Insects

How to Get Rid of Silverfish

Silverfish, also known as fishmoth, is a blue pest that has no wings and looks like a fish. It’s called a silverfish or a fishmoth because its movements are the same as that of a small fish. If you don’t get rid of silverfish, it won’t be too long until they destroy your textiles, tapestries and books. Deal with it with the help of these tips below:

Five Secrets to Getting Rid of Silverfish

Silverfish or Firebrats? – Getting rid of silverfish requires you to determine whether what you are seeing is actually silverfish or just firebrats. You need to know first about the color of silverfish. Their color ranges from gray to green. They stay in an area where the temperature is around 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Firebrats, on the other hand, like places where the temperature is around 100 degrees Fahrenheit and they can be seen as either white or black insects.

Target Sources — A way to literally “work” on getting rid of silverfish is to deal with their sources. Silverfish live in moist areas. In your house, moisture is high in places where water is present, like in piles of mulch, piles of leaves, attics, kitchens, bathrooms, leaks and sinks. Silverfish also thrive in books, bookshelves, water heaters, stoves and laundry rooms, because they like it in places where the humidity level is high.

Since these these creatures can be controlled through moisture reduction, you must try to reduce moisture at home. Fix everything that leaks. It’s best to use silicone caulk in infested areas to cover cracks (Tips on how to use silicone caulk). You can also install a desiccant and use humidifiers inside the house. Silverfish don’t survive in dry environments. Even firebrats die from excessive dryness.

Where to Find the Pests — It is easy to tell where silverfish are, because they are always near some food. You can catch them in starches, sugars and protein. Starch is a silverfish favorite, so watch your stock carefully. You can also find silverfish in synthetic fibers, cereals, silk, starched fabrics, wallpaper pastes and glues. If you think a specific part of the house is infested, then clean that part thoroughly before silverfish can damage your stuff.

Signs that silverfish had fed on something include notches, holes and scrapings with irregular shapes. Usually, you will see these marks on wallpaper because silverfish try to get the paste. You will also notice yellow stains on your shirts, pants and any type of fabric.

Poisons – When killing silverfish, you can’t go wrong with poison. Borax, diatomaceous earth and insecticidal dusts work wonders. Use these substances on crawlspaces and inside walls. Don’t forget to apply some behind your appliances, furniture and other parts of the house where silverfish thrive. Do not skip leaks and cracks. After applying or spraying some of these substances to your target location, make sure you don’t inhale them. Even your pets and children should be kept away from these substances.

Silverfish on Books — If your books are among your priceless possessions, you must take care of them because silverfish are prone to ruining them. To deal with this problem, put your books in a ziplock bag with some desiccant. Store the books inside your freezer for three days. The temperature will kill both silverfish and firebrats.

Sometimes, silverfish also damage your book case. If this happens, spread diatomaceous earth at the back of the books when you display them on your book shelves. Diatomaceous earth help kill firebrats, silverfish and other insects that feed on paper. It also lowers the level of moisture in your books.

Do-It-Yourself Tips

Roach Traps – Sticky roach traps have always been useful and efficient when it comes to trapping firebrats and silverfish. Since you cannot make a sticky roach trap yourself, visit your local hardware store and purchase one. If not, you can always search on the Internet. Find online shops that sell this product. Pay for the item through credit card or money transfer and then wait for your sticky roach traps to be delivered right to your doorstep.

Jar Trap – Aside from a paper trap, you can also make a jar trap. You don’t need to buy an expensive trap since it’s easy to make one yourself. First, scrub a canning jar and make sure it’s squeaky clean. After this, cover the outside using masking tape. This will make it easier for the silverfish to climb.

Place your home-made jar trap in the infested area. Once the silverfish climb up the jar, they will all fall inside it. Since the interiors of the trap jar are smooth, the silverfish will not be able to climb out and escape. You can also use starchy food items and moist cotton as bait, but these aren’t necessary.

Bait — If you find it extremely difficult and almost impossible to determine where the center of infestation is, install bait. You can make it  yourself instead of purchasing. With a soft brush, water, flour, index cards, a bowl and the proper methods to create bait, you will capture silverfish easily.

Pour a cup of water into a bowl and add flour to create a paste. Make sure the paste is as sticky as your thin paint. Use the paste to coat the two sides of the index cards. Once the index cards are dry, put them in places where silverfish appear frequently. These creatures will get trapped by the starchy coating on the index cards. Silverfish are attracted to such material and will eat the paper. You know that they have touched your bait if, after a week, you see signs of feeding on the paper like notched edges and scrapings with no regular shape.

Whatever method  you choose to get rid of silverfish, make sure you’re not feeding these pests. Making silverfish healthier means creating more damage inside your house without you noticing it.

 Click here for more information about how to get rid of silverfish

About the author

Nicole Harding

99 Comments

  • to get rid of them most tips will not work so call an exterminater to get rid of them it is the only way to get rid of them

  • Diatomaceous earth (dust) is used as filter media in many swimming pools. If you know someone with a pool, ask them to borrow a cup. Otherwise, many garden centers have it.

  • These little idiots are infesting and eating my new bed. Not to mention catching and killing them is a task in itself. I may try a dehumidifier or an exterminator in the room, or simply move as they are irritating, creepy and disgusting.

