.

You should also ensure proper ventilation in these problem areas of your home. Turn on the bathroom and kitchen fans when showering or cooking. Also, open a window to let some fresh air inside every once in a while.

5. Trim vegetation and minimize exterior clutter

Silverfish and other insects can enter your home from the area just outside your home, such as your backyard or front lawn.

Therefore, when you’re looking to close the entry points into your house, remove shelter areas around your home, particularly from weeping holes, including fallen leaves and debris.

Start cutting plants an inch or so away from the sides of your home so that roots and leaves do not reach the wall’s outer area. This will serve you well.

6. Use newspaper to trap the silverfish

Because the preferred meals for silverfish contain carbohydrates with a lot of starch, such as rolled oats, glue, flour, and paper, utilizing a newspaper to lure them out of your home would be a good idea. Slide up a newspaper and put rubber bands on top of the ends.

Soak the newspaper roll and place it where you can find leaves of silverfish before going to sleep. You should find the following morning that the silverfish have devoured their way into the paper.

Toss the paper out, or put it on fire without unwrapping it. Keep performing the procedure every evening till no more silverfish bugs remain in your house.

7. Use diatomaceous earth

Diatomaceous Earth is a fine powder produced from decomposed marine organisms’ remains.

When silverfish bugs come in contact with it, the powder dries out the pests, eventually killing them. You can easily purchase the product from a gardening store.

Moreover, for the best results, use diatomaceous earth in relatively damp and gloomy conditions. This will help you achieve the desired outcomes (i.e., get rid of the silverfish bugs in your home).

It is also recommended to use DE during the night because silverfish bugs generally come out during the night as they are tenebrous pests.

8. Use boric acid

Another natural way to get rid of silverfish and its eggs is by using boric acid. You can scatter it across the floorboards in your house, right beneath the shower, and any other place where you see indications of an infestation of silverfish.

Take the required protective measures when using boric acid to avoid inhaling the drug since this can be incredibly dangerous for the lungs.

Also, ensure you don’t apply boric acid in areas where your pets frequently wander, which could be detrimental to their health.

9. Eliminate the clutter in your home

This is the most basic but effective way of getting rid of the silverfish bugs in your home. Silverfish bugs love to hide in and feed on old journals, books, and newspapers.

Therefore, if you prefer to save every bit of paper that goes through your workstation, you may need to perform some cleaning to eliminate the clutter.

Get rid of things that you haven’t even glanced at for a long time, and keep things that you do not wish to store in enclosed bins, particularly if they are documents to be kept in the attic or basement. This will help reduce the clutter in your home, allowing you to eliminate the infestations of silverfish bugs in your home.

10. Use insecticide sprays

If you want to go the chemical route, many different types of insecticide sprays can be used to kill silverfish.

However, it is essential to make sure that the spray you choose is specifically designed to kill silverfish bugs.

Many general-purpose insecticides will not be effective against silverfish.

Choose an insecticide that uses pyrethrin or pyrethroids as the active ingredient. These are commonly used to kill silverfish and other pests.

11. Hire a professional exterminator

If you have tried all the methods above and have not succeeded in getting rid of silverfish bugs, you may need to hire a professional exterminator.

Exterminators will be able to identify the source of the problem and eliminate it using stronger chemicals and sprays. However, this should be your last resort as it can be quite expensive.

Things silverfish bugs can destroy in your home

Believe it or not, silverfish can be incredibly destructive. Here are some of the things I have seen silverfish destroyed in my clients’ homes because they weren’t taken care of immediately:


One of the things that silverfish can destroy in your home is clothes. Silverfish attract natural fibers such as cotton and wool and can quickly damage clothing by eating holes. Additionally, silverfish can also cause clothes to become discolored or brittle.


Silverfish can also destroy books in your home. Like clothes, silverfish are attracted to the natural fibers used to make paper and will happily eat their way through books. Silverfish can also damage the binding of books, making them difficult to read.


Silverfish can also damage furniture in your home. They are attracted to the glue used to hold furniture together and can quickly eat their way through it. Additionally, silverfish can also cause wood to become discolored or brittle.


Another thing that silverfish can destroy in your home is wallpaper. Silverfish are attracted to the starch used in many types of wallpaper and will happily eat their way through it. Additionally, silverfish can also cause wallpaper to become discolored or brittle.


Silverfish can also damage carpets in your home. They are attracted to the natural fibers used to make carpets and can quickly damage them by eating holes in them. Additionally, silverfish can also cause carpets to become discolored or brittle.


Silverfish can also destroy curtains in your home. Like carpets, they are attracted to the natural fibers used to make curtains and can quickly damage them by eating holes in them. Additionally, silverfish can also cause curtains to become discolored or brittle

Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about silverfish bugs

What are silverfish?

Silverfish are small, wingless insects closely related to cockroaches and tenebrous pests that prefer to live in dark, moist environments. Silverfish can be found worldwide and are particularly common in the United States.

What do silverfish bugs eat?

Silverfish bugs feed on various things, including carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. They are particularly fond of eating cereals, glue, book bindings, wallpaper, and clothes.

How did I get silverfish?

Silverfish can enter your home through small cracks and crevices, and they are often brought into homes in boxes or bags of new clothes. Once inside, they will hide in dark, humid places such as basements, attics, and crawl spaces.

How long do silverfish live?

Silverfish can live for up to two to three years in most cases.