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Silverfish & Firebrats

Control Strategy

Wondering how to get rid of silverfish and firebrats?  Baiting and dusts are the best methods for controlling silverfish. Use Maggie’s Farm Roach Killer Gel Bait yes, Roach Killer bait. It is a highly effective and versatile gel bait in a tube, and can be used to kill cockroaches, most common ants, firebrats, and it’s a very effective silverfish killer!

Just follow the directions on the product label! It’s as easy as applying pea-sized spots of the gel bait where silverfish or firebrats have been seen, such as bathrooms, kitchens, around bookcases, peeling wallpaper, etc. You should also apply it to cracks between your living space and the attic (e.g., around light fixtures). Basements are also a prime area to treat since they tend to have higher humidity, making them a preferred area for many bugs, including silverfish and firebrats.

Silverfish traps are one way to help you eliminate silverfish and firebrats, but there are other, better ways to achieve quicker control.

Maggie’s Farm Spider & Insect Dust or Maggie’s Farm Bed Bug Killer dust are more options to consider as excellent crawling insect killers, including for silverfish. These products can eliminate these pests and are useful for long term control. You should apply the dust in attics, basements, utility closets, behind and along baseboards, underneath and behind appliances, inside wall voids, in drawer wells (space under the bottom drawer of cupboards), under cabinets, sinks, and tubs, and in other cracks and crevices where these bugs have been seen. Read the label directions for additional information.


Silverfish Facts & Information About Firebrats:

  • Silverfish and their close relatives, firebrats, are some of the most primitive pests on earth.
  • They are commonly found in attics, basements, bathrooms, and kitchens (i.e., moist, warm locations), but can be found almost anywhere in a house.
  • They need humidity, and firebrats particularly like high temperatures with high humidity.
  • They often originate in attics and then come down into the living space for food or moisture.
  • Homes with wood shake shingles are magnets for these pests.
  • They eat starches and proteins, and will eat glue, book bindings, plaster, wallpaper adhesives, and even clothing.
  • They are nocturnal, so they might be a lot of them around without you necessarily seeing to many.
  • They are a favorite food of brown recluse spiders.  If you see one, be careful! One or more brown recluse spiders may be nearby.

Q. Why do I have silverfish?

A. Silverfish are considered indoor/domestic pests and are found in most cosmopolitan areas around the world. They need relatively high humidity and/or moisture to survive. If your home has conditions that are inviting to silverfish, chances are you will find them around the house in certain areas.

Silverfish reside in dark, damp, moist areas, as do other household pests, like cockroaches.  By preventing and getting rid of silverfish, you will also be doing quite a bit to eliminate other bugs in your home. 

The best places to find silverfish include:

  • Near plumbing and underneath sinks
  • Bathrooms/bathtubs/showers/sinks
  • Basements
  • Laundry rooms
  • Crawlspaces
  • Garages
  • Attics
  • Closets

 Q. Is it bad to have silverfish?

A. Silverfish are considered indoor/domestic pests, and are infamous for eating through household items like books, papers, wallpaper, and clothing. They can also contaminate food stored in pantries. 

Aside from the damage they can do around your home, they are not known to bitehumans or carry any diseases. Silverfish are sometimes mistaken for biting centipedes.

They reproduce very quickly, and if you have seen one or more in your home, there are likely several others. Finding silverfish at home means you’ve likely got some sort of humidity or moisture issue going on somewhere.

Q. How do you get rid of silverfish in your home?

A. To get rid of silverfish, prevention is always the best strategy. Reducing the conditions that make your home appealing to silverfish is the key.

You can:

Clean and Organize – Clean up and get rid of clutter (including stacks of newspapers and magazines, loose paper bags, and empty boxes).

Seal Up Possible Entry Points - Caulk up all cracks and crevices, door jam cracks, utility entry points, holes in your bricks (weep holes), etc.  

Reduce Exterior Clutter and Trim Vegetation – Eliminate harborage areas, like leaf litter and clutter in your yard, and get it all away from the sides of your home, especially away from weep holes. Trim vegetation at least a foot away from your home’s sides so branches are not touching the outer walls.

Dehumidify - A dehumidifier will help in making quiet, dark areas less attractive to silverfish, since they crave humidity and moisture. Dehumidifying can be expensive, but it is well worth it, to keep these unwelcome visitors (and other pests) out. Basements are particularly appealing to silverfish and other pests, as water and moisture easily collect. Plus, they feature plenty of hiding places.

Use Bait and Other Silverfish Products - A very effective way to treat for silverfish is with a good bait. Maggie’s Farm Roach Killer Gel Bait is made from soil microbes, giving you a naturally derived bait that silverfish love! For one thing, because baits work so you do not have to go and locate the pests, they will come to the bait.

With baits, less is more, so you will want to only apply small pea-sized spots of the gel bait in the areas you have been seeing them.  Kitchen, bathroom, attic, garage, basement, etc.

Our Maggie’s Farm Spider and Insect Dust is an excellent preventive method for silverfish, spiders, and many other home and outdoor crawling pests.  Dusts offer you a long-term control method, because the product will work for very long periods of time, as long as it stays dry.

Apply Maggie’s Farm Spider & Insect Dust in out of the way places: cracks and crevices, wall voids, along baseboards, under and inside cabinets, under sinks, under and between appliances, etc. Follow the product application label. Maggie’s Farm Spider & Insect Dust is natural plant-oil based and provides an excellent solution when you are trying to find a natural alternative to an insecticide.

For more on how to get rid of silverfish, read our Silverfish Guide here.

Q. What essential oil gets rid of silverfish?

A. We recommend using a good bait as the best way to get rid of a silverfish problem, like our Maggie’s Farm Roach Killer Gel Bait to get rid of silverfish. As for essential oils, there are several essential plant oils that are very effective at killing silverfish and other pests. In fact, the essential oils we use as the active ingredients in our Maggie’s Farm Ant & Roach Killer aerosol, Maggie’s Farm Home Bug Spray, and Maggie’s Farm Yard Bug Spray products are effective at killing numerous crawling insects on contact, including silverfish. These products leave behind a residual repellency that acts as an effective barrier against silverfish and other crawling insect for several weeks.