Insect Control

How to get rid of silverfish

Silverfish unsurprisingly get their name from their silvery, metallic appearance and fish like shape. They are fairly common throughout the UK and thrive in damp and humid conditions and are often found within kitchens, bathrooms, utility rooms and other similar locations.

Knowing how to get rid of silverfish is important as if left untreated these crawling insects can cause considerable damage to homes.

What are silverfish?

Silverfish are small, nocturnal crawling insects that have a silvery, metallic appearance along with fish like features and movement. They tend to grow up to 12 – 19mm in length and have a distinctive tail with three long bristles.

How to get rid of silverfish

Silverfish are fairly tricky pests to get rid of as they move very fast and usually only active at night. To get rid of a silverfish infestation you need to target the right areas with effective silverfish killer products.

If you already have Silverfish in your home then using a silverfish killer spray directly at them will be a quick way to kill any visible ones. Since Silverfish are normally hard to see the best way to get rid of them is to use a diatomaceous powder. This powder is very effective and is best when shaked into cracks and crevices where silverfish may be harbouring and along areas where they may be active e.g. around skirting boards, pipes etc.

If you are wanting to target an entire area quickly then we recommend using a silverfish smoke bomb. This can be a cost effective and time saving solution as the insecticide fumes will penetrate all areas of the room, especially those hard to reach areas where they may be hiding.

How to prevent silverfish

The best way to prevent silverfish is to block access to areas of your home they like to invade and keep rooms dry and clean. They are commonly found in bathrooms, kitchens and utility areas as these naturally create the ideal conditions that Silverfish seek. Below are some tips which can help prevent these pests.

  • Keep as many areas around your home clean and dry
  • Fix or seal up any pipes that my be leaking or dripping water
  • Seal up any cracks and crevices around your home

Signs of a silverfish infestation

Silverfish are nocturnal insects so can be very difficult to spot to the naked eye. Therefore, it’s important to be aware of the tell tale signs of a silverfish infestation…

  • Damage – One of the most noticeable ways to know if you have a silverfish problem is by the damage they can cause. They love to feed on carbohydrates in particular sugars, starch, paper, book bindings, wallpaper and more. If you notice chew marks or holes in these objects or around the home it might be a good idea to investigate further.
  • Shedded skin – Throughout their lifecycle silverfish will shed their skin. These see through cases they they leave behind are a big clue of their presence.
  • Visible silverfish – As the silverfish infestation starts to worsen you may begin to notice these ‘fish like’ insects around your home. They are nocturnal so the chances of seeing them are low but this is a good indicator of a bigger problem you may not know about.

Silverfish FAQs

Below are a list of frequently asked questions we get surrounding silverfish.

Are silverfish dangerous?

Silverfish are not dangerous to humans or animals but the they can cause significant damage to homes and belongings within homes if not dealt with.

How long do silverfish live?

Silverfish have a fairly long life span and may live from between 2 – 8 years depending on their environment.

What do silverfish eat?

Silverfish are known to feed on a wide variety of food sources throughout your home. They love to eat wallpaper, paper, book bindings, starch and any other food sources rich in carbohydrates. They are also known to feed on food items such as flour, bread, oats and other cereals.

Does salt kill silverfish?

Many home owners and forums will recommend using salt as a way to get rid of silverfish. Whilst it may provide some temporary success against them it won’t provide full control in the long term. You need to use a professional product which contains active ingredients designed to kill them.

Does vinegar kill silverfish?

Vinegar is another commonly suggested cheap, household solution for killing silverfish but it simply does not work. Even though the vinegar contains some acidic ingredients it doesn’t have the required active ingredients to kill them properly.

Recommended Silverfish Products

Below is a handpicked list of recommend products for dealing with a silverfish infestation. There are different types of products available including silverfish sprayssilverfish powders and silverfish smoke bombs to suit your needs.

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