    Best of luck in your future endeavors.

  • Me and my partner recently moved into a 1 bed lower ground flat, council property and have an infestation of silverfish. I mean they are everywhere! In the kitchen, living room, hallway, bathroom, spare room and bedroom. And it gets worse we have underfloor heating (comunil heating) so it is nice and warm for them! And now the little beep,beeps are crawling up my walls, cupboards everything and i have even found them on my cellings! I need to get rid of them asap because I would love some carpets down but I don’t want to incase they lay there eggs in there and I get more n run around in the fabric it’s just awfull can I please have some help (possiablly low cost but effictive.) Thank you.

  • I have a huge silverfish infestation as well and have done a little research. They are fairly fragile pests, so if you vacuum often, that should help solve the problem. They also have a very low breeding rate and a fairly slow life cycle, so if you see many adults (about an inch long) then you KNOW you have a huge problem! But that also means that killing even one of them will have an impact.

    However, I’m sick of them so I’m leaving this silly apartment! I imagine they’d be very hard to kill (the same dry air that kills them also kills my sinuses!) or get rid of (the linoleum has glue that is seeping up through the cracks. That’s one food source I’m not sure I can do anything about). All I can say is, at least they don’t bite.

  • the only way to get rid of them is to lay cloves around in the places they may be the smell disgusts them and they will soon leave

  • I have had advice from an old lady that common house salt works. I tried this and they did not appear for some time. However, it did not seem to exterminate them as they came back after a while. Mmmmmhhhh, thinking again!

  • I own a home and have a flower bed in the front of my home with mulch around the flowers. I just recently realized that these critters were living and munching on the mulch. And as you can imagine when the lights go out they make there way into my home and crawl all over and I am currently at war with them. I pay the mortgage not them, they need to go!!!

  • I have a real infestation – only noticed the extent of it once when I got up in the middle of the night for a drink. When I switched on the kitchen light, there must have been at least 30 on the floor! They are truly gross.

    I found that ant powder worked pretty well. I sprinkled a layer around my entire flat (where the floor joins the wall) and left it for a week. Although it was pretty gruesome waking up each morning with loads of the little critters carcuses everywhere, I soon made progress.

    My tip – ant powder and leave it there for 2 weeks. That should do the trick.

  • A question for Stephan T (or anyone else who knows)

    I just moved into a place that has an infestation of them, and they seem to be mostly focused in my bedroom, which unfortunately I hadn’t set up on the frame yet and saw one crawling on my bed the other day… needless to say I’ve been sleeping on my futon since, but if they’re actually inside a bed, how do you get rid of them, can you just put cloves or diatomaceous dust between the matress and box spring?
    I’ve only been here a few days, and I don’t want to have to get rid of a new bed.

  • I dont know if this works or not but it sounds good. Im definately going to try it to see if i can kill the b******S.

    check out the link. Good luck.

    http://www.alsnetbiz.com/homeimprovement/boric_acid.html

    it says:”Kill Silverfish Quickly:
    Mix a small amount of boric acid, 20% or so with an inert ingredient like “whiting” fold into small packets and place them in dresser drawers, under your sink, or closets to kill silverfish quickly with absolutely no mess.

    A Safe Surface Insecticide may be formulated by dissolving Boric Acid in plain water to make a 5% to 10% solution of clear liquid. Heating the water first makes it easier to dissolve the white powder. This simple inexpensive, household chemical is deadly to all insects, is safe enough to use around children, and on interior surfaces (test first on a small hidden area to check for possible — but rare — discoloration of finishes). Don’t expect instant results, give it some time, occasionally additional applications are needed. It lasts about a year, or until the surfaces are washed. Many modern applications of this ancient item are showing up in products, and commercial treatments.

    To apply as a powder, you can use and old grated cheese shaker [make sure it has lots of holes] or an inexpensive mustard or condiment squeeze bottle. Some important places to make sure you treat:
    around all pipe and drain entrances in floors and walls
    in and under all cabinets, especially corners and cracks
    around all baseboards, in corners and on top of cabinets
    behind and under range, dishwasher, and refrigerator
    In new homes, during construction, the powder can be sprayed inside walls, soffits, and in the attic. Also, it is a good idea to apply the powder along the top of basement walls near the ribbon-plate [where floor joists rest on the conrete wall of the basement].
    For carpenter ants drill holes in wood surrounding infestation, fill with boric acid “

  • I just moved into an apartment that is infested with silverfish. I kill at least 7 per day, and these are only the ones that are out and about when I am up. My roommates are indifferent, so it’s a one woman battle going on. I tried sticky traps, but they avoided them, so I am going for complete genocide with this stuff called Drione. If they don’t die from ingestion then they will die from being dried out.

    I hate you silverfish. Nasty little things

  • I have 2 ferrets, wondering how to go about the boric acid solution w/o hurting my lil buddies, but still utterly decimating the silverfish population. In total, ive seen prolly about 20 of them in 3-4 months here.

