How to Remove Silverfish from Clothes and Books in Closet?

How to Remove Silverfish from Clothes and Books in Closet

You’ve seen silverfish (aka cereal pests and spiders), but they don’t have a home in your house.

You’ve eliminated them from your home, but they still show up occasionally. What do you do?

It’s not always easy to get silverfish out of clothes. Finding silverfish in books or in piles of paper can be difficult because the insects hide under the paper or inside book bindings.

You may also find silverfish in books or papers that are stored in plastic containers in your garage or basement. How do you get rid of silverfish in books or paper?

You can destroy the books or paper by soaking them in a mixture of water, detergent, and soap. The soap kills the silverfish, and the detergent also washes away most of their remains.

Why are Silverfish in Your Closet?

Silverfish like dark, wet environments where they can raise their young.

In the night, you’re more likely to discover them about since their eyes are so sensitive to light.

Food supplies in the form of starchy materials are plentiful in the closet, particularly if you keep books, boxes, clothes, and other items of this kind.

Silverfish are also drawn to items that taste like paper, honey, fabrics, glue, or wood, particularly damp wood. They like the wetness in drains, which is why you’ll see them there so regularly.

Because their compound eyes are light-sensitive, they have difficulties discriminating between day and night.

If they get outdoors on their nocturnal adventures, they’ll most likely get lost.

Especially if you keep books, boxes, clothes, and the like, which provides them with plenty of food.

Silverfish are also drawn to items that taste like paper, honey, fabrics, glue, or wood, particularly damp wood.

One of the reasons you’ll often encounter them is because they like kitchens, bathrooms, and saunas, which are places with moisture.

They are often found in basements, attics, laundry rooms, and closets because they like to hide in the dark.

How to Inspect Silverfish in Your Closet

To get rid of silver fish , you should clean frequently as they like moist environments. Do not throw trash because silverfish may feed on it.

Because silverfish are nocturnal, you may spot them in these areas. Examine your closets thoroughly.

You’ll most certainly notice where they’ve been since they typically prefer dark places.

When you have caught your silverfish, store them in a paper bag so they won’t scatter around the house. Then, use a paper towel to gently wipe them out of your closet.

If the silverfish are too large to carry, you can place them in a clear plastic bag and bury them in a larger container of soil, which will keep the soil from drying out.

The little holes they make in the bathroom are used for breathing, so the odor will likely be noticeable.

Silverfish lose their skin often, and therefore their clothes will be riddled with little holes and stains.

Look in the bathroom and the basement.

How to Remove Silverfish from Clothes and Books in Closet?

A silverfish has an exoskeleton, or a hard shell, that can be seen through its body, and this shell protects them against predators.

Silverfish are known for their shiny appearance, however, they actually range between black brown and silver grey. They multiply quickly because females may generate up to five thousand eggs during their lifetime, and it may only take a single female to spawn an entire colony.

Keep a watchful eye on your clothes, books, and any other textiles. Place containers with paper or mesh bags inside your closet, and use them to store your items.

Silverfish like to hide in corners and cracks, so always inspect your closets thoroughly. Kill them using steam or fog traps or glue traps, but not with any chemicals found in household insecticides or soaps.

This implies that if left undisturbed, they won’t be able to damage your items and won’t have a reason to burrow into your belongings. One of the most important ways to deter silverfish is to seal holes in your clothing.

Simply cut them open and stuff the damaged section with newspaper or hair scrunchies. This will keep silverfish out, but make sure to tape up the openings afterwards.

They may destroy your valuable cotton or silk garments, as well as books and other paper products. If you apply insecticides, your clothing, books, and more will be stained by the chemicals inside them.

While insecticides may kill silverfish, attempting to use one repeatedly may do more harm than good. Many insects, like silverfish, live a long time.

When you use an insecticide over and over, you’re putting in poison that may harm the good insects as well. Spraying insecticide almost always causes a direct health hazard due to exposure to toxic substances, and can affect both your clothing and your health.

Instead, you’ll need to use methods that won’t kill them, but will make them go away. Old books may need to be steamed before you let them either soak into the paper or put them on the shelf.

A spritz of eucalyptus spray in your book’s pages is a natural way to kill silverfish without harming anything else.

Liquid Pyrethrin

This is a chemical that will destroy silverfish, but people who are allergic to it should use gloves while working with it.

This is great for closets, baseboards, and any areas where silverfish like to live.

While the chemical is harmless to humans, it can inflict serious damage and irritation to your pet’s lungs and eyes.

Since a result, it is not suggested to use a liquid pyrethrin-based product on furniture, papers, or carpet.

Diatomaceous Earth

This is a powder that you can sprinkle in your closets in order to evict silverfish from your house. It’s harmless to people and pets, but silverfish can’t withstand the powder’s effects and will die.

This device is harmless for people and pets, but deadly for insects.

Their exoskeleton will be sliced into many pieces; then vacuum up the pieces.

Simply sprinkle some before going to bed, and by morning, the insects will be dead.

If you do not feel like cleaning your closets, you may want to vacuum up all the powder that has settled there.

