Of all the common household pests you can encounter, silverfish are one that you generally don’t want to see. They multiply rapidly, contaminate food, and thrive in hard to reach places like cracks and crevices, or behind baseboards. Additionally, they reproduce at an insane rate and live for up to eight years!
Eliminating silverfish infestations is rather simple with the proper use of insecticide sprays, bug traps, and powdered repellents. However, with the vast array of products available on the market these days, making an informed decision about a product is not always a simple task.
This article aims to cut through all the chatter and bring you the information you need to select the right product for your home or office.
Why You Should Eliminate Silverfish in Your Home Today
Silverfish are primitive wingless insects who have slender, flat bodies that are covered with silvery scales that usually have a metallic sheen. Their body tapers gradually towards the rear, giving them a fishlike appearance — hence their name.
Likewise, their scientific name, Lepisma saccharina, offers some insight into their eating habits. Silverfish are voracious eaters that consume a variety of different foods. However, they prefer eating carbohydrates and proteins.
They can be quite destructive with their habit of eating book bindings, cereals, glue, paper, and photographs. They have been observed tearing off wallpaper so they can get to the paste holding it up so they can eat it.
Additionally, they consume starch found in clothing, cotton, linen, and rayon fabrics. In the kitchen, they like eating cereals, dried meats, and wheat flour.
With that kind of appetite, one can easily understand the importance of getting rid of them as quickly as possible. However, that can be easier said than done as silverfish like to live in the deep dark recesses of people’s homes.
For example, they like cold and damp places (they thrive in humid environments) like basements and laundry rooms. Likewise, they like getting into cracks and crevices, and are known to get beneath hardwood flooring and behind baseboards. Even worse, they can live up to a year without eating as long as they have access to water.
Moving along, we will cover using sprays, glue traps, and powdered repellents to eliminate silverfish and other similar indoor pests.
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Using Sprays to Get Rid of Silverfish
The most common type of insecticide and repellent for silverfish comes in the form of liquid sprays. As an added benefit, if you spray the perimeter of your home or business, liquid sprays can create a barrier around your house or business and prevent an infestation in the first place.
However, some sprays are difficult to handle and require the use of special high-pressure sprayers for maximum efficiency.
On the negative side, persistence is usually only a few days to a few weeks. Furthermore, you must keep small children, pets, and livestock away from many liquid sprays until the surfaces fully dry.
For that reason, extra caution is recommended when using liquid sprays. If you have any questions about a product’s safety, be sure to read its label and contract the manufacturer as needed!
Using Glue Traps to Get Rid of Silverfish
Another popular method of controlling silverfish is the use of glue traps. Also known as glue boards, glue traps are cardboard trays or boxes coated with an extremely sticky adhesive substance.
Insects that touch a glue trap are immediately stuck to the board and can be eliminated when you replace the trap with a new one.
Glue traps have the benefit of lasting a long time, with some of them lasting upwards of a year. Additionally, they are safe for use around small children and pets.
However, glue traps typically work best when used alongside liquid sprays or powdered repellents.
Using Powdered Repellents to Get Rid of Silverfish
Powdered insecticides and repellents are less conventional than liquid sprays. However, they offer plenty of benefits.
For example, they typically last for several months making far more effective than sprays. Additionally, many powdered insecticides are safer for around the house use.
On the negative side, the application of silica gel additives is necessary to help powdered insecticides stick to windows, doorways, and other portals into your home.
Selecting the Best Product for Combatting Silverfish
There are a variety of different factors to consider when selecting the best products for eliminating silverfish. For example, the overall safety of a product is paramount. This concern for safety is particularly crucial if there are small children or pets in the home.
Next, you should research the coverage provided for each product and how long it lasts. Some products like liquid sprays last for weeks, while powdered insecticides and repellents can last for several months.
Then, you should consider the product’s ease of use. For example, some liquid sprays are cumbersome and awkward to use. Inversely, the most challenging aspect of using glue traps is deciding where to place them.
If these tips seem overwhelming, Call our nationwide network of pest control pros. We’ll connect you with a local exterminator in your area in seconds. If you do need an exterminator to help pest-proof your home, working with our partner network helps support pestpointers.com and the content that we publish. Thanks bunches!
Is the Spray, Trap, or Repellent Safe?
Safety is perhaps the most critical factor to consider when purchasing an insecticide or repellent. This concern is particularly essential if you have children or pets.
For that reason, you should take the time to read all the instructions on the product’s label and any accompanying documentation. Likewise, take the time to familiarize yourself with the three standardized signal words used on the labels of insecticides and repellents.
