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When the day begins at 6 a.m. in the bathroom with the sight of a silver fish, the shock usually comes off with the offensive. The silverfish are upset and a plan is forged on how to get rid of the silverfish that are still hidden. Since very few tolerate peaceful coexistence, we list the most important home remedies and advanced alternatives here so that you can quickly devote yourself to other things.
For those who are in a hurry, please jump to the chapter "How do I get rid of silverfish with home remedies". For those who want to know more, continue here. Here we go.
What are silverfish?
Silverfish (Lepisma saccharina, also called silverfish) belong to the order of fish and are light-shy, nimble insects that can grow up to 1cm in size. They are silver-gray, have six feet, five antennae and can live to be five to eight years old, even if one may not believe it.
In addition to the silverfish, there are also paper fish (Ctenolepisma longicaudata, with 11-15mm they are larger and also have larger antennae), the furnacefish (Thermobia domestica, are yellowish-white and / or black) and the ghost fish (Ctenolepisma calva, only about 8mm long , yellowish white to light brown and the antennae are about as long as the body).
After 4-12 months, the silverfish are fully grown, depending on the living conditions. The silverfish feel wonderful when there is plenty of sugar or starch in the area, which is how the scientific name “sugar guest” came about. The females lay eggs all their lives, so that one will have joy for years if one should enter into a coexistence. But this only applies if there is a certain amount of warmth and moisture. This is where the silverfish feel most at home. It is not possible for silverfish to multiply in cold or dry conditions.The creatures do their mischief especially at night, they are nocturnal and quickly disappear into their hiding places when the light comes on. The silverfish prefer to hide in small, dark crevices, joints, cracks, cracked wallpaper or in drainage pipes where they can no longer be seen.
Silverfish have few enemies in the 4 walls, but spiders and the common catchy tune can be dangerous to them. But if you find all 3 animals at home, you should start taking action against it at the latest.
Why and where do they come from in the 4 walls?
When warmth and moisture meet, the silverfish feel really good and make themselves comfortable. They are most often found in the bathroom, as daily showering and insufficient ventilation make the conditions ideal. Silverfish love 20-30 degrees and a humidity of 80-90 percent. Frequent cooking can also make a kitchen interesting for silverfish. Laundry rooms are also welcome. Unsurprisingly, vigorous ventilation and wiping dry should be an important prerequisite for prevention.
In such environments, the silverfish either grow in water pipes or they find a way into the apartment or house from outside. Sometimes you can find your way into the 4 walls through old newspapers or packaging materials. They are naturally attracted to warmth and moisture because they do everything to escape from cold temperatures. Incidentally, an extreme infestation of silverfish indicates a severe moisture problem.
Important to know: silverfish often find everything in pipes and water pipes to survive and care for offspring.
What are you eating?
Silverfish love plenty of sugar or starch, but are also ready to change their diet if there are no sugary carbohydrates, they can also feed on hair, flakes of skin, paper, textiles or even glue (!). Good bathroom cleaning is therefore one of the most important points in prevention, but more on that later.
Mold also like silverfish, but this is not enough to get rid of mold and should therefore be examined immediately. Dust mites are also part of the silverfish diet.
Short-term cleaning of all surfaces in the bathroom is not enough to get rid of silver fish quickly, because silver fish can survive for several months without food.
Doesn't sound like an easy undertaking, let's move on to preventive measures.
How can I prevent it?
So silverfish love warmth, moisture and sugary foods or just dust. Conversely, this means that these things are reduced to a minimum in the long run. In the short term, however, all measures have only a limited impact on the resilient silverfish.
Here are our top 5 preventive measures to prevent silverfish from growing at all:
- REDUCE HUMIDITY: Point number 1 is good and regular ventilation of rooms with high humidity, such as the bathroom, especially (but not only) after the bath or shower. In the basement or other rooms without windows, it is advisable to open the doors so that the humidity is reduced. If possible, the laundry should not be dried in the apartment. A total humidity of 40-60% is recommended, with a hygrometer you always have the right value in view.
- ELIMINATE FOOD SOURCES: If you can get the humidity under control, you can now get to grips with the silverfish's food. This works best if the floor is cleaned thoroughly and kept clean. A little dust is enough for silverfish to feed themselves for some time. So cleaning is the order of the day. And oh yes, don't leave any newspaper or magazines on the floor.
