Silverfish, also called fishmoths, are shiny and wriggly pests. You are likely to find them hidden away in damp corners around your apartment.
Have you been noticing weird, silvery insects crawling across your floors and walls late at night?
You probably have a silverfish infestation in your apartment!
Don’t worry, though; you can easily get rid of these pests by following some age-old tricks and driving them out.
Let’s find out how!
How to Get Rid of Silverfish from Your Apartment
The best way to keep your apartment bug-free is to start by getting rid of the silverfish.
Once you’ve managed it successfully, you should then take measures to keep these pests out for good.
Here are some highly effective ways to get rid of silverfish from your apartment.
Use a Starchy Bait to Trap Silverfish
Silverfish feed mostly on food that has a high starch content. So, you can easily use any starchy food as bait to attract them.
Once the silverfish has reached a confined spot with the food, you can easily get rid of them.
A great way to do this is by putting some starchy food leftovers in a glass container. Be sure to wrap the outside of the container with some tape.
Silverfish cannot climb up on smooth surfaces, but they can go up on textured areas. The tape will offer a textured surface for the silverfish to climb and get to the bait.
However, they won’t be able to climb back out due to the smooth inner walls of the container.
When most of the silverfish have entered the container, you can simply throw it out. You’ve gotten rid of the silverfish successfully!
Consider repeating this 2-3 times over the week and set up the container in different spots around your home. It will ensure that you get rid of all of the silverfish ASAP.
Use Old Newspapers
Silverfish prefer damp environments to live in. If you don’t want to use food as bait, you can always offer them the right environment to collect in.
Throw away this ‘environment’ once the silverfish have arrived, and you’re good to go!
A rather simple way to do this is by rolling up some old newspaper and wetting it. This creates the perfect, damp and hidden area for the silverfish to crawl in.
Give them a few days to collect in the newspaper, and then throw it far away from your home.
You would be able to get rid of these pests without having to kill them.
Sticky Traps Work Well
If you’d rather not DIY a trap to get rid of the silverfish, you can always find sticky traps at your local hardware store.
Most hardware and home gardening stores have sticky traps made specially to get rid of silverfish.
Purchase a few of these traps and set them up in the damp areas of your apartment.
After a few days have passed, check the traps and throw away the ones with silverfish stuck on them.
You would need to repeat this for a few weeks to ensure that you get rid of all the silverfish in your apartment.
Buy Some Silverfish Poison
You can also buy some silverfish poison from the gardening store.
Apply it to the areas where you have noticed silverfish activity around your home and wait for it to do its magic.
However, if you have children or pets living in your apartment, this probably isn’t the best trick to use.
If consumed, silverfish poison can be extremely dangerous to people and animals alike.
Make Use of Cedar Oil
Cedar oil is one of the most effective pest killers. This natural, essential oil can be easily used to get rid of all the silverfish lingering around your apartment.
You can also use it to drive away any clothe moths or carpet beetles.
To make the best use of cedar oil, just add a few drops to your room diffuser. Doing so will diffuse the cedar oil in your indoor air and make the silverfish evacuate your apartment.
If you don’t have a diffuser, you can also use the spray bottle technique. Make a solution of warm water with 7-10 drops of cedar oil and pour it into a spray bottle.
Spray this solution on all the areas where you have noticed silverfish activity.
This is an easy and affordable way to get rid of silverfish within a few days.
Grab Bay Leaves from Your Pantry
Did you know you might be able to use your pantry supplies to get rid of the silverfish problem?
If you have dried bay leaves in your pantry, you don’t need to go any further to get rid of these pests. Just grab a few dried leaves and place them around the damp areas of your apartment.
Be sure to play 3-4 leaves on the spots where you have seen signs of silverfish presence.
Since silverfish are repelled by the scent of bay leaf oils, they will move out of your apartment quickly.
Keep the bay leaves around for a few weeks to ensure the silverfish don’t return any time soon.
Vacuuming every day gets rid of any food crumbs around your apartment, which could be attracting silverfish.
It also removes their eggs and collects any silverfish hidden in the corners of the floors.
When you’re vacuuming your apartment, be sure to go over all the crevices and corners. Also, vacuum the soft furnishings as some silverfish could be hiding there.
Once you’re done, thoroughly clean your vacuum to get rid of any silverfish of their eggs that may have been collected.
Apply Diatomaceous Earth Paste
Diatomaceous Earth is a non-toxic powder that is made by crumbling sedimentary rocks derived from fossilized organisms known as diatoms.
It is a compound that works quite effectively against most pests. It drives them out of your apartment and ensures they stay away as well.
Along with silverfish, diatomaceous earth also works well against other pests like waterbugs and roaches.
The biggest advantage of using this natural powder as your pesticide is that it is harmless otherwise.
If you have children or pets in your apartment, using food-grade diatomaceous earth is one of the safest ways of getting rid of those pesky silverfish.
All you have to do is mix some water into the diatomaceous earth powder. Only add enough water to turn the powder into a thick, paste-like consistency.
You can apply this paste where ever you have noticed silverfish around your apartment. Also, add some paste to the nooks and corners of your home.
Be sure to apply some to any entrances from where the silverfish could be entering your apartment.
Why Are Silverfish Entering Your Apartment
Now you know of many different ways to get rid of the silverfish around your apartment. The next thing to pay attention to is keeping them out.
But, before we get to that, it is important to first understand why they are entering your apartment in the first place.
They Find a Proper Habitat
Silverfish are attracted to your apartment because they find a proper habitat there.
These pests live in moist, well-hidden spots. So your bathrooms and basements can easily become their homes.
Any part of your apartment that is damp and hidden is a good living spot for silverfish.
They Get Food
The second reason why silverfish enter apartments is that they find plenty of food. These pests feed solely on starchy food.
So, any cereal droppings, crumbs, and pet food left out makes their perfect meal.
They Find Places to Hide and Lay Eggs
Silverfish prefer establishing themselves in well-protected and hidden corners. So, your damp basements and bathroom cabinets are their ideal living spots.
Moreover, these places serve as a good spot for laying eggs too.
Therefore, you will find the silverfish population growing at a rather fast pace in your apartment if you don’t get rid of them quickly.
How to Keep Silverfish Out of Your Apartment
Let’s get to the final part of having a pest-free apartment.
Here are some measures you can take to ensure the silverfish don’t return to your apartment and cause another infestation.
Maintain the Right Humidity Levels
The damper your apartment, the higher the chances of silverfish returning to it. Silverfish prefer humidity levels to be around 75-90%.
Therefore, setting your HVAC to an appropriate level would help deter the silverfish away from your home.
Spray with Certain Smells
Silverfish aren’t fond of citrusy smells.
So, a cheap and effective way of keeping them out is to spray your apartment with orange and lemon-based scents.
You can also use a lavender air freshener or a cinnamon-scented diffuser for this purpose.
Seal the Entrances
During the summers, silverfish enter your apartment in search of a cool, damp place.
A great way to ensure they can do so is by blocking out the entrances.
Look for gaps around your apartment windows and under the doors. Also, look for tiny open corners around the pipes.
Seal all of these gaps with weatherstripping, so silverfish have no way of infesting your home.
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