Silverfish: how to eliminate them with natural remedies and traps

No aquarium, for the silverfish, and no diving mask, because they are not “real” fish, but not too pleasant insects. That they are silver, at times, it is true, but they are annoying and harmful, as well as not particularly hygienic. In this article, I will therefore explain how to eliminate silverfish.


The scientific name of these little creatures is less graceful and reassuring, they are called Lepisma saccharina. They are small worms with a lot of legs and antennae and, above all, very hungry for starches.

When we hear that they are defined as synanthropic, we need to worry, because this adjective tells us that silverfish live in our homes and are also very comfortable there. They find their starches and position themselves where there is no light.

Maybe we are not so aware of it, but our houses are real starch mines, so the silverfish happily “wallow” us. There is some in the wallpaper, in the glue of books, in the fabrics of t-shirts and pyjamas.

At sight, the silverfish appear as flattened insects, with a body covered with scales that resembles that of a small fish. Towards the “tail” they have three long appendages. Even if they are called in popular jargon “silver”, they can also be dark blue or shades between bluish and silver.

Unfortunately for us, in addition to being long-lived, living over 3 years, they are also prolific: the females lay groups of about twenty eggs twice a day for a total of thousands of “newborn” insects in about twenty days. They roam the house at night, colonizing it, preferring bathrooms and kitchens due to the higher relative humidity and the presence of food.

In addition to friends, they also feed on cellulose and the corpses of other insects, they do not disdain human “waste” such as hair, hair or skin debris.

Silverfish: bite

While annoying, and irritating, as they destroy books at times, and damage T-shirts and furniture, these insects are not dangerous and are unable to inflict bites on humans or pets. They are not even carriers of pathogenic microorganisms, they simply do great damage and are unpleasant to the eye so they remain unwanted.

Silverfish: traps

Small as they are, certainly we cannot define silverfish as easy to catch and eliminate, but a rather effective trap is the one built with potatoes.

Take a large potato, create a concavity inside the potato by removing part of the pulp. Leave the potato near the insect hole overnight and in the morning throw away the potato containing the captured silverfish.

Silverfish: natural repellents

Among the natural repellents to ward off silverfish of proven efficacy, we point out the laurel

To keep them away from your library, you can insert some bay leaves between the pages of some books. The smell of laurel will keep the silverfish away.

Extremely practical and effective for removing silverfish from any area of ​​your home are bay oil drops.

You can buy a vial of organic laurel essential oil and you will have an effective and practical natural remedy to use at your disposal for a long time since you will only need a few drops in the critical points of your apartment.

Another effective natural remedy is boric acid which you can buy at the grocery or supermarket. Just pour a few drops on the floors to ward off the silverfish.

Even the cinnamon is recommended to remove from your house silverfish but maybe it is a bit ‘less practical to use, except in essence buying drops.

Plants against silverfish

Two plants keep silverfish at bay: camphor and rosemary. Just place a few twigs in the infested areas to solve the problem!

Silverfish: how to prevent their appearance

To prevent the appearance of silverfish you simply have to think about washing the floors frequently and above all avoiding the creation of humidity, especially in the bathroom and kitchen.

Frequent airing is, therefore, an effective strategy to avoid creating wet areas in your home, thus discouraging the visit of these unwelcome insects.

Also, try to eliminate any principle of mould or infiltrations. Seal gaps and cracks can be created on walls or the floor.

Silverfish are attracted to any substance rich in starch or polysaccharides that they love. Here are some examples of objects and elements that contain starches and polysaccharides:

  • glue
  • sugary dairy products
  • bookbindings
  • old photos or postcards
  • postage stamps
  • sugars of various kinds
  • hair
  • dandruff
  • dust

Along with scrupulous cleaning, avoiding wet areas in the house and leaving potential food that silverfish are greedy for, bags of lavenderlemongrass essence or ginkgo Biloba are useful natural deterrents 

Silverfish: insecticide to eliminate them

If natural remedies fail to solve your problem, you can always fall back on an insecticide, but at this point choose it specifically for silverfish and biodegradable, such as the DFNT spray: it acts both in a preventive form both when the problem is already present and is effective for a few weeks.

The silverfish specific insecticide DFNT received the Amazon’s Choice badge as it received over 620 reviews from users who purchased it with an average of 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Another advantage is its composition is water-based which makes it odourless and delicate on any type of fabric or surface, to avoid leaving marks.

Silverfish: reproduction

The reproductive process of the silverfish has only recently been discovered due to the nocturnal habits of this insect. Throughout the mating process, the male and female-run everywhere.

The male lays a spermatophore, a seed capsule covered with filaments similar to those of a spider’s web or cocoon. The female finds the capsule and collects it, resulting in indirect can stop silverfish reproduction to remove the silverfish from your home using melbourne pest control service.