  • I moved to a new apartments a few months ago because my old apartments was infected with roaches and I was tired of fighting with them with no result and now here I’m in an apartment infected with silverfish, they are every where. This morning I woke up because I felt something was crawling in my arm, it was a nasty silverfish GROSS! I’m really concern that these little nasty things be in my baby’s bed when she’ll be sleeping. I need to get ride off them. I want to now if the boric acid really work.

  • I killed over fifty just this night in the bathroom… the little ones are almost too small to see and white and the large ones are about an inch long. They are really soft and just squishing them with a fist full of toilet paper works well. I must have thousands though so I’ll have to look at poisoning or something.

  • Has anyone ever called and got an estimate on an exterminator? I have 2 small children and these silverfish are grossing me out.

  • Hey guys – I have seen one or two every now and then in my place, so I don’t have an infestation, but I am friends with an exterminator. He told me that they are most commonly come from the attic. He told me that foggers in the attic (he recommended RAID fogger or fumigator due to the high ingredient of Permethrin) will greatly help. Also, clutter (esp in the slosets) will help too. They are awful to look at, but they are also a very fragile insect and are easy to kill. Ant powder works as well, but with the infestation degree as some of you say you have on here – call an exterminator for that level of infestation.

  • For books, I have found sticking them in a microwave for 20 seconds or so will kill the silverfish. I have hundreds of books, though, so some foolproof mass extermination method (within a bag or a sealed container) would be best… or I need a HUGE microwave! 🙂

  • I just moved into a house that no one was living in for awhile….I have a ton of them! I did get an exterminator but he told me that because I have small children it wasn’t a good idea to put anything down. But I thought boric acid was o.k. to use with kids?

  • They don’t bite, so I’m not concerned about that. The worst problem is that they’re eating antique books and other papers. I have a lot of boxes all over the house where I find some almost every day. Most of the recommendations I’ve seen here are out of the question with so many places for them to hide. Is there anything that will attract them out of their hiding places to go to, for instance, the jars mentioned above? Thanks.

  • I just moved into an apartment. 2nd floor. This place is so hot that I have to open windows, so the humidity thing is a load. Finding these pests in every room and i don’t like it. Really, I don’t like them. After reading about people finding them in their beds, I nearly rented a hotel room. What can I do, don’t want the little b%&$#rs. Help! Never had more than a spider and want to get rid of them for good. Help me, I’m ready to move!

  • If your ready to move because of an infestation, my tip is, INSPECT YOUR NEXT HOUSE BEFOREMOVING IN IT SO THAT WHEN YOU MOVE IN, THAT HOUSE DOESENT HAVE AN INFESTATION!!!!!

  • I’ve got an infestation in my attic. hate those frikin bugs. Sice they r in the attic it doesnt matter much. But they get in boxes and christmas is comin. So wen we take the stuff down…well u know the rest. But a suggestion to some people, wen buying a house, like a car,chek its history. If the house has been dormant fo a while, check with the landlord or person ur buyi from, to c if it has an infestation. If yes, or if they r not sure, have them call an exterminator to eliminate the infestation. if they say they’re not going to do it, say goodbye to the house, or threaten them that you, or any1 for that matter, will not buy the house. They should say that they’ll chek into it. if so, make sure that the exterminator did his job. MOVE IN! if not, well, ur outta luk. Best to u! the infestation of mine wont b that bad…hopefully….

  • We have silverfish as well, they were mainly in our bathrooms at first but are now moving into the entire apartment…We have lined all of the cracks between baseboards with borax and it doesn’t seem to work…I want to exterminate these ******* now and forever, I need some stronger stuff than borax, any ideas?

  • i live in spain n i keep seeing them in the bedrooms i hav tiled floors n no wallpaper n find my self waking up switching on the light n killing them with my shoe its not damp here n i dont hav books etc so wot they feedin on

  • It is a never ending battle to be won one silverfish at a time. Pure boric acid in large containers at a garden supply store is inexpensive and efficient. Apply it generously on the shelves of cabinets and the corners of the rooms where they appear; especially on the floor of closets where valued clothing is. It will dry out the silverfish, killing them. Or at least slow them down enough so you can catch and squish them. Cedar is said to deter them. So I have recently purchased cedar hangers for the closet and ceder chips in small bags for the shelves. I welcome other practical suggestions.

  • I like everyone else writing in hate these gross dust like varmits. I have only seen a couple in the last 2 weeks and I am freaking out. I thought they only ate wool items, so I placed all my wool clothing, scarves, etc. in my cedar chests, but today I found one under my new rayon sweater and cotton undershirt. My husband has alot of cardboard boxes in our closet and I save all my shoe boxes to store my shoes in, do you think this is where they came from. Someone also told me they really like wallpaper and I have wallpaper in my kitchen, bedroom and bath. I really am freaking out over this because I have lived in my home for 12 years and I have never even had so much as a roach. I don’t like the idea of professional exterminators because of the expense and relative ineffectiveness I have seen when used by other family and friends. So, does borax really work or what? I will do anything to keep these creatures out of my house.

  • i started seeing them in my bathroom sink, then on the bathroom floor, and now they are on my kitchen floor. Every once in a while i see one on my carpet, but not so much. some days i don’t see any, then other days as many as 5 or six. they are non threatening to my health but i just don’t like them, makes me feel like i am living in an unhealthy place, its psychological i know, but still!

