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Silverfish are common pests that torment many homeowners by their rapid breeding. These small silvery bugs, though, are harmless to humans but can cause enough damage to household products such as clothes, books, carpets, wallpaper, etc. They even enter unsealed dry food packages and dwelt here. So if you have spotted these silver pests, then it’s best to get rid of them as soon as possible before they cause major damage or multiply in number.
What Is Silverfish?
Silverfish or Lepisma saccharina, despite the name fish, are not fish and are not found in aquariums. Instead, they earned the nickname of silverfish due to their silvery, grey color and their fish-like body with a tapered tail. They are also known as “fishmoths” and are ½ inches in length with a scaly body or exoskeleton. However, unlike fish, they have two antennas on their head, and their tails have three prongs. Silverfish, along with the fish-like shiny body, also wriggles like a fish; it moves back and forth, side-to-side just like the fish moves.
These little nocturnal insects are one of the common home pests. Due to their rapid breeding and life cycle, they can multiply in the homes at an alarming rate. The female silverfish lays upto 20 eggs daily throughout the year. Their larva reaches its breeding or adult stage in three to four months. As they dwell in dark places, so homeowners can’t detect their larvae, and soon their homes have a nasty infestation of silverfish within a couple of weeks.
Is Silverfish an Indicator of a Dirty Home?
Silverfish love damp and dark places to reside and breed. You can easily find them in places such as basements, attics, garages, and kitchens, where they have easy access to dust, moisture, unsealed dried food, and clutter, as they prefer damp places. Hence, their presence is not a sign of a dirty home but an indicator of moisture in the house. The presence of silverfish means there is some point of entry for them in your home caused by water damage, such as any small leak that allows water or moisture to come in.
What Causes Silverfish
To detect silverfish in your home, check for yellow stains on your synthetic fabric clothes, droppings, or small holes in old newspapers, wallpaper, or old books, and check your unsealed dried food packets. But what is the cause of silverfish in your home? The below reasons cause silverfish in your home:
Silverfish thrive on moisture and in moist and humid places. So if your home has some point of entry of moisture or water, it gives easy access to silverfish to enter your home.
2. Places to Hide and Thrive
Silverfish need dark and moist places to lay eggs where they can easily remain hidden till they reach the adult stage. So hidden corners of your home or unused places such as attics or basement are ideal for them to breed and thrive.
3. Plenty to Eat
Silverfish like to eat sugary substances called polysaccharides commonly found in household items such as carpet fibers, book glue, fabrics, paint, or furniture.
Tips to Get Rid of Silverfish Once and for All
Though silverfish are mostly a nuisance, when they reach a large number, they can cause damage to household items. So if you are wondering how to kill silverfish or get rid of silverfish bugs permanently, then we have tips. Some ways to treat silverfish at your home are:
1. Silverfish Poison
To eliminate silverfish once and for all from your home, keep small bits of silverfish poison throughout your home, especially in damp and dark places. Silverfish poison is available in the market. However, don’t use this method if you have kids or pets at home. They might accidentally touch or eat the poison.
2. Boric Acid
Boric acid is effective in killing silverfish. It is a common product found in households. However, remember it is toxic and poisonous so that it can be harmful to children and pets. You need to make a diluted solution of boric acid with water and spray it into your house’s hidden and moist infected areas.
Silverfish despise the smell of cinnamon. So to get rid of silverfish naturally, keep grounded cinnamon or cinnamon oil or even cinnamon sticks in hidden or infected corners of your house.
4. Citrus Fruits
Silverfish don’t like the scent of citrus fruits such as lemons or oranges. To keep silverfish away, you can use peels of orange or lemon throughout your home or make a spray mixing lemon juice with water and spray on the infected area.
Silverfish are repelled by eugenol, which is found in dried cloves. Therefore, in the infected area, place whole cloves.
6. Cedar Oil and Shavings
Cedar oil and shavings are good to get rid of silverfish naturally. Cedar’s woody smell repels silverfish. Keep cedar shaving or spray cedar oil in the hidden corners or infected areas.
Though silverfish are attracted by salt but eating salt makes them dehydrated, and eventually, they die. Salt is also helpful in absorbing the moisture from the place it is kept.
How to Prevent Silverfish
Here are some suggestions for preventing silverfish infestations in your home:
1. Keep all dry food in sealed containers in your kitchen cabinets.
This will keep the food free of moisture.
2. Store garments in dry places.
Store the clothes you don’t often wear in containers to keep the moisture and silverfish away.
3. Regularly dust your home.
Regular dusting will keep silverfish away from particles containing starches or saccharides that they love to eat.
4. Get a dehumidifier.
Reduce your house’s humidity to stop silverfish from living or thriving in your home.
5. Ventilate all rooms that get moist or warm.
Regular ventilation of rooms that have moisture or get warm will keep silverfish away. Open the windows or turn on your bathroom and kitchen fans to clear moisture if you have silverfish in the bathroom or kitchen.
6. Get rid of debris.
Clearing debris such as dried leaves, dead plants, wood, etc., from and around your house.
7. Clean food particles.
Clean up food particles after cooking or meal to stop the breeding of silverfish.
8. Remove any adhesive-coated things from your household.
Stacks of paper, laundry, cardboard boxes, and other silverfish materials could be drawn to are examples.
9. Use caulking.
Cover up holes, cracks, or openings in your doors and walls to stop silverfish from entering or breeding in your house.
You can easily get rid of or prevent the breeding of silverfish with the tips mentioned above. These simple methods will ensure your household is clean and safe from these pesky bugs.