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How to Get Rid of Silverfish With Diatomaceous Earth Powder

Silverfish pests on a book.

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If you are dealing with the fast and nocturnal crawlers in your home called silverfish, and you wonder if your Diatomaceous Earth Powder can eliminate them, you are in the right place.

Silverfish pests might not be as dangerous as roaches or bed bugs, but they are equally disturbing to see and they can easily destroy your precious belongings. That’s one of the reasons why so many people are looking for the best traps and repellents for these nasty pests.

If you are looking for the same things, you will notice that most of the time experts suggest Diatomaceous Earth powder as the ultimate and safe solution.

But is the DE powder so potent and will it help with the silverfish infestation? Keep on reading to find out all the details!

Photo of a silverfish

What Is Diatomaceous Earth Powder?

Diatomaceous Earth Powder or DE powder is a natural mineral-based substance made from the sediment of fossilized algae found in bodies of water. This is one of the first choices when it comes to safe and efficient bug and pest management tools, as it’s easy to use, relatively inexpensive, and not dangerous for your children and pets.

The Diatomaceous Earth Powder acts like a dehydrator and dries out the exoskeleton of any insect that comes into contact with it. Unlike Borax this powder doesn’t have to be ingested by the pests to be efficient, it’s enough for them to come in contact with the substance.

This is one of the reasons why so many experts suggest that DE powder is your number-one ally when dealing with numerous pests, silverfish included. In the recent study by Faulde, M.K., Tisch, M. & Scharninghausen, J.J. Efficacy of modified diatomaceous earth on different cockroach species (Orthoptera, Blattellidae) and silverfish (Thysanura, Lepismatidae) the team came to a conclusion:

“In a humid climate (85% relative humidity) with water and food offered ad libitum, complete population eradication could be achieved on the sixth day against B. germanica, on the eighth day against P. americana, and on the ninth day against L. saccharina, respectively.”

So, the DE powder has proven efficiency on silverfish and can help you eliminate entire colonies in just a few days, but there are a few things to remember so keep on reading to find out more.


How to Use Diatomaceous Earth Powder for Silverfish?

Diatomaceous Earth Powder is a very potent and efficient way to eliminate various pests from your home and garden, but there are a few tips and tricks that will help you increase the effects. Here are a couple of suggestions to try:

  • Use a duster - Diatomaceous Earth Powder is very fine and easily flies around when you try to apply it to any surface. That’s why it’s important to use a duster with a long nozzle that will not only reach every nook and cranny but also limit the mess that powders usually make.
Silverfish on a book.
  • Reapply often - Diatomaceous Earth Powder is a very efficient but not very long-lasting remedy for silverfish and other pests. Depending on the surface and the conditions it’s recommended to reapply the DE powder every few days.

A search in the Journal of Stored Products Research for published papers between January 2019 and January 2021 revealed the publication of 13 papers with “diatomaceous earth” on their title, emphasizing the utilization of DEs in stored product protection. DEs are not only used for the management of insects and other arthropods, but they also have multiple uses including the control of different pathogens, such as fungi and bacteria.

  • Use it in “high-traffic” areas - The Diatomaceous Earth Powder is most efficient when it comes into direct contact with the pests, but because silverfish are nocturnal and you can barely see them during the day it’s best to sprinkle DE powder in areas where they hang out the most.

Silverfish are very sensitive to humidity changes and thrive in rooms with high-moisture content, such as the bathroom, laundry room, basement, and attic. Keep those places in mind when applying the DE powder and try to find the routes the pests might use while searching for food.

How to Eliminate Silverfish From Your Home?

Now that we are familiar with the effective DE powder let’s mention a few more tips and tricks that will help you completely eliminate silverfish from your home, faster. Here are a couple of methods and tools to try:

Silverfish glue trap.

Use Silverfish traps

The easiest and most efficient way to get rid of silverfish from your home is to use strong and durable glue traps. The sticky surface on these traps is a high-quality adhesive that will capture all the silverfish that come into contact with it and the added lure will make the traps irresistible. 

Turn on the dehumidifier

As mentioned before the silverfish bugs are very sensitive to humidity changes and they need high humidity to thrive. You can use this information to your advantage and turn on the dehumidifiers in rooms that are infested with silverfish. This will make the air less humid and thus repel all the silverfish.

It’s also a good idea to declutter spaces and keep all the food in tight containers, limiting the hiding spots and food resources for silverfish and other pests that might be in your home.

Call professional exterminators

At the end of the day, every pest infestation should be taken seriously, and you need to call professional exterminators if you notice a lot of silverfish or property damage in your home. While silverfish might not be carrying diseases and pathogens, or leave nasty bite marks they are not the most pleasant sight and can cause quite the damage to items you love such as books, binders, wallpapers, and even furniture.

That’s why if the mentioned tips and tricks don’t work for you, or the silverfish infestation is too severe you need to rely on pest management companies and leave it to their professionals to deal with the pests.


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