    I will continue to vacuum, dust and clean, everyday if i have to! i will also hunt at night to minimize the population in my apartment. if that is not enough, then sticky traps it is.

  • Silverfish…sick of them. I have a penthouse apartment, and I share it with silverfish. They seem to be nocturnal, and live in my kitchen. I have hunting sessions at night, and get twenty or so every hunt. Put the light on and they slowly melt away to where they came from. I am going to try this boric acid. Hope it works.

  • Like you all, I really, really dislike silverfish… they irk me to no end. Adult silverfish are a truly disgusting sight to behold – like slugs with legs.

    My apartment has poor ventilation so the humidity levels are high. What’s more the apartment is not the newest on the block, and the silverfish hide out under cracks in the baseboards by day, and come slithering out by night.

    If you wake up in the middle of the night, you may catch a couple adults by surprise and squash them. They don’t see that well, but if you miss, they can creepy-crawl their way into cracks for safety in a blink of an eye.

    I’ve been trying a 1:1 mixture of borax and suger (as a chaser) for the past couple of weeks. It looked like it was working until I woke up one night and found two adolescents that had dug through a mound that I had stuffed into little wholes in the corners of my apartment under the baseboards.

    Now I am trying pure borax, and will see how that works. If that fails, I will try a mixture of borax and diatomaceous earth, which worked slowly but effectively in combination with ant-killer solution to eradicate a carpenter ant problem I had a couple years back at a different residence.

    I’ll fill you in on the details. Wish me luck…

  • Used to have them in the bathroom once in awhile, but now I clean my bathroom with a spray bottle filled with alcohol (floors, fixtures, everything — what…. alcohol kills anything — I would think the vapors would asphyxiate anything else). Haven’t seen one in there since, but they seem to have moved to the basement. Going to try a combination of everything I’ve read here.

  • I first started seeing silverfish about 6-8 months ago. They showed up in random places: on the floors, in drawers, on the ceilings, etc. The problem did get worse over time.

    First step was to vacuum, clean up crumbs, etc. This had no effect.

    Second step was to put out sticky traps and “silverfish packs” (paper baits with boric acid) from the local hardware store. Also no effect. For the most part they seemed to avoid the sticky traps, although I caught maybe one or two. The sticky traps were not useful for finding the “problem areas” as I had hoped they would be.

    Third step was to call an exterminator. He sprayed gratuitous amounts of Demand CS (liquid encapsulated pyrethroid) along the baseboards, door frames, corners, crevices, and under the sinks, then puffed Delta Dust (powder) into the wall voids after removing light switch and outlet covers. This probably reduced the problem by 75%. However, he insisted that the attic did not need to be treated, contrary to everything I had read. He was probably too lazy to climb up there. He claimed that since silverfish don’t really groom themselves much and don’t form colonies, additional treatments might be necessary.

    Within a few weeks of the treatment, I was mostly seeing them on the walls and ceilings. Lots of dead silverfish on the floors so it seemed like the ones who made it down here were eventually coming in contact with the poison and dying. So I dusted the attic with boric acid. Never saw another one on the walls or ceiling after this.

    It’s been two weeks since the attic treatment and I’ve only seen two of them. Hopefully they were stragglers.

    I have experienced a bit of sinus congestion since treating the attic. Could be a coincidence but in the back of my mind I wonder if that stuff is filtering down into the living space.

  • I have been hounded with these “hitch-hiker” firebrats since thay moved with me from my old appartment. They are comparable to roaches in my eyes and my exterminator says I should lay the glue traps they gave me but thats all I can really do. This is a nightmare.

  • Well, after an uncertain initial period, it looks as though the combo of diatomaceous earth and borax did the trick. I haven’t seen a single silverfish/firebrat for at least two weeks.

    I think the reason this cocktail works is because each ingredient solves the problem of the other (they are compliments).

    1) Borax kills insects by affecting their nervous system. Unfortunately it seems that unless they ingest this substance (which they don’t since they are very picky eaters) they are unaffected by it externally (They will dig right through a mound of borax without much problem).

    2) Diatomaceous earth kills insects by scratching their exoskeletons, causing them to dry or “bleed” out(Actually insects don’t have blood, so they don’t really bleed, but I digress). The problem with this dry out strategy is that firebrats and silverfish reside in damp corners and areas, so even if their exoskeletons are scratched, they still remain moist by default.

    My hypothesis is that the borax enters their bodies once their exoskeletons have been scratched by the diatomaceous earth, thus providing an effective insecticidal combination. Try it, you may like it.

  • Ohh god, Im living in Germany at the moment and keep seeing “Silberfischen” in the door frame… but only when I put the light on. Dont think I’ve seen any adults yet and I’ve killed 3 quite easily, so dont think they’re in the best of health. Although I am freaking out, they are disgusting and I dont want to take them back home with me!!

