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Silverfish in Bathroom + How to Get Rid of Them

Silverfish are attracted to bathrooms due to the warm and humid environment that is constantly present in the drains and sinks. To get rid of them, keep the bathrooms dry after use and spray straight white vinegar in their hideouts.  

What they eat: Silverfish in bathrooms chew on toilet paper, towels, and mats for nutrients. They use bathrooms as their habitat because it provides a warm and moist environment for breeding.

Your bathroom can create an ideal living space for small insects like silverfish.  Some of the potential signs of their infestation in the bathroom are their scales, droppings, yellow marks, damaged toilet paper, or egg casings.

Why are there silverfish in my bathroom? Explanation

The bathroom is a good habitat for silverfish mainly because of the high humidity levels and warm conditions. Additionally, they can also hide under the sink and in gaps or cracks on old bathroom tiles. Below are more causes of silverfish in your bathrooms, washrooms, or restrooms:

1. Bathrooms provide a good habitat

To thrive, silverfish require an environment with more than 75 % relative humidity and warm temperatures of about 75 degrees Fahrenheit. In the house, such conditions are mostly found in the bathroom.

The high humid levels are achieved in bathrooms after taking a shower and leaving it to dry on its own. These conditions enable them to reproduce, grow and thrive healthily throughout their lifespan.

2. Silverfish look for food in the bathroom

Even though they can go for a year without eating, they will eventually need food at one point. Some of the entities found in the bathroom are food for silverfish.

They highly prefer materials that contain starch and cellulose in your home. They will therefore feed on the toilet paper or damp towels and napkins found in the bathroom for nutrients.

3. The bathroom has good places for their hatcheries

To protect their eggs, the females prefer laying them inside moist places in the bathroom. In the bathroom, the drains and cracks on tiles and walls are where water accumulates hence being moist.

After laying them, the eggs will hatch within 3 weeks. As much as there are several ways to get rid of silverfish, keeping the bathroom dry after using it is one of the best ways to control their infestation.

How to get rid of silverfish in the bathroom

The best way to ensure that there are no silverfish in your bathroom is by keeping it clean and dry. Avoid keeping wet towels and mats in the bathroom. Also, dry the walls after taking a shower.

To get rid of silverfish in bathroom use:

1. White Vinegar

White vinegar has proven to be effective in eradicating pests in your house. To use white vinegar against silverfish, here is what you will need:

  1. 2 liters of hot water
  2. One cup of white vinegar
  3. Spray bottle
  4. Mint essential oil for neutralizing the acidic smell

Here is how to get rid of silverfish with vinegar:

  1. Mix vinegar and the hot water in a spray bottle and shale well.
  2. Spray the mixture on any surface you have seen silverfish. Among these places are cracks on the walls and tiles in the bathroom.

The acidic smell will irritate silverfish hence repelling them.

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2. Soap

Soap brands with a strong scent irritate silverfish. Also, soapy water can do the trick, but you must wipe it off and maintain a dry environment after use.

To repel silverfish using soap:

  1.  Cut pieces of soap to enable the scent to dissipate out easily.
  2. Place the pieces around the bathroom and allow the scent to concentrate there. 

Soon, the scent will overwhelm them, making the bathroom not friendly.

3. Bleach

Bleach kills silverfish by eating away the proteins present in their bodies. To use bleach against silverfish, here is what you will need:

  1. 50ml of bleach
  2. 1 liter of hot water
  3. Spray bottle

How to use it

  1. Mix the bleach with hot water.
  2. Place the mixture in a spray bottle.
  3. Spray and wipe the mixture on the walls of your bathroom and the cracks on the tiles. Alternatively, you can pour the mixture down the drains to kill those present inside pipes in the bathroom. However, ensure that there is more water than bleach while using it in the drains.

Do this frequently until they all disappear.

Caution: Always wear a protective breathing mask and gloves while handling bleach.

4. Insect spray

Insect sprays can also be used to get rid of silverfish in your bathroom. In this case, Ortho® Home Defense MAX® Insect Killer for Indoor & Perimeter will readily kill the insect on contact. 

