Imagine as you enter your bathroom one night, and you spot little creatures scurrying around the space. You turn the light on, and they very quickly scatter and skirt under the boards, your bathtub, and inside the drains. That’s a horror scene you don’t want in your bathroom, but unfortunately, it can happen.
These small, gray insects are silverfish, one of the oldest creatures on the planet. They were already here for thousands of years, and while they are not the scariest-looking insects out there, they are not the common sight you want around your bathroom.
Good thing you can get rid of silverfish naturally or by using chemicals that can keep these unwanted guests off of your bathroom, for good.
What Should You Know About Silverfish
Silverfish are bluish silver or white to brown-gray, wiggly insects that can infest your bathroom. They have a shiny, teardrop-shaped body with two antennae and three long bristles at the tail end. This six-legged insect is often mistaken for a centipede and can grow between 12 to 19 millimeters.
You might get horrified seeing these wriggly bugs in your bathroom, but they are pretty harmless. Silverfish aren’t known to pose threatening diseases, and they don’t bite either.
Still, they are pests and can cause damage to your bathroom. Silverfish feed off of sugars and starches, and some of your bathroom essentials contain these ingredients.
For instance, toilet paper contains starch, and you might be using sugar scrubs in the bath too. So they can start feeding off of the outer edges of your toilet paper, sugar-container products, your bathroom wallpaper, and even carpets and clothing.
Silverfish are active at night, and you may see them scurrying around the bathroom floor or climbing the bathroom walls in the middle of the night. So, you’ll not likely see them in the daytime.
In favorable conditions, like a highly humid bathroom, silverfish can reproduce quickly as the female insects produce eggs all year. In addition, because they are secretive and can go unnoticed for an extended period, it allows silverfish for exponential growth all year-round.
How Do Silverfish Get Into Your Bathroom
These wiggly insects will enter your bathroom through torn screens, gaps in the window, and through wall and foundation cracks.
If you have gaps and holes in water pipes, silverfish will likely go through these entryways and end up in your drains and sink.
Unfortunately, silverfish infestation can also happen in your bathroom because of unintentional transmission.
These insects love paper products, and they can take refuge in any paper or boxes you bring inside your washroom.
For instance, you brought an old journal already infested with silverfish eggs in the toilet or a box of toilet paper stored improperly in the bathroom.
If you spot some silverfish in your bathroom, the reason can be one or a couple of these things.
- Damp conditions in the bathroom
- Dark and warm spaces
- Lack of cleanliness
Silverfish love moisture, dampness, darkness, and quiet. These conditions make bathrooms the most favorable for silverfish, making it their best place to hide, sleep, and breed.
You can usually spot them in high-humidity areas in your bathroom, like the shower. If you love taking hot showers, the steam can significantly increase your bathroom’s humidity levels.
If your toilet has many warm and moist spaces, an attractive breeding ground for silverfish, they can start invading your space.
The lack of strict cleanliness in the bathroom can also attract silverfish inside your space. Dirt and crumbs in your bathroom are like inviting silverfish to feast on your area and take their refuge there.
Where Can You Find Silverfish in Your Bathroom
Since they are nocturnal insects, silverfish will be sleeping and hiding during the day, and you can find them in their usual hiding places like the:
- Bathroom Drains
Most people believe that they live in drains, but that is far from the truth. Contrary to common belief, silverfish don’t live in drains. But they do love the moisture, warmth, and darkness of toilet drains.
You can see silverfish that climb bathroom walls, but they can’t climb smooth vertical spaces, like the bathtub or the sink. So, you can frequently find them trapped in drains.
- Wall Cracks and Crevices
Besides the bathroom and shower drains, their favorite hiding places include the tight cracks and crevices in your bathroom. Any dark opening where they can enter freely would be an ideal place for silverfish to hide inside.
- Under the Carpet
If you have an old and dirty carpet in your bathroom, you can sometimes find silverfish taking refuge underneath.
Bathroom pipes that have condensation on them are also attractive hiding spaces for silverfish. If you have a leaky pipe in the bathroom, perhaps under the sink, you might find silverfish hanging in there.
- Under Clothes and Fabrics
Silverfish love clutter and they also feed on starches. It’s why any layer of clothing or fabric on the floor will be inviting to them.
How to Get Rid of Silverfish in Your Bathroom
Here, you can find a couple of steps to minimize and eliminate silverfish infestation, whether you want to do it the natural way or using chemicals to take them out for good.
- The all-natural powder comes with a duster and can be applied to problematic spots of your bathroom
- The silica-based diatoms will injure and dehydrate water-dependent insects: silverfish, slugs, and many more.
- The DE is food grade and is safe to use around pets and kids.
- Сomes with a straw to apply aerosol in hard-to-reach spaces and crevices of your bathroom and house
- Contains pyrethroid that targets silverfish on direct contact with a spray or its dried residual
- Eliminates silverfish and 30 other types of insects
This product is oil-based, don't use it on furniture, fabrics, or fresh paint.