    I read on the internet that they hate lavender oil and citrus. So I’ve tried using both. Also I keep bleaching my floor and I keep a lemon air freshener at hand to murder the lil ******** with!! I glued up the holes in the door frame where they slither into, but I’ve since found out that they like glue, so Im thinkin that silicon or polyfiller might be a better idea to block them in with?! I’ve only seen one a day, but I hope I havent got an infestation. Im gutted!!! But I only have 3 months left here, so hopefully I’ll be able to put up with it!! Does anybody know of any other remedies? I also read about cuttin up a potato and then leave it over night and they crawl into it and then u can just throw it out in the mornin, but that grosses me out too much!! Also I keep pourin boilin water down all the drains, which I hope will make it better?!

  • I found silverfish in our attic where we had music and papers stored. I read that Epson Salt would work so I put it in all of the boxes. I think I have this problem under control. I am now finding one or two in the kitchen. I am using boric acid because we have a ant problem in the summer and this works on ants, too. We have pets so I have been using short pieces of drinking straws. I cut the straws in lenghts of about 1 1/2 inches. Fill these with the dry boric acid and you can roll these under your frig, washer and dryer, etc. Put the boric acid in a small saucer and hold one end of the straw closed as you scoop the open end and fill the straw. Works!

  • I wonder, since I only see mine at night as they retreat from the light, if I left the light on all night for a few weeks, would they be too afraid to come out and die?? Don’t want to use any chemicals as I have a dog that sleeps in the kitchen, and don’t want to poison him.

  • I am seeing one or two a week mostly small ones I put baby powder around the heaters last night and found a dead one this am I hope this works

  • I am seeing one or two a week mostly small ones someone said to use baby powder so last night I saw one and caught it in my bedroom and immediately put baby powder around the heaters and found another dead one this morning perhaps baby powder will do the job

  • i was in the bathroom getting ready for work and there ON MY TOILET is a bug that looks like its from outter space. i freaked i didnt even know waht the **** it was until i asked my SISTER
    what i did to get rid of them is a spray bottle with vinegar water and bleach killed the suckers, they didnt even knoww hat hit them.

  • I read the post about borrowing diatomaceous earth from someone with a pool. Under no circumstances should pool filter diatomaceous earth be used as pest control. It is toxic to mammals (including humans) and will not work in pest control applications anyway. For pest control, use food-grade diatomaceous earth. It is safely ingestible by humans and animals, and will kill pests. It can be damaging to lung tissue if inhaled, so it is advisable to wear a dust mask when applying diatomaceous earth. Food-grade diatomaceous earth is widely available at gardening stores and on the internet.

  • OH BOY. I walked into my bedroom to get my night night clothes on, PJ’s… Just as Im looking down I see a critter on my floor! As fast as fast can be, it ran under a shoe. I thought to myself, oh-no little bugger here I come. I grabbed my hairspray, lifted up my shoe and sprayed it. I grabbed a tissue and picked it up and examined it in my bathroom under the brightest lights in my house!!! HEE HEE. This little thing was silver and very soft. I knew right away what it was and I had never seen one before. So here Iam on the computer looking up SILVERFISH. All I keep thinking about is sleeping on the leather couch where its too cold for little fishy. Im scared to go in my bed! Im also wondering if there are more. I’ve never seen this insect in my house, and I’ve been here for 9 years. no I have to go to a garden store and tell them I have fishy’s running around my house. I will let you guys know what happens after that. YUK!!!!!!!
    IM itchy.

  • Like everyone else I too am sick of silverfish. We moved into this house almost 12 years ago. Our old house had the paper insulation in the attic floor. Needless to say they came along with us. The boric acid sounds like a good idea. I am amazed that they live throughout the winters. Here in Pa. we have looooong winters and freezing temps. I guess that shows how resilient they are. Anyhow, I am going to treat the attic with the boric acid. If it works, you’ll be hearing from me again. thanx!!!

  • I hate the way they move, they are the ultimate ‘creepy’ crawly. I used a spray containing piperoynl butoxide, seems to have done the job with minimal environmental impact. Sprayed more in my hoover bag and hoovered the bodies. They are now in my bin.

  • I had never experienced them ever before in my life, and I have grown children. Suddenly, one day, there they were. After a couple of years of thinking they’d go away as suddenly as they’d appeared, I realized I was wrong and got a professional exterminator to come annihilate them. They told me they could guarantee crickets, cockroaches, ants, termites, everything, EXCEPT silverfish. …And they were right.

  • i noticed bleach kills them, i have some always mixed up with some
    water in a spray container and soon as i turn on the light at night i start shooting

  • Sprayed again with spray containing piperoynl butoxide (it comes from the sassafras plant). Only found 10 2day, guy from local pest control says perseveer as it could take up to a year to get all the little buggers. Also read they hate lavender, my home now smells like an old lady. A bug free old lady 🙂
    Good luck to everyone try to get rid wish you all success

  • Help!! Those little creepy monsters are invading my home! I can’t stand them… I first notice them about 2 months ago and now I see them each night all over my bathroom (I kill about 5 per night). …

    Some of the suggestions posted here are a bit difficult for me to follow/accomplish… I live in Europe in a early 1900s building.. in other words the place, although completely reconstructed, is full of minute cracks.. (it is hard to close them all up)…I live one block away from a river so the area is naturally damp (it is difficult to keep the place completely dry)… I got a new born and a 5 year-old (so I am afraid of using harsh chemicals and poisons)…..

