Author: Keith Dixon – Commercial Pest Control & Treatment Services
Silverfish are called several different things including urban silverfish, fish moth, fringe tail, and tassel tail. The term silverfish is the official name of this invasive pest. These little bugs are quite gross and there is nothing worse than sitting in your home and having one run across your leg.
If you have pets it is important that you do not leave harmful pesticides out around the house. For this reason, natural remedies offer a better way to get rid of these nasty little bugs that can start to invade your home.
Before dealing with a silverfish infestation it is important to make sure that what you have are silverfish and not something such as centipedes or fire brats. Both centipedes and fire brats look and act similarly to silverfish. Here are identifying factors of each:
- Usually around a half of an inch to an inch in size
- Like areas that are warm and moist, they also prefer the dark.
- Mostly found in showers and sinks where warm damp temperatures prevail and they are able to live the longest.
- Typically are about one to one and a half centimetres in size.
- Brownish greyish colour
- Like temperatures that are hot
- Typically found in boiler rooms because they like dry hot temperatures.
- About one or two inches in length
- Yellowish/greyish in colour
- Have 15 sets of legs
- They eat silverfish
Step One: Prevention
As always, the first step in getting rid of any type of insect pest is prevention. It is important to take steps to avoid getting silverfish in the first place. However, if you currently have a silver infestation, these preventative measures can help control them and to make sure that they do not come back. If you do not have silverfish taking these steps can ensure that you never have a problem with them.
The first preventative measure that should be taken is to make sure that you get rid of the types of food that silverfish thrive on. This includes old books that are rotting, cardboard debris, press board debris, loose paper, and rough or scratched linens. If you absolutely must keep these items you need to make sure that they are kept in containers that are sealed. This can be a plastic bag or other type of air tight container. This reduces the risk of silverfish getting to it and without a food source they are most likely to move on.
Next, silverfish love areas that are warm and moist. Make sure that you always clean up any spills and that there are no moist spots in the home. This includes areas such as the basement, laundry room, underneath the sink, and around pipes. Make sure any leaks in your plumbing are fixed.
Finally, make sure that you check all of the cracks, drains and vents around the house. These areas should all be sealed so that any existing silverfish in the home cannot escape and no new ones can enter the home. This will also help keep other types of pests from entering the home as well.
Step 2: Clean Home
The next best way to get rid of silverfish is to make sure that your home is clean. You will want to make sure that the garbage is taken out on a regular basis and that there are not any areas in the home that have standing water.
The area underneath your sink should be kept clean and dry. If you have a basement, make sure that all of the pipes are sealed and that there are no areas of warm water where the silverfish can thrive.
Faucets should be clean and sealed as well as the areas around your bathtub and sinks.
Step 3: Plants
There are several plants that have been known to help keep silverfish at bay. One of the best deterrents is Camphor. Camphor comes from the camphor tree and can be synthesised to use as an insecticide.
Rosemary is another great deterrent for silverfish. Simply make sachets of fresh or dried rosemary and put them in places where the silverfish is present. They will run the other way, preferably out of your home for good.
Costmary Sprigs are often referred to as bible leaves because they used to be used as a bookmark for bibles. The smell of the plant makes silverfish run away.
Cucumber peels can also be strategically placed around the home to drive away silverfish. The strong odour of cucumber deters silverfish.
Step 4: Boric Acid
There are several ways that boric acid works as a way to get rid of silverfish. Boric acid is extremely abrasive and silverfish have delicate exoskeletons. This means that if the silverfish gets boric acid on its skin it is most likely going to die. It is also harmful to the silverfish if they eat it.
To use boric acid you will simply sprinkle it around the baseboards of the home and in areas where you have seen silverfish present. If the nasty pest comes near it, they will be poisoned either through ingestion or from getting it on their skin. Boric acid offers one of the best ways to kill these pesky insects.
If you have pets it is best to try one of the plant methods to get rid of silverfish as boric acid can be harmful to your pet if they eat it.
Step 5: Professional Help
At times, the silverfish infestation may be too large to get rid of on your own. Even with the above prevention measures and remedies, silverfish can still occupy a home. Depending on how large of an infestation of silverfish that you have and how willing you is to deal with it yourself, you may need to call in professional help. If you decide that you need professional services to solve your pest problems visit Bugz Eco-Friendly Termite Control Services.
One of the best reasons to call 1800-020-225 in professional help is that they can help with any other type of insect or pest that you may be dealing with as well.