These are about 1/2 inch bluish-silver wingless insects with hard exoskeleton. They look like fish and their movements are very similar. They have 2 long antennas on their head and 3 prominent “tails” on rear. Females’ egg numbers vary. Depending on species, their quantity may range from 2 to 20 eggs per day. Silverfish can lay eggs at any season of the year and grow from larva to adult in 3-4 months.
What Do They Thrive On
Silverfish feed on mold, fungi and carbohydrates (such as sugars, starch or cellulose). This means that your food (especially dry foods), clothes, shampoos, soaps, books, wallpaper, plants and many other things are in danger.
Where To Find Them
Though the insects may be found almost anywhere, they prefer dark, moist, moderate temperature areas (60-80 degrees Fahrenheit) and places with good sources of food. Unless the food is gone, they remain close to its supply. Therefore, the usual silverfish habitats are:
- Laundry rooms
They are commonly found in/under sinks, bathtubs, in storage boxes, bookcases, old stacks of papers (magazines, newspapers, etc.), on closet shelves, behind wallpaper, wall voids, window or door frames, and baseboards. The bugs just love the taste of starch in book bindings, paper on which there’s glue or paste, various fabrics, bathroom products, cereals, flour, crumbs and plant materials.
Natural Silverfish Elimination
Killing silverfish bugs is not an easy thing, since they hide in different dark, protected places and reproduce very quickly. They are nocturnal (i.e. they’re mostly active at night) and may remain unnoticed for a long time. Thus, the majority of homeowners detect them by their cast skins, tiny pepper-like feces, or feeding damage (e.g. small holes in wallpaper, clothing, cereal boxes, yellowish stains on fabric) when the infestation is already well established.
First of all, determine the places of infestation. It is not too difficult – they are always near their food. Secondly, select the product that is more appealing to you.
- Citrus sprays: These sprays smell like citrus and are specifically manufactured to eliminate bugs like silverfish which are repelled by the scent. Apply it generously in the alleged places of infestation. Don’t use citrus smelling cleaning sprays; they are not organic and will be of no help.
- Spices: They don’t like strong scents of bay leaves, sage, and whole cloves (not ground!). Place the spices in porous sachets where the insects appear. It can help deter and discourage them from coming back.
- Diatomaceous earth (food grade): It is white powder that dehydrates silverfish and other bug pests and causes their death. Dust all areas where they can hide and they will die simply from walking through it. Diatomaceous earth for silverfish is efficient as long as it is dry. Though the powder is lethal to pests, it’s non-toxic to people and pets.
- Mothballs: The bugs can’t stand their smell either. Place mothballs wherever they are seen frequently.
- Lavender oil: Silverfish are repelled by its scent and stay away. It proved to be a good method of clearing them out of your home. Mix a tea spoonful of concentrated lavender oil in 1/2 a small spray bottle of water. Wipe down the walls with the mixture, spray it onto the carpet, around the skirting boards, cupboard doors, pieces of furniture and other items at your home. Let them dry. Be sure to refresh the smell from time to time. Don’t apply it to delicate fabrics, as they can be damaged.
- Cucumbers: The scent of cucumbers is a nice repellent for silverfish. Cut a cucumber into thick slices and put them everywhere the pests may be hiding. Replace the slices once they dry up.
- Cedar shavings: Cedar pieces or shavings should be also helpful at getting rid of them.
(Courtesy : Pestkill.org)