Keep Silverfish At Bay With One Earthy Cooking Ingredient

It's not uncommon to find silverfish in the home. These wingless creatures with their silvery appearance love to hide in dark corners and feast on starchy materials, like paper, glue, and even clothing. They can appear anywhere in the house, though they tend to gravitate toward environments with higher humidity, such as bathrooms. If you've seen silverfish crawling about the floor or scurrying behind the wallpaper, it's never too soon to take action and encourage these bugs to leave the premises. Luckily, you can do so with a cooking ingredient you likely already have in your kitchen: rosemary (Salvia rosmarinus).

The principle behind this natural repellent is that rosemary is one of several scents silverfish are rumored to dislike. While this pest is known to eat virtually anything, including dust, there are certain herbs and spices (and citrus scents) the insect will steer clear of. By introducing the aromatic rosemary to areas where you believe there's a silverfish presence, you can turn your home into a less inviting one (to them).

Ways to use rosemary to repel silverfish

If you hope to keep silverfish at bay naturally, try placing rosemary throughout the home. One of the simplest ways to employ rosemary as a silverfish repellent is to DIY sachet bags. Simply, take small cloth bags (or even old socks in a pinch) and fill them with dried rosemary leaves. Tie the sachets securely and place them in the areas most susceptible to silverfish infestation, like your closets, drawers, and under sinks.

On that same note, you could create a potpourri mix with rosemary as well, and, as with the sachet bags, simply distribute them around the home to repel the bugs. The bathroom floor, for example, might be a good spot. You could place a dish of rosemary potpourri behind the toilet; it'll be out of sight, but not out of smell for the silverfish. To this rosemary mix, you could also add a few other scents silverfish are known to dislike, such as cinnamon and lemon.

Another way to go is to use fresh rosemary, which you can DIY into bundles, a wreath, or a garland. You can also place rosemary sprigs in bud vases, which can work anywhere, given its inconspicuous size. Of course, you could also create a larger floral arrangement, like one with aster or lavender. However, with the goal of using rosemary in places where silverfish may be hiding out, tying a bundle of sprigs together and placing them right at the source might be a better way to go — as a repellent.

Growing this silverfish repellent

Growing your own rosemary ensures you always have some of the herbs on hand — not only for culinary creations but to tackle any unexpected silverfish problems, too. When cultivating rosemary outdoors, make sure it receives plenty of sunlight and is planted in well-draining soil. Indoors, the requirements are the same, with providing adequate sunlight being the biggest concern. Unlike some other herbs, like mint, rosemary doesn't grow quickly. It can take a full year for the plant to mature. Once it does, however, you can harvest rosemary sprigs anytime, and doing so will help the plant grow even more.

What's more, growing rosemary for the dual purpose of recipes and repelling silverfish is also safe for pets. The herb is nontoxic to both dogs and cats, per the ASPCA. Further, in addition to using rosemary as a silverfish repellent, invest in prevention, too. For example, since silverfish like humid conditions, use a dehumidifier to pull that moisture out of the air.