Silverfish can damage paper products and stain clothing. Though they are not harmful in a medical sense, a silverfish infestation can be difficult to control. Females lay eggs continuously once they reach maturity and a single female silverfish can lay over 100 eggs in her lifetime, according to Texas A&M. Silverfish can also survive for up to a year without food, so keeping your closets clean is not always enough to get rid of them for good.
Things You'll Need
- Plastic bags
- Air conditioner
- Insecticide labeled for silverfish
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Clean your closet thoroughly and remove infested books, newspapers and fabrics from the closet. Dispose of these items or place them in sealed plastic bags and freeze them for several days to kill silverfish.
Apply caulk along the baseboards and any other crevices in your closet. Silverfish prefer to lay their eggs in dark cracks, so reducing these areas can help prevent an infestation from growing.
Use an air conditioner and dehumidifier to lower the temperature and reduce the humidity in the room with the closet containing the silverfish. According to Texas A&M, silverfish prefer areas with temperatures between 70 and 80 degrees F and humidity levels of 75 to 95 percent. Silverfish eggs hatch quicker in warmer temperatures, so keeping the area cool can provide you with more time to rid yourself of the pests.
Spray your closet with an insecticide labeled for use against silverfish. Pay close attention to cracks and crevices where eggs might be present. Look for products that contain d-limonene, boric acid, bifenthrin or deltamethrin.
Purchase traps designed for silverfish and firebrats at a home and garden supply store. Place several traps in the corners of the closet and along any crevices where the insects might go in and out.
Contact a pest control company for large infestations if insecticides and traps fail to control silverfish adequately.