Borax for Silverfish: Get Rid of Silverfish with Borax

We have all seen this half-inch long silvery thing slithering away in a startled panic when we open an old book or unearth that old forgotten storage box. These silver wingless insects are really shy and nocturnal and don’t bite humans.

But that doesn’t mean they aren’t pests. They hide under bathtubs and kitchen sinks and gnaw their way through our precious photo albums and books. If you’ve seen half-eaten pages and holes in your clothes, it is very likely that silverfish have taken over your home.

 Though the silverfish have a knack for escaping into crevices, you will be able to rid your house of the silverfish infestation with the help of this article. Read on to find out many useful tips on borax for silverfish control including how to trap the silverfish in a jar!

Does Borax kill Silverfish?

Borax, also known as sodium borate, is a white compound that occurs as a mineral. It is an excellent and inexpensive pest control method. When borax powder is ingested by the silverfish, it will poison the silverfish. It can also be used to target ants and cockroaches.

borax and silverfish

How to use Borax to get rid of Silverfish

borax for silverfish infestation


Although Borax is organic, it is best to exercise caution when working with it.

  1. Wear gloves while working with Borax. Borax can irritate the skin.
  2. Inhaling Borax can be toxic in larger quantities.
  3. Keep it out of children’s reach
  4. Consider leaving your pets with another person for a few days while you are treating the silverfish infestation.
  5. Keep it out of the path of pets.
  6. Ensure that you don’t inhale the Borax or let it come into contact with your eyes.

Where to find them

  1. Silverfish are secretive creatures and they try to avoid contact with humans. They usually hide in their safe nooks and crannies. You’ll only catch them out in the open and partying in the night.
  2. They prefer dark and humid places. Check the cabinets beneath kitchen sinks, behind washing machines, inside old books, the dark corners of your bookcase, old and forgotten storage boxes, photo albums, clothing that you stowed away in the back of your closet a few months ago and dark crevices in your home.

How to Eliminate Silverfish with Borax

Borax is an inexpensive and sure-fire way to get rid of the silverfish crawling through your home.

The most straightforward way to get rid of them is to sprinkle borax evenly in any place that you suspect that one of these tiny, slithering pests live. Bring the divine wrath of your borax powder down on the dark crevices and behind bookshelves. Spread it near windowsills and in the corners of your bathroom. Leaving some Borax near your precious clothes will help too. For this method to work, you will have to be patient. The silverfish will have to walk through the Borax and ingest it for this pesticide to take effect.

The other method involves more crafty planning. The silverfish will have to be lured into the traps that you will set up. You need to know how to lure the silverfish and how to get rid of them for this plan to become an astounding success. (Cue evil laughter). But, don’t worry, this article will tell you exactly how to lead these pests to their grave.

Silverfish love dark corners. They prefer humid places because it helps the larvae to develop faster. They thrive on sources of sugar and cellulose. That would include pages of your favorite book, the gum on books, fabric, wallpaper, hair. They also have a sweet tooth apparently, because they are attracted to sugary substances. Why am I telling you this? Because we are going to use this against your unsuspecting silverfish infestation, of course.

For the traps to be effective, the ideal environments of the silverfish must be disturbed. They must not have access to food supply and leaky plumbing must be fixed. Once the access to food and humidity is cut off, the traps you laid out will look like beacons of hope to the silverfish and they will launch themselves onto the traps just like we launch ourselves at the last roll of toilet paper in the supermarket during the quarantine.

Here are a few simple and easy traps

  1. Mix sugar and borax and leave it out at night near the homes of the silverfish. The sugar will lure out the silverfish. Once the silverfish tries to consume the sugar, the pest will also consume the borax and die.
  2. Dust a piece of fabric with sugar and borax and leave it out at night. You can burn the cloth the next morning to ensure that all the silverfish have died.
  3. Put some damp paper or sugar inside a jar. Cover the jar with tape on the outside with the non-sticky side of the tape in contact with the outside of the jar. Leave many such traps strategically placed near silverfish hotbeds. The silverfish will use the help of the tape to clamber into the jar but they won’t be able to clamber up the smooth inside of the jar. Once they climb into the jar, they will not be able to climb out and will die once they come into contact with the Borax.
  4. You can also make a sticky trap for the pests. Make a mixture out of flour, water, and borax and let it dry until it is paste-like. Then apply it onto pieces of paper and leave it near places where silverfish are likely to be. The silverfish that get lured to the trap will be stuck to the paste and will die due to borax poisoning.

Preventing future infestations

It will take around a month to completely eradicate the silverfish. These slithering insects have been known to exist even before the dinosaurs came into existence. So, it must come as no surprise that these critters know how to survive and hide. Which is why you must not celebrate your victory yet. It wouldn’t take long for these sneaky creatures to take over your home again.

To ensure that the silverfish don’t trespass again, you need to follow these instructions like they are the words sent by god for your survival.

  1. Get rid of the traps safely. Burn the traps if they are made of paper or fabric.
  2. In case you can’t burn the traps, vacuum the traps or throw it in the bin after wrapping it securely. The bag in the vacuum cleaner must also be wrapped securely and tossed in the bin to avoid the possibility of eggs, larvae or live silverfish being left behind.
  3. Clean any dead silverfish as soon as possible.
  4. Silverfish are repelled by strong scents. Spray peppermint oil or lavender oil in your clothes cabinet or closet. Leave clovers or sticks of cinnamon inside bookshelves. Not only do these keep the pests away, they leave your clothes smelling good too.
  5. Close up any crevice or hole.
  6. Make sure your house is bright. Let the glorious sunlight stream in. This will also bring a good vibe to your home and keep numerous other pests away.
  7. Repair any plumbing and make sure there are no damp places in your home.
  8. Spread a layer of borax in your closet, bookshelves and storage containers as a preventive measure.
  9. Seal your food securely.

Final Words

Silverfish have evolved to be extremely good at hide-and-seek games and have an extremely prolific reproductive system to boot. But that doesn’t mean that you will have to sell your home and move out. With a little patience and a pack of borax, (and our article), you will be able to get rid of silverfish like a professional. I wish you luck on your journey to a silverfish-free home!

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