A Common Kitchen Spice Will Drive Troublesome Silverfish Out Of Your Home

Silverfish do not sting, bite, or carry harmful diseases, but that doesn't mean you want them in your home. While silverfish are not dangerous to humans, they are known to eat paper and can ruin wallpaper, books, and insulation. These insects may also munch on various fabrics and will find their way into opened boxes of food, such as pasta, cereal, oats, flour, sugar, and coffee. Though they do not typically pose a health risk, some people are allergic to silverfish feces and the scales they shed. Surprisingly, a common kitchen spice — clove — is effective in repelling and killing these pesky insects.

Silverfish love to hide in dark, damp areas of the home, which is why they sometimes end up in your bathroom, but since these insects are nocturnal, you likely won't see them often. If you notice holes or small scratches in any paper around your house or yellow stains on fabrics, silverfish could be the culprit.

How to use cloves to deter silverfish

Silverfish are repulsed by the smell of cloves, and you can use this fragrant kitchen spice to keep these critters at bay. If you've noticed where the silverfish are hiding, try leaving whole cloves out in those areas. Even if you haven't seen the silverfish, placing cloves where you find signs of them can also be helpful. Putting the spice in dark and moist parts of the home is a great place to start, and you can also leave it in any small cracks in your floors or in the exterior of your home.

If whole cloves don't seem to remedy the issue, clove oil is another great choice for a repellent against these annoying pests. Because oils are concentrated, the scent will be stronger and will help get rid of silverfish. Try combining clove oil with water in a spray bottle and spritzing it around your home. You may need to repeat this process every so often to keep the smell fresh.

Why clove oil is effective against silverfish

Cloves naturally contain eugenol. This chemical is often used in pest control, which is why cloves are an effective repellent. When eugenol is in higher concentrations, like clove oil, it can kill pests, including silverfish, wasps, flies, cockroaches, mosquitoes, and ants. In the garden, clove can be used to deter mites and aphids.

When you first apply clove oil, it will exterminate the silverfish already living in your home and will help to deter more of the insects from coming inside. The strong scent of clove is partially due to eugenol, and since silverfish rely on their sense of smell to locate safe places to hide and to source food, they'll avoid areas with unpleasant scents. When working with clove oil, it's a good idea to wear gloves, as it sometimes irritates the skin. If pesky silverfish are destroying your library or hiding in your cereal box, cloves are an easy, natural way to get rid of these insects.