    My wife and I have been living here for several years and never before did we experienced this problem… Our situation is getting worst as it appears that the bug’s population is growing (I see more and more often).. .. Other than what has been posted.. does anyone has an additional (environment/family friendly) suggestion?..

    Any help is highly appreciated..

    Thank you

  • Oh god i have them and they disgust me to NO END!!!!!! I cant stand the gross, nasty things. I see one or two everyday but believe me its enough! I just saw one on my bed today…they seem to get more courageous everyday. I dont even wanna get into bed cause i think im gonna see them . Im beyond disgusted by them. I DONT KNOW WHAT TO DO! Im moving in like 10 days and i dont wanna take them with me! What do i do???? I see everyone says to put different things like borax in different parts of the house, but how do you know if that really gets rid of them??? I just HATE them!!!!!!!!

  • Look up the word “myiasis”, folks – and be CAREFUL!

    In early Feb I moved into an apartment that looked beautiful. However, unbeknownst to me, the place had “one of the worst silverish infestations I’ve ever seen” according to the exterminator I called in to identify the terrifying bugs i’d caught: one under a cardboard box, the second on the front door as I returned from the trash cute after throwing out the cardboard box. Anyway, I arrived here healthy; now I’m quite ill.

    About a week after I moved in I had two small bumps on my arm and leg removed by a dermatologist. I followed his instructions for helping the wounds heal: leave them uncovered (no band-aids) and dab rubbing alcohol on them 2x/day. A couple of days later I felt like ****! Weird stuff started happenening to my body. I kept feeling sicker and sicker every day. Finally, the biopsy scabs came off, and underneath the one on my leg I found two bright yellow “things”. Two days later, I started pooping out silverfish “stuff” (bright yellow or brownish yellow cone shaped things, strings of clear gelatinous type stuff with black and yellow things inside, AND ACTUAL SILVERBUGS! Well, pieces, anyway… including the front half of a full-sized silverfish!

    We’re in the process of testing to prove that silverfish are indeed nesting inside my body now, but having seen and felt and learned what I have, it’s a mere formality. Who knew THIS was possible? I’m scared to death about it, and I feel lousy.

    The real kicker? The company that owns the apt. complex will NOT move me into a clean, non-infested apartment. They’ve ruined ever item I own due to their own negligence — they admit that they do NOT perform ANY ROUTINE pest control services in any of their buildings! They’ve ruined my health; they may end up killing or disabling me, and yet they still insist I remain in this apt. Why? So that “I don’t spread the pest problem to another unit”. Can you believe that? The don’t give a damn about the occupant, a mere human being… Nope, they don’t want one of their precious “units” ruined, as they claim it would be if I were to move into a habitable apartment.

    Meanwhile, here I sit, barely able to breathe, doing research… All day long I wipe bright yellow wormy things of my lips, pull them out of my eyes and ears, and pull off brown-gold “scabs” off my skin and scalp. My hair is sticky even AFTER I wash it! Every minute of the day is spent vacuuming the previous nights’ evidence of silverfish activity (whitish stuff with a black/gray dot in the middle, yellowish-gold dried fluid, black “dust” (their feces), etc. Today I found a patch of feces tinged with a dark red color — my blood. I eat one meal a day because I can’t keep any food in the apartment. Silverfish get into ANYTHING even before it’s been opened. So, no food, no bottled water (you can taste the dead ones in the bottled water.) The only thing in my frig now are soft drinks and cans of Ensure. I’m in Los Angeles, a very expensive place to live, and EVERY MEAL I eat, I must eat at a restaurant – anywhere from $30 to $100+ EACH day! Unbelievable…

    People think I’m nuts when I tell my story, but look up “myiasis”. It’s rare, but it happens. Be careful — silverfish can be a lot more dangerous than you know.

  • i didnt start seeing silverfish until about a week ago…
    it bothers me to no end that a small bug can just come in and take over my bathroom floor without any warning.

    i was disqusted and amazed all at the same time to see them, because from what i was told, they are still in their coocoons–and i thought they were finger-tip sized aliens coming to invade my bathroom.

    i have sprayed them and the baseboard they sneak in from with every single thing in my house…..they die…but more always return.

    i cant get over it. last night i came home and scrubbed all of the floors with comet, i even sprinkled some near their entry point, but that did no good–it just made me even more upset for going through all of those extensive measures to solve a problem that continues to return….

  • I grown up in the contry and I known about all types of buges and insects but when I moved to a well known town I thought that I would not see them agin but I was wroung. I was going through my books one day and on top of one of my magazins there was a SILVER FISH! I called my husband into the room and told him to kill it but he did not acoplish the goal. Now it ran away and I dont know where it went. I know boming wont help so there four i dont know what to do I never killed one before in my life my parnets always did it for me. So now I am going to have to use sometype of baby pouder or bleach on it when I see it agin. Thank you all for shearing your guys and gals tips.

  • Ispray fly killer in all my wall holes and cracks in my kitchen and watch the horrors fall ouf of my walls and die instantly.

