How to Use 20 Mule Team Borax to Get Rid of Silverfish

Silverfish love books--for lunch, that is.
Silverfish love books--for lunch, that is. (Image: Books image by explicitly from

Silverfish are voracious little creatures that devour some of your most prized items: books, fabrics and even family photos. They love sugar, but also eat glue, hair, dandruff and their own molted shell. These insects are hardy, living up to eight years and surviving a year without eating. Although many pesticides are effective, 20 Mule Team Borax Laundry Detergent or Laundry Booster provide an all-natural, effective solution.

Things You'll Need

  • 20 Mule Team Borax
  • Gloves

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Getting Rid of Silverfish With Borax

Determine where silverfish live.

Decide where to apply Borax.
Decide where to apply Borax. (Image: Bookshelf2 image by Tomasz Nowicki from

Put on gloves, as Borax can cause skin irritation. Sprinkle it behind books, in crevices, in cabinets and closets, on windowsills and under carpets where silverfish are seen.

Protect your skin with gloves.
Protect your skin with gloves. (Image: gardening gloves image by egirldesign from

Leave the Borax indefinitely. The silverfish like its sweet taste, crawl through it, then eat the substance while grooming their legs. Unlike other pesticides, the continued presence of Borax also kills larvae and discourages re-infestation.

Borax protects indefinitely.
Borax protects indefinitely. (Image: closet image by pearlguy from

Tips & Warnings

  • Borax also kills cockroaches and ants.
  • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has not authorized the use of 20 Mule Team Borax as a pesticide.
  • Sprinkle 20 Mule Team Borax only in areas that will be out of reach for children and pets. Although all-natural and relatively safe, Borax has low levels of toxicity.
  • Use Borax outside with caution, as it can also kill plants.


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