You should review these 3 key symbols from the National Pesticide Information Center before purchasing a spray, trap or repellent.
Always remember to keep your pesticide and insecticide treatments out of reach where only you can get it. Keep things sealed and secure. It’s very important!
Along those lines, it is always a good practice to only purchase the amount of insecticide or pesticide needed. Doing so eliminates the need to store those products in the first place.
What Is the Insecticide or Repellent’s Coverage Area?
Concentrated liquid sprays provide the best coverage, particularly if your goal is to prevent silverfish from entering your home or office in the first place.
Powders are a close second when it comes to coverage, and glue traps offer negligible coverage.
How Long Does the Insecticide or Repellent Work?
Most liquid sprays remain active for a few days to a few weeks at best. On the other end of the spectrum, powdered insecticides and repellents can last for several months, and in some instances, as long as a year.
Theoretically, glue traps can last as long as a year, but if you have any pests in the home, you will likely need to replace them every few weeks.
Additionally, if you plan on needing to place anything outside, please keep in mind that rain could potentially wash away your treatment.
Is the Insecticide or Repellent User-Friendly?
When it comes to being user-friendly, glue traps can’t be beaten. You open up the package and place them around your doorways, windows, and any areas where you think silverfish might be lurking.
Likewise, powdered insecticides and repellents are relatively easy to use. For example, they are lightweight and typically don’t require the use of any special equipment.
Liquid concentrates and sprays are the most difficult products to use by a long-shot. They are cumbersome, and frequently require the use of high-pressure sprayers. Additionally, they tend to be messy, requiring substantial clean up if you don’t use them carefully. Storage can also be an issue with liquid sprays.
How We Reviewed Silverfish Sprays, Traps, and Repellents
We chose our selection of the ten best sprays, glue traps, and powdered repellents available by researching the best-selling products currently available online.
As part of that process, we considered each product’s price, brand-reputation, and consumer ratings to give YOU the best overall, birds-eye audit to make things as easy as they can be.
The remainder of this article discussed our selections for the ten best products for controlling silverfish broken down by type.
As always, if you aren’t experienced, please contact a local pest control or to make sure things are done correctly.
The Best Liquid Sprays for Eliminating Silverfish
Okay… Here is our selection of the BEST liquid sprays for eliminating silverfish.
This product is one of the most popular products on the market today for controlling indoor pests. It is effective at eliminating a variety of insects to include silverfish, ants, carpet beetles, earwigs, fleas, flies, fruit flies, mosquitoes, gnats, spiders, and more.
Additionally, Wondercide is made in the USA using natural derived plant-based ingredients and is fully biodegradable. Likewise, Wondercide doesn’t use any harsh chemicals, artificial colors, or fragrances. For that reason, this product is an excellent alternative to conventional pesticides, granules, powders, electronic bug zappers, and bug lights.
Wondercide is also easy to use. Since it’s formula is eco-friendly, you don’t have to worry about where you use it. It can be sprayed throughout kitchens, bathrooms, and other living areas. Since it is pet-friendly, you can use it on cat condos, dog beds, and dog kennels.
Key benefits of selecting this product include its:
- Availability in four aroma therapeutic fragrances to include cedar, lemongrass, peppermint, and rosemary
- Gentle properties allowing you to use it several times a week around people of all ages and pets
- Ability to eliminate and repel crawling, flying, biting and stinging pests
- Kid and pet-friendly formula that is gentle enough to use every day
Overall, this product and praised seems like it has a strong ease of use and good scent. The scent may linger, but if the scent is enjoyable then there could be worse things!
This product is one of the best insect sprays on the market today when it comes to versatility. It is effective at controlling a variety of household insects to include silverfish, cockroaches, mosquitoes, ants, moths, earwigs, flies, fleas, termites, and many others.
Dr. Killigan’s uses only two active ingredients, cottonseed oil, and clove oil. For that reason, it is non-toxic and safe to use in kitchens and other food preparation areas. Likewise, it is safe to use around children of all ages.
Additionally, it is not only pet-safe, but you can also actually spray it directly on pets for all-natural flea and tick control.
Key benefits of selecting this product include its:
- Potent and fast-acting formula that protects your home without the use of harsh chemicals and artificial colors
- Pleasing aroma of cinnamon with a touch of clove and the nominal residual smell
- All-natural ingredients, making it easy to use. You can use it anywhere in the home to include in the kitchen, bathrooms, and other living areas.
Again, Dr. Killigan’s seems like they’ve hit the nail on the head with the scent and ease of use. The versatility and effectiveness of a wide variety of pests including spiders and large insects can go a long way in making it a useful tool.
