How to get rid of silverfish from books

May 1, 2021

Even though silverfish don’t bite or carry pathogens that can pose health risks to humans, they can be annoying. Imagine making arrangements to take your kids back to school after the long stay at home, and you find the bookshelf has been infested by silverfish. Good luck dealing with the situation if they fear these creepy and primitive pests. Remember, silverfish can feed on paper, fabric, and different materials in your home. Maybe you can buy your kids new books, but you really don’t want them to feast on your favorite books and important documents. This is why you need to know how to protect stored books and how to get rid of silverfish in clothes and books.

You don't even have to use chemicals that can corrode your bookshelf or destroy your books. There are effective natural ways that you can explore first before settling on pesticide use.

Clean up your bookstore regularly.

Silverfish eat papers and the glue that is used to bind books and seal boxes. This is why they like staying around boxes with papers and bookshelves. However, this can be prevented by regular cleaning of the bookstore and rearrangement of the bookshelves. It can also be achieved by putting old papers, books, and cardboard boxes that you no longer use in a sealed plastic container for disposal. You can also create a vacuum to get rid of silverfish in your wardrobe.

Reduce humidity in your home

This is one of the best options on how to protect stored books from silverfish. Studies indicate that these insects flourish in warm and damp places (between 71° to 90°F and relative humidity of above 75 percent). Lowering this humidity level will make the environment unfavorable for silverfish and will not stay. You can reduce the humidity in your space by using a dehumidifier in damp places, running the air conditioner, and ensuring the bookstore is well ventilated and dry.

Remove other food sources

Silverfish like eating food such as flour, cereal, oats, and other open food packages. The presence of these foods around the bookstore will definitely attract them, and they would want to stay as long as the food is available. Maintaining cleanliness and storing food in airtight containers will make it impossible for silverfish to stay, and your books will remain safe.

Use mint and thyme herbs

This is an effective option on how to protect stored books from silverfish. You can dry sprigs of these herbs and keep them around your books to repel the silverfish. They produce unique scents that make the insect uncomfortable and would not stay. They also contain limonene that is harmful to silverfish. You only need to extract the liquid and spray it around your bookshelves to ensure that silverfish do not get near your books. You can also mix the mint oil with a little water and use it to clean around the bookshelf and places you often see the silverfish. Mint oil contains high concentrations of limonene is a proven silverfish insecticide.

Keep your books on a cedar-made shelf

Cedar wood produces a smell that makes silverfish uncomfortable and would not get closer to the shelf. This would enhance the safety of your books from silverfish destruction. If your bookshelf is not made of cedar, you don’t need to worry. You can still get a few leaves and place them on the shelf to keep off the silverfish as they produce an even stronger smell. If you’re wondering how to get rid of silverfish in clothes, this method will do some magic.

Trap the silverfish using moist newspaper

Roll up a newspaper, wet it, and place it in a strategic place where the insects can easily make it their home. After two to four days, burn the paper to get rid of the silverfish that stayed inside it.

Make and use citrus peel insecticide

This is one of the most applicable options on how to protect stored books from silverfish. Chop the peel from a number of lemons and citrus fruits, put them in a pot with sufficient ethanol, and boil for about 10 minutes. Leave the mixture to soak for about 12 hours for ethanol to fully extract limonene from the peels, then put it in a spray container and spray around your bookshelf and places where you often see the silverfish. Never hesitate to spray the insecticide because it poses no health risks to your family or pets.

Otherwise, if you have an overwhelming presence of silverfish, the best thing to do is to call the pest control expert nearest to you to get these unwanted companions out of your space.

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