How to Get Rid of Silverfish Naturally Using Lavender Oil
Often, people are not even aware they have Silverfish until they find tiny holes in clothes or a book with half-eaten pages. These little nocturnal insects are sneaky and can be found anywhere from your bedroom or kitchen to your bathroom. Never fear. I have found something that has worked and taken my infestation in my wardrobe to practically non-existent: lavender oil.
For some reason Silverfish are repelled by the scent and will stay away. This method may not last forever, but it will be enough to clear them out and keep them at bay for months. It may even wipe them from your home.
Proportion of Lavender Oil to Water
I purchased some concentrated lavender oil from my local grocery store and diluted it with some water: About a tea spoon of lavender oil to half a small spray bottle of water or thereabouts.
This amount works perfectly for wiping down walls and spraying onto the carpet. It is safe as it does not contain chemicals that other insect replants seem to include. The process of getting rid of these pests is not easy though and will take some time and commitment.
- My first step was take everything out of my wardrobe. This is a massive task in itself, but if you are going to do a job it needs to be done right, or it just wont work. Silverfish hide in everything. This includes taking everything out of boxes and inspecting the contents. I had some wine glasses left in the box stored away and opened the untouched box to find some Silverfish nestled in the glasses with little black dots (eggs!). If you find clusters of what looks like dirt, it may actually the eggs.
- Basically once the cupboard is empty you need to vacuum or wash the floor thoroughly as there will potentially be a lot of new silverfish waiting to hatch. Once you have done this (a couple of times for good measure) wipe the walls and shelves down with the lavender oil mix and spray some into each corner of the cupboard and on the floor or carpet. Allow to dry (if you don't, you may get mould or mildew). This step is essential as it will keep new ones from entering and if there are a few still in there, hopefully drive them out.
- Go through all boxes even if they are shut. If there is no airtight seal, these little creatures can get in so it is necessary to open each box, empty the contents, thoroughly sort through, and clean them out. It doesn't hurt to wipe it out a second time with some lavender/water mix to just get the scent in there. Be especially mindful of shoe boxes as the paper stuffing that comes with shoes seems to attract Silverfish. If possible change your cardboard shoe boxes for plastic and throw out the shoe stuffing.
- Inspect your clothing. shake it all out and brush down. You may even need to wash the garments. This is a very laborious task, but if you have an infestation, it is necessary. If you are just being proactive, then washing your clothes should not be necessary. Just sort well. If you have folded clothing in your wardrobe, be sure to unfold and shake as they are often hidden in creases and will stick well to fabric.
- Before putting all items back into your wardrobe, do another check. Throw out any boxes or books that have visible signs of being eaten by Silverfish. Also if you have had clothing that has holes, it will definitely need to be washed before mending. This is also a good time to de-clutter, as the more items you have in a space, the easier it is for these pests to get in and make a little home.
Keeping Silverfish Away
I followed up with these steps about six months later. Whilst I still found the odd few Silverfish, it was nothing to what I had found the first time. Also, I had no more damaged items in my wardrobe, which was a relief. Ever since, I make sure to re-do this method once a year and rarely if ever do I find any.
- Make it a habit to spray some lavender oil around the skirting boards or cupboard doors to refresh the scent and keep those nasties away in between your big cleanings.
- Try and leave areas as clutter-free as possible.
- Keep paper to a minimum. If you do need to store it, try using plastic containers that are air-tight. There are a few key things that Silverfish are attracted to, but paper is one of them.