This product is an excellent selection for individuals interested in using a conventional insecticide. Ortho Home Defense Max is effective at eliminating a wide variety of pests to include silverfish, ants, cockroaches, spiders, scorpions, flies, ticks, stink bugs, flying moths, centipedes, and more.
Additionally, Ortho Home Defense Max does more than eliminate household pests. It provides a long-lasting indoor barrier around kitchens, bathrooms, windows, doors, and basements. Likewise, it can be sprayed around the perimeter of your home to prevent future re-infestation.
Key benefits of selecting this product include its:
- Ability to eliminate and control more than 180 varieties of insects for 365 days on non-porous surfaces
- Extended reach wand which allows you to spray without having to bend over
- Ease of use and fast-drying formula
The claim for longevity is nothing to scoff at. A full 365 days and over 180 different varieties of insects covered is a great start. Additionally, with there seeming to be no extremely strong or pungent scent, this could be a great option for those who are looking to go scentless.
This product is an excellent option for people wanting to use an organic all-natural insecticide. Eco Defense is effective at controlling a wide variety of indoor pests, including silverfish, ants, cockroaches, earwigs, fleas, mites, spiders, stink bugs, scorpions, and many other common household pests.
Made with all-natural and organic ingredients, Eco Defense is an excellent option for people wanting to rid their houses of insects and other pests without the use of artificial pesticides and baits that use harsh chemicals.
Due to its all-natural formula, this product is safe to use around small children and pets. Likewise, it can be used anywhere in the home.
Additionally, Eco Defense is one of the few home pest control products that is a USDA Certified Biobased Product. For those unfamiliar with the program, the USDA Certified Biobased Product label assures consumers that the product bearing the seal contains a “USDA-verified amount of renewable biological ingredients.”
Key benefits of selecting this product include its:
- Lack of any harmful fumes, dangerous poisons, and harsh chemicals
- Fast-acting formula designed to have a lasting effect
- Lack of any pungent fumes that can irritate your airways or make you nauseous
- Money-back guarantee (You can try this product for 60-days risk-free)
The USDA label and money-back guarantee go a huge way in making this a valuable product. Overall, the lack of harsh chemicals is a pleasing twist on some of the other alternatives out on the market.
The Best Glue Traps for Controlling Silverfish
This year’s selections for the best glue traps for controlling silverfish include:
This product is one of the most popular glue traps available on the market today. Terro Spider and Insect traps work with every imaginable household pest to include silverfish, ants, cockroaches, crickets, fleas, ticks, mites, termites, and a host of other crawling insects.
Additionally, these traps are ready for immediate use, either flat or folded, which helps prevent anything from touching the sticky surface by accident.
You can use them behind doors, in corners, against baseboards, and underneath appliances and furniture.
Best of all, since they use a sticky surface to trap insects, you don’t have to worry about pesticides and their noxious fumes.
Using Terro Spider and Insect Traps is as easy as:
- Folding the trap using the marked lines as guides;
- Removing the protective plastic backing to expose the sticky surface;
- Placing the trap in a high traffic area for pests;
- Replacing the trap every three months or when full.
Customers liked this product and praised its ease of use and value for the money. Numerous customers praised its long-lasting adhesive properties. On the flip side, a couple of customers complained they weren’t effective with large insects.
This product is one of the most popular glue traps for controlling household pests to include both insects and rodents. Tomcat Glue Boards trap silverfish, fire ants, fleas, mites, roaches, termites, ticks, and most other crawling insects. They also catch rodents to include mice, small rats, and other annoying pests.
Additionally, these glue traps use eugenol for enhanced stickiness. For those unfamiliar with the term, eugenol is a colorless oily liquid extracted from a variety of essential oils to include basil, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. It is commonly used as bait to attract several species of beetles and bees.
You can use these glue traps flat and place them in high-traffic areas for household pests. In the alternative, you can use them covered along baseboards and other wall areas.
Using Tomcat Glue Boards is simple:
- Fold the trap along the marked fold lines;
- Remove the protective release paper;
- Place the trap in your desired location;
- Replace the trap when it gets full.
Of course, you’ll have to careful of actually laying the board as you don’t want to actually stick it to something incidentally and ruin the trap!
This product is one of the most elaborate glue trap systems available on the market today. It traps a variety of common insects to include silverfish, cockroaches, spiders, bed bugs, crickets, ants, fleas, termites, ticks, along with most other crawling insects.
