Natural And Non-Toxic Methods To Repel And Kill Silverfish
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If you’re reading this article, then you have a silverfish problem in your home, and are looking for quick, effective and nontoxic remedies to get rid of them. You’ve come to the right place.
Here in Northwest Florida, we have the pleasure of sharing our home with many unsightly pests, most of which consist of abnormally large palmetto bugs, snakes and the dreaded silverfish—the star of this post.
What Are Silverfish?
Silverfish are small, wingless insects that resemble an anchovy. They have a soft silvery-grey outer shell and eat anything sweet and starchy—even wallpaper, clothing and books.
They enjoy damp and humid areas of your home, and particularly like to frequent your bathtub, shower, sink and closet.
Are Silverfish Dangerous?
These insects don’t pose a serious threat to your home (they don’t bite or carry diseases), but they can cause unwanted damage if left unchecked—so it’s best to prevent and eliminate their presence.
With that said, I’ve learned a few tips and tricks over the last few years that have helped keep these annoying pests away—without the need to hire an expensive exterminator, or toxic [store bought] commercial sprays.
3 Non-Toxic Methods For Killing Silverfish
Natural Silverfish Traps
The Sticky Cardboard Trap
Take a piece of cardboard and spread a sticky substance on the top side. Next, take some oatmeal and place a few oats in the very center. The silverfish will set foot onto the sticky coating and will get stuck.
For the sticky substance, I recommend using an all-natural product called Tanglefoot, which is a super sticky and pesticide free coating that works wonders (it’s even great for DIY fly traps). However, you can create your own sticky paste by mixing together some water and flour.
The Glass Jar Trap
This silverfish trap is a great way to upcycle a glass jar. Simply take a jar and spread butter along the inside (about 1-2 inches from the neck and spread toward the middle). Butter will prevent silverfish from climbing back up. Then, wrap the outside of the jar with masking tape and provide the silverfish with a tongue depressor ramp.
Next, bait the trap with something starchy like flour or sugar. Leave the jar out on the floor overnight, or in a damp area like underneath the sink, and check on your trap the next morning. If you find any silverfish inside, simply pour in some soapy water to drown them, and then discard them by flushing them down the toilet.
Natural Silverfish Repellants
Silverfish are not fans of strongly scented herbs, spices and certain wood, and are known to avoid and flee areas that contain these natural repellants which consist of the following:
Orange & Lemon Peels
Cedar Wood Shavings
With that said, you can create your own natural and nontoxic silverfish repelling sachets that you can strategically place around your home. I was able to find a batch of 50 reusable muslin sachet bags on Amazon for around $15.
Simply take a few sachet bags, and fill them with a combination of [the above] herbs and spices.
My favorite sachet combination to repel silverfish consists of: cinnamon sticks, bay leaves and orange peels. I recommend crushing your dried bay leaves because crushing releases that strong aromatic scent that you love, but silverfish can’t stand.
Natural Poisoned Baits
Diatomaceous Earth is a non-toxic and effective natural pesticide that works very well on silverfish. Simply sprinkle some along floorboards and crevices and allow it to do its job.
Once a silverfish crawls through Diatomaceous Earth, their soft outer shell will be destroyed, and they will lose moisture and dry up—resulting in death. This natural pesticide is non-toxic to pets, but may cause irritation in babies—so please be careful when deploying this method.
Another natural and non-toxic pesticide for silverfish is borax. Borax, otherwise known as sodium borate, is a naturally occurring element, but also unsafe for pets and children—so please be mindful when deploying this method.
Simply mix equal parts of borax with powdered sugar, and lay a small pile in paper cupcake holders or on a small piece of cardboard. When silverfish ingest this combination, the borax will poison them.