Nevertheless, it will create a barrier that will help repel them away from your bathroom. All you have to do is spray the insect spray around your bathroom.

5. Hot water

Surprisingly, silverfish are attracted to warm and moist environments but can’t swim. Therefore, they can drown when submerged in too much water. You can also use hot water to clean bedding when getting rid of silverfish in bed, especially if you have an infested bathroom in your bedroom.

To increase effectiveness, spray hot water on them while on walls. After which, you can drown them in hot water inside the bathtub to kill them. However, ensure all the water is cleaned and dried afterward.

6. Boric acid

The acid is toxic to silverfish, both in liquid and powder form. In liquid form, it is poisonous when ingested. However, in powder form, it dehydrates the protective outer shell of the insect after making contact with it.

In this case, the solution form of the acid is preferable because we are dealing with a bathroom.

To use boric acid against silverfish, here is what you will need:

  1. A cup of water
  2. 1 tablespoon of boric acid powder
  3. Spray bottle

Steps on how to use it:

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  1. Pour powder into a spray bottle.
  2. Add water to dissolve the powder.
  3. Then spray the solution on any surface seen of silverfish. Among these places are cracks on the walls and crevices on the tiles in the bathroom.

7. Salt

Salt will dehydrate silverfish and eventually kill them. Simply sprinkle salt on their tracks in your bathroom. Fortunately, they will also return the salt to the others and dehydrate them.

However, you can only use salt after cleaning and keeping the bathroom as dry as possible. That is the only one you can successfully sprinkle in their hideouts. 

Where do silverfish hide in bathrooms?

Trying to spot silverfish in your bathroom isn’t an easy task. However, below are some of the places they reside:

1. Bathroom drains

They prefer the dark because their eyes are sensitive to light. Therefore they will preferably take shelter inside bathroom drains since they are not exposed to any source of light easily.

While in the drains, they come out only when they need to. That is why you may notice that keeping the sowers dry will send them into the drains.

2. Bathroom sink

When all the cracks on the tiles are sealed perfectly, the bathroom sink is where they will seek refuge. The sink is rarely cleaned; hence there is limited disturbance there.

3. Cracks and gaps on bathroom floors and tiles

Tiles having cracks and gaps in the bathroom allow moisture to seep through. Silverfish will reside in these spaces due to moisture availability. Additionally, light doesn’t penetrate further inside the cracks. Therefore forming the perfect place to hide in bathrooms.

Does one silverfish mean an infestation? 

Seeing one silverfish in your house doesn’t necessarily mean that there is an infestation. Spotting one is a warning sign that your house has developed a small entry point for insects like silverfish. 

However, seeing them regularly indicates that you have an infestation somewhere in your house.

Does silverfish mean your bathroom is dirty?

Silverfish are attracted to an environment with more than 75 % relative humidity and warm temperatures of about 75 degrees Fahrenheit in order to thrive healthily. Therefore their presence indicates that your bathroom is moist rather than dirty.

Basically, a constantly moist bathroom will be dirty. This is based on the fact that several bugs, including bathroom springtails, will be present there. 

How to get rid of silverfish eggs in the bathroom

A silverfish female lays about twenty eggs two to three times every day. The egg is 1 millimeter in length and is elliptical in shape. When first laid, they are white and soft, but after a few hours of oxygen exposure, they toughen up and turn yellow.

To protect their eggs, the females prefer laying them inside safe, moist places in the bathroom. Among these areas are the bathroom’s drains and cracks on tiles where water accumulates.

To get rid of their eggs, here is what you will need:

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  1. A cup of water
  2. 1 tablespoon of boric acid powder
  3. Spray bottle

Steps on what to do:

  1. Pour the powder into a spray bottle
  2.  Add water to attain a solution form of the acid.
  3. Then spray the acid on the bathroom’s drains and cracks on tiles where water accumulates.

References: University of California Agriculture & Natural resources: Silverfish egg and PennState Extension: Silverfish Food

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