How to Safely Kill Silverfish in Your Home How to Safely Kill Silverfish in Your Home

Silverfish are small, wingless bugs that congregate around starch and sugar food sources. They tend to gather in dark places like corners, and may be found on or behind bookshelves or in cupboards. These pests are not harmful to your health and do not bite or sting, but they can cause damage to books and certain types of wood. Removing silverfish can be a difficult process, however, because many people are hesitant to apply insecticides or other extermination methods inside of their homes. Rather than put your family and pets at risk of poisoning with a powerful insecticide, consider the following safe procedures for eliminating a silverfish infestation.

Use a Non-Toxic Chemical Treatment

Certain chemicals are damaging to silverfish and can help to eliminate a pest problem without putting human beings or other animals in the home at risk. Boric acid is a mild insecticide that serves this purpose. It comes available as a powder and may be dusted lightly in areas where silverfish congregate. Because boric acid may be poisonous if ingested in relatively large quantities, it is important to not allow your pets or children to access the chemical. For this reason, a boric acid treatment is best used in parts of the home that are not easily accessed by pets and small children. Reapply boric acid every two weeks or so in order to prevent the recurrence of silverfish in that area.

Remove Wallpaper

Silverfish may feed off of wallpaper and wallpaper glue. Removing or resealing damaged wallpaper can eliminate a primary food source for silverfish, discouraging them from entering your home.

Purchase a Dehumidifier

Work to reduce the humidity in your home. This may effectively dry out the silverfish, either killing them or preventing them from living while inside of your home.  A powerful dehumidifier is an excellent acquisition, but you can also take additional steps toward reducing humidity. Keep shower curtains and bathroom doors closed, check water pipes to ensure that no moisture is escaping into the atmosphere and take any other precautions necessary.

Create a Trap

In areas where pets and children may have access, such as floors and kitchens, a non-toxic homemade trap is a good way of removing silverfish. Wrap the outside of a glass with masking tape or duct tape to allow silverfish to climb up the side. Fill the glass with water and a few scoops of sugar and leave the trap in an area where silverfish congregate. The bugs will be able to climb up the outside of the glass to access the sugary water, but will be unable to get back out when they attempt to climb up the slippery inside.

Clean Regularly

Keeping a clean house is another way to reduce silverfish presence. Ensure that all potential food sources are eliminated as quickly as possible, and work to reduce the number of dark corners and crevices where silverfish may gather.

Between these various safe extermination methods, you may find that you are able to completely eliminate silverfish in your home. If not, consult with an extermination service for further advice about how to safely remove these pests.

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