Boric Acid

This is a popular, natural, and inexpensive chemical that kills silverfish. It is used in a variety of household products, from insecticides to toilet bowl cleaners. It is commonly used to kill pests in homes.

Pour some of the acids behind bathtubs, baseboards, sinks, and anyplace else you can think of. This chemical can cause mild irritation to the skin and eyes.

The disadvantage is that boric acid is harmful, particularly to pets, when ingested in large quantities, so children and animals should be kept away from it.

Also Read: Home Remedies to Get Rid of Silverfish In Bathroom

How to Trap Silverfish In Your Closet?

Providing silverfish with a pleasant bait inside a plastic container like a jar, glass, or a plastic container entices them to enter.

Damp newspapers

Newspapers are another great way to capture unwanted pests. They’ve been used by homeowners for decades, and it’s time to get on board.

Roll up a newspaper and soak it in a mixture of water and soap.

Put this mixture in the refrigerator overnight. The next morning, roll the newspaper into a ball and throw it in a trash can.

Throw away any empty jars. Wash out your jar and wash out the old newspaper.

Place the newspaper in the jar and pack it with straight pins. You may also wrap the newspaper in several layers of cheesecloth.

Hang the newspaper in the bathroom and spray a little bleach inside. Bleach will break down the paper’s starch and make it less attractive to silver fish.

Before going to bed, dampen the mop and dunk it in the toilet bowl.

Make sure to thoroughly rinse the mop. Let all the water drain out, and then hang it up in the laundry room.

The silverfish will have nibbled up the content and ruined the paper. The damage may not be readily apparent at first.

Mason jar

Put the old newspapers into a mason jar so that it looks like an open can.

Seal the top of the jar with masking tape and tape it down securely. Place the jar in a closet or any other space that may contain the rodents.

Be sure to put the jar in an area where you can easily see it and check it daily. Once the silverfish are inside, the trap will automatically close once the lid is pushed down, trapping the rodents.

You may also bait a mason jar with crumbled cheese instead of bread.

With both circumstances, cover the mason jar with newspaper, so the silverfish won’t be able to avoid it.

Put the jar near an area of your home where you often store food, and the silverfish can’t resist going inside.

The silverfish will be able t climb out, but won’t be able to crawl into the jar anymore.

Make sure to replace the bread with the newspaper so the silverfish won’t be able to use it again.

However, once they enter the jar and begin eating the bread, they won’t be able to climb back out again.

Place the trap inside your open space, then cover it with a newspaper that is placed vertically inside the jar.

Finally, put a couple of ounces of bread inside and tape it close.

Leave the jar overnight. The next morning, you will see a lot of silverfish crawling out.

How to Prevent Silverfish From Entering Your House Again?

Silverfish may be kept out of your house using easy measures.

Get rid of any food sources on the floor.

Anything that might be eaten or drank by a silverfish should be kept in sealed containers.

Avoid any spills and crumbs, as these will attract them. You can get rid of silverfish that have invaded your house by using sticky traps.

They can be bought in stationary or hardware stores. They’re usually made of wire and contain a sticky substance.

This include putting books on shelves, replacing cardboard with plastic containers, as well as food on the floor wiped up, among other things.

Silverfish are not normally attracted to food. Their favorite snacks include paper, books, and fabric items.

More than likely, any food that attracts them will be chewed, eaten, or soiled by silverfish, which could potentially leave an odor or cause you health problems. Silverfish are nocturnal insects that like to live in dark, humid environments.

They eat the glue in felt-tip pens, the way to build in kitchen cabinets with wood scraps that may be harboring silverfish, and crayons.


When silverfish come to your home, they usually hide in laundry rooms, utensil drawers, kitchens, basements, garages, and storage areas.

If you have drawers or cabinets with scented soaps or lotions, they may target that instead. Silverfish thrive in moist, humid environments.

Moist air ensures that they can get the moisture they need to survive.

Therefore, by reducing humidity, you either make it less favorable for silverfish to live in your house or minimize any possible chance of them thriving in your home.

There are several different ways to lower humidity in your home in order to get rid of silverfish.

One method would be to open your windows on sunny days to have the fresh air flow in.


To either prevent silverfish from entering or provide a hideout for them, use caulk or other sealants that are able to withstand moisture.

Commercially available caulks are preferable because they are formulated for exterior use. Caulking works best when applied soon after finding a silverfish infestation.

Baseboards are ideal, but silverfish may be problematic outside the home. Therefore, caulking around windows, doors, and any openings is a good initial step.


The methods for ridding your closet of silverfish consist of several options.

Filling the space with diatomaceous earth and baby powder is a traditional method of controlling silverfish, but it’s fairly ineffective.

Spraying the room with an insecticide or poison is a possibility, but it is also possible that the mechanism will harm something else, including pets and children.

Silverfish commonly eat natural fibers such as cotton, silk and wool .

Do not try to pick up or kill them with glue or another substance as it could expose you to dangerous gases. Instead, sprinkle salt or another household chemical all over the fibers where the silverfish is hiding.

The silverfish will get caught on the salt.

Author Ethan