Silverfish are small, silver insects that are nocturnal, which means they are primarily active at night. A silverfish infestation is not typically discovered until chewed fabrics or papers are found, or holes are discovered in the bottoms or sides of cardboard boxes. A combination of both indoor and outdoor remedies is required in order to eradicate a silverfish problem before it becomes too tough to handle on your own.
The first step to silverfish control is to treat the perimeter of the building with an insect repellent product. There are numerous such products on the market, including insecticides and organic products that are designed to drive the insects away or otherwise prevent them from crossing the border into the home. This will not help with silverfish that are already in the home but will prevent more from entering.
Another way to keep more silverfish from becoming a problem is to eliminate the areas where they prefer to live inside the home. Silverfish are drawn to warm and damp environments such as basements and areas where pipes are leaking or dripping or otherwise causing moisture. Seal holes in walls or pipes where moisture is a problem. Creating a dry environment will make your home less enticing to these insects.
Treat silverfish inside the home using an insect fogger intended for indoor use. Seal off any crevices and cracks in the infested area to prevent more silverfish from entering. Fog the room and close it off, allowing the insecticide to kill all of the present insects. By the time the air has cleared, the silverfish infestation should be eradicated.
Nontoxic Treatment Options
There are also nontoxic, plant-based treatment options. For example, cucumber peel can be placed in areas where silverfish are likely to frequent. This will repel them from those areas where papers and other food sources are stored. Another option is to combine camphor, costmary, rosemary and cloves in empty tea bags or to sprinkle loose herbs in affected areas to ward off insects.
Another step in controlling the silverfish population should be to protect the items they are trying to eat to keep them from destroying papers, fabrics and other items. Silverfish tend to feed on things that are high in starch, including paste, paper, linen, fabric and even human food. Keep these items tightly stored in sealed plastic.