Keeping the safety of family and pets in mind, all Exterminator’s Choice traps only use all-natural bait ingredients. For that reason, these traps are safe to use in and around kitchens and other food production areas.
Likewise, it is safe to use their products around small children and pets. As a bonus, the traps themselves are manufactured using recycled materials.
Using Exterminator’s Choice traps is as simple as:
- Removing the product from its packaging;
- Peeling the safety film from its non-toxic adhesive surface;
- Placing the all-natural bait in the center of the trap;
- Assembling the trap by folding the walls along the fold lines and connecting its two sides along the top;
- Setting the trap in high-traffic areas for insects, along baseboards, and under furniture.
While elaborate, setup looks to come just a bit easier than you might initially think. Make sure to gather all of the proper installation info before you get to work.
The Best Powdered Repellents
Lastly, our selections for the best silverfish repellents include:
CimeXa Dust Insecticide Dust by Rockwell Labs
This insecticide dust is one of the best products available on the market these days for combatting silverfish. CimeXa Dust is effective at controlling a variety of pests to include silverfish, spiders, roaches, ants, bed bugs, fleas, lice, mites, ticks, and more.
This repellent treats a multitude of areas in the home, including attics, carpets, cracks, crevices, mattresses, pet rest areas, and the like.
Additionally, Rockwell Labs certifies CimeXa as a Green Zone product. This designation certifies that the Environmental Protection Agency classified its ingredients as “Minimum Risk.”
Key benefits of selecting this product include its:
- Water vapor resistance except in the case of very high humidity
- Odorless, non-clumping, and non-staining formula
- Destroys the waxy cuticle of pests resulting in swift dehydration
- Engineered to remain viable for up to 10 years when undisturbed
Whenever something claims to be classified under an EPA designation, that generally bodes well for its viability. The non-clumping agents and overall length that Rockwell claims that the product can still work is good news for you and bad news for insects!
DeltaDust Insecticide by Bayer
This product is one of the best multi-use insecticide dust products available on the market. DeltaDust provides quick control of a wide variety of household pests to include silverfish, scorpions, spiders, cockroaches, ants, bed bugs, fleas, termites, moths, carpet beetles, and more.
Additionally, this powdered repellent controls insects for up to eight months when left undisturbed.
Some key traits of DeltaDust include its:
- Non-staining and odorless formula
- Non-clumping and moisture-resistant design
- Design for indoor and outdoor use
- Approval for use in commercial food-handling establishments
Of course, the approval for use in food-handling establishments is a BIG plus. Customers often insinuate that they can use a certain product in a certain place, but it’s all the better when a company comes right out and says it’s OK to do so.
This powdered insecticide is one of the best multi-purpose products available on the market. Diatomaceous Earth provides effective control of a variety of insects, including silverfish, ants, cockroaches, crickets, earwigs, centipedes, millipedes, and more.
This product contains no additives as it is composed of 100 percent of freshwater diatomaceous earth. For those unfamiliar with the term, diatomaceous earth is mined from riverbeds and comes from fossilized remains of diatoms, which are tiny aquatic organisms. Diatomaceous earth dehydrates insects, effectively eliminating them as pests.
Some of the benefits of Harris Diatomaceous Earth include its:
- Included powder duster and extension tube
- Non-toxic formula
- Long-lasting benefits
- Money-back satisfaction guarantee
Harris has a long-standing tradition of providing great pesticide and insecticide products. Even more so, diatomaceous earth is one of the most powerful tools on the market to keep crawlers at bay and has been a staple in the pest and insecticide industry for years.
With the variety of choices out there, it’s difficult to state which product is the best for you definitively. It all comes down to your specific needs and the features you desire!
There truly isn’t a one-stop shop answer because EVERYONE has a different situation at hand and a different problem they are trying to tackle.
One thing is clear. If you have problems with silverfish or other household pests, you might consider bookmarking this article for future reference!
Hubold, G. (1985). The early life-history of the high-Antarctic silverfish, Pleuragramma antarcticum. In Antarctic nutrient cycles and food webs (pp. 445-451). Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.
LASKER, R., & GIESE, A. C. (1956). Cellulose digestion by the silverfish Ctenolepisma lineata. Journal of Experimental Biology, 33(3), 542-553.
Zack is a Nature & Wildlife specialist based in Upstate, NY, and is the founder of his Tree Journey and Pest Pointers brands. He has a vast experience with nature while living and growing up on 50+ acres of fields, woodlands, and a freshwater bass pond. Zack has encountered many pest situations over the years and has spent his time maintaining and planting over 35 species of trees since his youth with his family on their property.
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