  • Hairspray. I know it sounds stupid but i am at university and we have had them since christmas (well what we know off anyway) One girl has had to move out of her room cause she dont want to live in there with them. There in the bathroom, kitchen, toilets and some bedrooms. Whilst in the toilet the other day there was 3 crawling around so i went into my room and got some hairspray i then sprayed them before they got away and they died instantly. I then did it again today in the bathroom and to one i found in my room and it again killed them. SO if you got some hairspray lying around its cheap and also effective to get them little buggers that want to be cocky and show off by coming out to play whilst your still up.

    Also if you buy bed sheets that dont dangle on the floor and metal bed posts they can not crawl up them to visit you in your sleep. The metal is too slippery for them.

    Also check your draws cause people at our university have found them in their underwear draws.

    Its disgusting

  • the best is BI_CARBONATE SODA or different name BAKING SODA
    place in a small low container or open plastic bag . I had the same problem before and that helped

  • OK that ‘myiasis’ post from Lisa freaked me out too- but I’ve searched the net and apparently you can only get such ‘human infestations’ from bott flies.
    SILVERFISH ARE HARMLESS, it says that repeatedly. Or maybe they’ve got some ‘Super’ version in the USA- either way I’ve never heard anything like this before.
    If you are telling the truth Lisa I really hope you get things sorted- however nice the apartment is you can’t live like that- GET OUT NOW!

  • I am using a combination of dicametous earth and a spray called orthomax. I am also decluttering room by room and putting all storage in plastic bins. Today I found 2 slow ones and a dead one. This is in a room I totally decluttered 100%, has no paper boxes, and dust and spray. Maybe it is weakening them. 6 more rooms to go.

  • I had a problem with silverfish a couple of months ago but no more. Guess what I did? My dad told me to get some moth balls. I actually got the regualar stinky kind and crushed one ball with a hammer. I put it in a sachet bag in all the problem areas. I took them out in a day or so b/c I did not want the smell in my clothes. Guess what. I have not seen anymore since then. The moth ball I crushed, I replaced it with the lavendar scented ones from Walmart. Hope this helps.

  • I’ve been house sitting at my parents house where I lived for almost 20 years and have started seeing these little spawns from hell. Last night I caught one, glued to a piece of aluminum with fletching glue and set it on fire. Let me tell you fletching glue burns very hot and completely cooked it to a cinder and its insides boiled out and it was soo much fun. My girlfriend and I spent this evening actually trying to hunt them to have more maniacal pyro fun with the little spawns.

  • Just found them in my house (newbuild) so thanks for all your tips, caught one and placed it in a small sealed plastic container for advice, that was 5 days ago and the little bugger is still running around, maybe 5 days under a 60 watt bulb should do it! Thanks…

  • MAKE THEM GO AWAY!!! Ugh, I’m soooo disgusted it’s beyond ridiculous. I don’t see many of them but I’ve been seeing them for at least a year. And one, there was one on my bed. I lost it and had to sleep on the couch. An they’re fast little suckers. I JUST sprayed one with Home Defense bug spray (it was above my closet) and I have no idea where it went. And I didn’t know that foggers don’t work. I’ve done like two. No wonder they’re still here. I also use Borid. It helps some. Anymore ideas? HELP!!! I’m going to buy some moth balls tomorrow!

  • i have a problem with them in my bathroom i don’t know what to try…
    i anyone has any good tips on how to get rip of those stupid buggs can you tell me
    i know that they are sliver fish by the say

  • Get rid of all food in the room, keep it nice and clean, and if you see them, spray them with hairspray if you can’t catch and kill them. Kill as many as possible so they won’t keep reproducing. I stopped brining food in my room and have been keeping it clean and I have seen about 80% less…

  • This is so disgusting. They just started popping up like last year. There weren’t really that many during winter, actually, none at all. (Thank the Lord for the crazy winter NJ had). I HATE silverfish! They are so disgusting. I have always had a phobia of insects, cuz they like blowup when u kill them, but these things are absolutely horrible. I’ve found them in clothes, on my desk, on carpets, on ME, i know, ewwwW! I feel dirty cuz none of my friends have the problem.

    Its like fighting a war against terrorists. They come out like 1 at a time, and use hit and run tactics. You kill one, more pop out. How do you fight or kill such an enemy? it feels so impossible, the very sanctity of my room is now compromised. Can anyone please help me? I don’t want them coming with me to college, ewwww

  • I work for Terminix and we use Intice in the attics to stop silverfish infestations. They feed on the insulation paper up there. Just because you see one or two daily doesn’t mean the source of it all is in that area. They will climb down pipes, cracks, vents, etc…to find moisture and other food sources. I am pretty sure the average joe can buy Intice online, I could be wrong though.

  • To the woman named ‘Lisa’: get some professional medical care, because whatever you’re describing has nothing to do with silverfish…

  • ok, so I thought having my mother-n-law visit was stress. She’s nothing compared to the silverfish that have taken up residence in my apartment.

    I sold my house and while waiting for my new house to be complete, I am forced to live in an apartment and out of boxes. Although the apartment is only a couple years old, I have never seen so many bugs, including silverfish.

    I plan to clean everything and anything that can be washed; sheets, blankets, etc. Unfortunately, I have several packed boxes and plenty of larger items that will not be cleaned. What can I do to prevent transporting them to my new place?

    Thanks!