- Contains bait with boric acid: silverfish eats the bait and then spreads the poison back to their nest
- Useful when you can't track where silverfish are coming from
Avoid putting in places where kids and pets can reach!
- Peanutbutter scent attracts silverfish to a glued surface
- Works well with both natural and chemical methods to catch remaining silverfish
- Can also catch other pests and larger insects (centipede, scorpion, mice)
Avoid direct exposure to sun and elements as the glue will quickly wear off.
- Professionals use this insecticide when dealing with large colonies of silverfish and other insects in your house
- Read instructions on dosage and application before using
Requires sprayer to dispense, sold separately
The Natural Way
The first thing that you have to do to get rid of silverfish in the bathroom the natural way is finding the source. Examine their typical hiding places and keep an eye on where they could originate from.
Once you’ve done that, there are two methods to trap them, both efficient and natural ways of getting rid of silverfish.
- The Jar Method
What you need for this method is a jar and a bait, which can be food that attracts silverfish, like bread.
Step 1: Put small bread pieces inside the jar and tape the outside part of the jar with paper tape. The jar can be slippery, and the tape will help them crawl through the jar and get inside it.
Step 2: Place the jar where you spot the silverfish hiding in your bathroom.
The idea behind this silverfish trap is for the pests to climb on the jar looking for food. But once they fall inside the jar, they will get trapped because the inside is slippery, preventing them from getting out.
- The Newspaper Method
Another efficient way to get rid of silverfish is using an old newspaper that this pest love.
Step 1: Roll a piece of old newspaper and use rubber bands to hold both ends so they don’t unfold.
Step 2: Moisten the newspaper roll a bit and leave it where the silverfish frequent in your bathroom.
Step 3: Wait for the silverfish to feed on the newspaper and hide inside it. Eventually, they will get trapped in the rolled paper.
Step 4: Leave it for at least 24 hours, and don’t forget to throw it away afterward. You can do this trick for several days until you’re confident that there are no silverfish in your bathroom anymore.
If the natural methods of getting rid of silverfish in your bathroom are not enough, you can use chemical products against them.
The advantage of using chemicals is that they contain powerful ingredients to eradicate most pests and insects like silverfish for good.
However, the downside is the health risks involved, so it’s essential to handle any chemical you use with utmost care.
Among the chemicals you can use to get rid of silverfish in the bathroom includes:
This method helps stop silverfish from breeding.
Step 1: Pour a good amount of bleach where silverfish may likely be hiding, like in drains and sinks.
Step 2: Leave it throughout the night before flushing the drain and sink with water.
- Boric Acid
Use boric acid to eliminate silverfish effectively, but handle it with care.
Pour a boric acid solution around sinks, drains, and under your bathtub. Sprinkle it on cracks and crevices where you spotted any silverfish in your bathroom.
Insecticides that contain pyrethrin liquid are also effective against silverfish. Follow these steps to use it against those wiggly pests.
Step 1: Spray the insecticide wherever you think the silverfish are hiding around your bathroom.
Step 2: Make sure you cover and spray their common hiding spots.
When using this insecticide, keep your pets or little kids out of the bathroom for a few hours, as it can be highly poisonous.
- Diatomaceous Earth Insecticide
This substance is also effective against many types of insects. To use it against silverfish:
Step 1: Sprinkle the powder in your bathroom around the usual hiding spots of silverfish. Include the corners and the carpets if you have them in your bath.
Step 2: Leave the powder overnight before you vacuum it the next day.
How to Prevent Silverfish From Coming Back
If you want to prevent silverfish from re-entering your bathroom and house after successful elimination, use products that create protective barriers in the form of long-lasting pet-safe residue.
- Doesn't kill on contact, but instead prevents future infestations and re-entering
- Creates a barrier that lasts up to 12 months, can be used multiple times
- Targets 130+ insects. No odor.
Of all the insect infestations that can happen in your bathroom, silverfish can be one of the most skin-crawling. They are a nuisance pest, besides being super creepy, and can destroy your things like clothes, carpets, and books.
Fortunately, you can get rid of silverfish for good, preventing them from coming back and causing chaos in your bathroom. This simple but effective pest-control plan can prevent silverfish from coming back to your bathroom.
- Keep Your Bathroom Well Ventilated
Moist and humid environments are what attract silverfish into your bathroom. Take out these conditions by keeping your bathroom well ventilated, especially during or after showering. You can keep the windows and door opened or use a bathroom fan to help take out the extra moisture in the bathroom.
- Seal Up Leaky Pipes and Cracks
Sealing up leaky pipes and caulking exterior cracks where silverfish may likely hide can also keep them away. That way, no dampness in your bathroom can attract these pests.
- Clear the Clutter
Taking out their hiding spots like clutters of used clothing, books, or old papers in the bathroom makes your bathroom less attractive for silverfish.
Silverfish love damp, warm, and dark places in your bathroom. Taking away their favorite conditions can eliminate silverfish and prevent them from coming back into your home.