- MINIMIZE RETRACTION LOCATIONS: But as we know, silverfish can also feed on paper or glue. Here it is important to close all open areas such as joints or cracks so that the silverfish cannot retreat there and feed there.
- FLUSH DRAINAGE: You can control the way into the apartment / house through the pipes by regularly flushing them with hot water and sealing them.
- REMOVE MOLD: Of course, you shouldn't do this just to take away another food source from silverfish. Silverfish can be an indicator of mold and you should check that out.
How do I get rid of silverfish with home remedies?
Compared to cockroaches, silverfish are harmless from a health point of view as they do not transmit diseases. But you imagine a nice apartment without silverfish, so here are the most important home remedies to get rid of silverfish.
- CARDBOARD with HONEY: This trap is ideal for getting rid of silverfish. Simply smear some honey on paper or cardboard and place it overnight where the silverfish were last seen. The silverfish see it as a feast, but will not be able to escape from the sticky mass that easily. The next morning you can dispose of the trap together with the silverfish. It is recommended to repeat this until no more silverfish are caught.
- LEMON OR LAVENDER: Silverfish don't like these smells. You can't kill them with it, but you can drive them into their hiding places. So either wipe the floor clean with a lemon cleaner or put lavender in the important places and the silverfish will no longer visit these places. Cedarwood and vinegar are also repellent to silverfish.
- ADHESIVE TRAP: Similar to the home remedy cardboard with honey, a double-sided adhesive tape can be stuck on paper and distributed as a random trap along the paths of the silver fish. Although this has no bait effect, such as delicious honey, a silverfish wants to go from A to B, which is no longer possible with the glue trap. Tip: If you want to reinforce these adhesive traps, sprinkle sugar on the adhesive surfaces.
- LURE WITH BAKING POWDER: Unlike the other home remedies, this bait kills the silverfish. Mix some baking powder with sugar and spread it on the silverfish's walkways. The silverfish look forward to the sugar, but the expanding baking powder will make them die a short time later.
- DIATOMIC EARTH (KIESELGUR): Upon contact with diatomaceous earth, the chitin shell of the silverfish dissolves and they die. However, this option is only for those who have diatomaceous earth at home. Simply spread diatomaceous earth where you suspect silverfish. The Japanese cedar (sickle fir oil) is said to have a similar, deadly effect on silverfish.
All remedies against silver fish should primarily be used in the evening, because the silver fish hardly dare to leave their hiding place when it is bright.
How do I get rid of silverfish by advanced means?
We have introduced 5 home remedies you can use to get rid of silverfish. However, if you don't have the time or inclination to tinker something, you can order a glue trap. There are many here on the market.
We would like to forgive us for only introducing our glue trap at this point;)
Our silver fish trap consists of two traps, the first trap focuses on the silver fish's pathways when they are looking for food, the second trap focuses on the place of retreat when the silver fish retreat.
The patented retreat trap creates similar conditions inside as the hiding places that silver fish prefer. This trap also works with high humidity and increased dust.
Both traps and the bait are completely insecticide-free, which means that the silverfish are caught without any toxins.
There is more information on the patented two-trap system here. And there are assembly instructions here.
How do I get rid of silverfish immediately(with insecticides)?
If you don't have patience and want to get rid of all silverfish immediately and have no problems using insecticides, you can buy sprays.
Note: Insecticides should only be used carefully and in a targeted manner. Depending on the ingredients, some products can cause problems when they come into contact, especially for small children, sick or old people.
Under no circumstances should the remedies be taken, e.g. pets can easily do this.
As a rule, you can put an end to the silverfish with the home remedies, the preventive measures or with the sticky traps. But if you do not see any success with silverfish infestation even with insecticides, only a specialist is recommended, because a more profound problem then seems to predominate.
- It is best to get active now and start with the first 2 preventive measures, reducing humidity and eliminating food sources.
- Now choose one of the home remedies to get the problem under control for free and with little effort. We recommend glue traps with honey or double-sided tape together with sugar and baking powder.
- But if you don't feel like doing it or don't have the time, you can here order our product.
The Panteer GmbH team
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