  • I live in the lower southern united states. the humidty is high here most of the yaer. I have a new construstion home and it is infested with these damn silverfish. we have a slab foundation and i think that these guys are b/t my carpet and my slab. i find them in my bathroooms mostly but have seen them in the kitchen, living room… well every where. How do I get rid of them? I also have these little mites in my bathroom. I keep a rather clean house and it is only 1year old. Should I spray the attic with insecticides? Treat inside walls? I have little kids too. I don’t want dust type of posions out and about where they will get into them. Help please.

  • Jb, sorry to disappoint that won’t work 1 lived in my glass light shade for a fortnight until I sprayed the house with a spray containing piperonyl butoxide it is marketed in uk as KYBOSH. Have only seen 2 or 3 in last couple of months but will be spraying again in a week or so as recommended on can. If I were 20 yrs younger I would probably do the same as Casey.

  • i have silverfish in my room, but i dont want to put moth balls everywhere because my young son is sleeping in my room and i don’t want him breathing the mothball fumes. how can i get rid of silverfish w/o the pesticides ,does anyone know? please help

  • I just moved into a college dorm with my friend and we’re both very clean people and our dorm is pretty dry and cold…and yet I’ve seen silverfish running around our room. What can we do that won’t cost us too much or make us change rooms?!

  • ive had sliverfish problems in two homes now.the reasons they are so hard to get rid of are
    1.they can live for up to a year without eating a thing
    2.they don’t live in nests,so any poison you put down will only kill the sliverfish that touch the poison.it wont be carried back to the nest.
    3.they become fertile at seven days old,so unless you can get in all the nooks and crannies of your home(including in between walls)and kill them they just keep laying and laying much like headlice.

  • just make sure when you clean or vacumn, get the edges of the room, disturbing there sites regularly makes them leave. But on the upside, as long as you don’t have too many, (they are sooo uggy) they eat cockroach eggs, and I don’t want cockroaches at all

  • I’m wondering if these things can climb walls?

    How much do they go after clothes compared with moths?

    I have put a bunch of scented moth satchets in my cupboard because I don’t want any holes or anything. How effective will they be, because there’s no silverfish baits that I know of…

  • Yes they can climb walls! I have had them in my kitchen for over a year but only see 1 at a time. A few weeks ago I found one on my lounge wall! Tonight when I turned the kitchen light on there was a big one in the sink urrgh they make my skin crawl! I need rid of these disgusting things!!!!!!!!!!!

  • I just movd into my ne house. It is only 2 years old. My room is right about the garage… and of course… just my luck… only MY room infested with the little slimey devils from hell! What I realized was that one of my storage closets what not fully insulated… so I stuffed towels drenched with pest killer spray under the doors. I haven’t seen them for a month now… and I also keep all food out of my room, the floor constantly vaccumed, and my sink drain closed off. Hope you all solve your battle with these disgusting creatures. :]

  • my kitchen has been infested by silver fish they are so disgusting!! there is about 50 of them running around in the corner and my cat trys to catch them and eat them hopefully they might get scared and go away
    !

  • This site says to use diatomaceous earth and whole cloves but yea i agree – they are really fugly and vile

  • Well Im hearing That silverFish are in peoples bedrooms and all this so i guess im Halfway lucky lol They are Taking Over my Bathroom,And I kill one right after another and they just come back,I’ll tell you what they are Annoying. I Guess ill try the Jar thing. Unless Anyone has another Idea that would work? :] im up for suggestions. Also Would Raid work?

  • We have lived in our home over 50yrs and never had them till this year. In front of our home is a sewer, is it possible they are coming in from there? Can Borax or diotemaceous earth be placed in your food cabinets?

  • Ive seen silverfish in the bathrooms and just killed one in the laundry room help how do i get rid of these creepy things?

  • I have just moved into a rented property and discovered the place is infested with these things (I had never heard of them before)
    My Tips:
    *Yes they can climb up walls (I saw them about half way up our plastered living room wall last night)
    *No they do not bite, they are not interested in you or your bed, they eat glue & carbs eg wallpaper paste, flour, cereal etc
    *Mostly they come out very late at night or early hours of the morning. If you want to know who bad your problem is go and check them out in the middle of the night with a torch, look under boxes, rugs, kichen cupboards.
    *They like damp places like the kitchen or bathroom, however my infestation was/is in the living room seagrass carpet with they thrived in (in their 100’s)
    *I believe once you have them you can never truely get rid of them, I’ve read they can live upto a year without food.
    *If you have only seen a few I would keep your food eg cereal, flour in containers, vacuum regularly and put down powder.
    *If you have an infestation get the professionals in, get your place sprayed as to kill the eggs as well and get a dehumidifier.

    They are truly vile things

  • I read all this and I’m really worried cos I just moved into my apartment and it’s got silverfish everywhere. What’s worse, a friend tells me they crawl into your ears as they are attracted to the wax in your ears. I hope this is not true!

  • To the woman named Lisa if you are still out there. There was an easy solution to your problem, pay to have your apartment exterminated and hire a lawyer. Also, I do believe that you have a parasite in your body, but it is not silverfish. What you are describing sounds like hookworm or tapeworm to me. Parasites are hard to get rid of in a human body, but it is possible there are a lot of possible treatments out there.

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