They scurry across the floor at night in search of food: silverfish are harmless – but if they appear in large numbers, disgust grows. And you ask yourself the question: How do I get rid of the vermin?

The correct name for the wingless insects is actually “silverfish”, but the name “silverfish” has become commonplace. They shy away from daylight and crawl into dark cracks and joints during the day, hiding behind strips or loose wallpaper. At night they come out of hiding and go in search of food: their menu includes hair, dander and house dust mites, but also book covers or photos. In principle, they eat everything that contains starch – including sugar. Despite all this, the nocturnal insects are not pests whose presence can endanger our health. But on the contrary. That doesn’t change the fact that many people are disgusted by silverfish and want to fight them. You can find out how this works best here.

Background knowledge: This is how you recognize silverfish

Adult silverfish, measured without antennae and tail, are only one centimeter long. Because of their silvery scales, the bodies of the insects have a metallic sheen, which is probably where the name comes from. The light-shy animals prefer warm rooms with high humidity, which is why they prefer to stay in kitchens, bathrooms and laundry rooms. The temperature there is usually between 25 and 30 degrees Celsius – ideal temperatures for the silverfish to multiply quickly: A female can lay up to 20 eggs.

After hatching their offspring just a few days later, it takes the insects a year to fully mature. Under optimal living conditions, they can live up to eight years. But even if they can no longer find food, silverfish do not die immediately – in fact, they can starve for several months. As far as their reproduction is concerned, there are no fixed seasons in which they reproduce. The only important thing is that it is warm and humid, as insects cannot reproduce in cold and dry conditions.

Tips: How to fight silverfish

Are silverfish harmful to health?

Unlike other insects, silverfish are harmless to our health. In fact, they even have a benefit when they occur in large numbers: This is usually an indication that you have a moisture problem in your home or a mold infestation – because the animals also feed on fungal spores, among other things. They do not transmit diseases and, from a purely hygienic point of view, do not have to be disposed of. It’s all about the inner disgust that silverfish create. Apart from that, they are even useful for allergy sufferers, since house dust mites are also on their menu.

These home remedies fight silverfish

PotatoesAs mentioned at the beginning, silverfish like starchy foods. Potatoes are therefore predestined to catch the insects. To do this, halve a raw potato and hollow it out slightly. Then they score the edge so that the silverfish can crawl in – when they have placed half upside down on cling film. While the animals are busy eating, you can dispose of the trap.

Lavender Not only moths, but also silverfish are not friends of lavender. Small lavender bags are particularly suitable so that you can spread the smell throughout the room to drive away the animals. Alternatively, you can also use lavender oil: add a few drops to your cleaning water and use it to clean the floor in the kitchen, bathroom or laundry room.

Honey Fighting with honey works in a similar way to the pheromone trap with adhesive strips: Spread a bit of the golden nectar on a strip of paper and leave it on the floor of the infested room overnight. The silverfish are attracted to the sweet smell and will cling to it as they scurry across the honey to gorge themselves on it.

Baking powderEven more effective is the use of baking powder in combination with sugar. This creates a natural poison for silverfish, which will pounce on the mixture and die shortly thereafter. This is due to the deadly mixture that swells up in the body of the insect. It is best to sprinkle the two ingredients together on a small plate and place it on the floor overnight.

Lemon juice Lemon juice is also an effective home remedy for silverfish. Mix the juice with some water and put the solution in a spray bottle. Then you can spray all the surfaces where you have spotted the insects with the mixture. Completely harmless to humans, the animals take to their heels at the smell. Although there is no guarantee that all silverfish will really disappear.

This is how you can prevent silverfish

If you are now wondering how you can prevent another infestation, even before you consider the first silverfish, you can use the following tips as a guide:

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