Does Salt Kill Silverfish?

Silverfish are small, wingless insects with silver, iridescent bodies and a fish-like appearance. They belong to the family of Thysanura, which is one of the oldest insect lineages on Earth, and have been around for nearly 400 million years. Though they are harmless and typically do not pose a threat to humans, silverfish can cause significant damage to human property. They are known to feed on books, fabrics, wallpaper paste, and other materials containing polysaccharides and starches. As such, many people understandably try to get rid of these pests, and one method that has become a popular solution is the use of salt. But does salt really kill silverfish?

To answer this question, it is important to understand what silverfish are and why they can become a problem. Silverfish get their name from their silvery, metallic appearance. They range in size from one-quarter to one inch in length, have three long bristles on their tail, and are typically seen scurrying around on the floor or walls. Silverfish are also often mistaken for firebrite, which is another type of nuisance insect.

Silverfish are typically active at night and are nocturnal. They can be found in dark, humid places, such as bathrooms, kitchens, attics, and basements. They are also attracted to books, fabrics, paper, and other materials that contain carbohydrates and starches. Silverfish feed on these materials, sometimes chewing through them to reach the starch-filled cells inside. This can lead to extensive damage to books, fabrics, and other items. Additionally, found in large numbers, silverfish can also contaminate food sources, leading to food spoilage.

The use of salt as a means to rid one’s home of silverfish has become increasingly popular over the past few years. Salt is seen as a possible solution because it is an effective desiccant, meaning it draws moisture out of its environment. This lack of moisture is thought to kill silverfish as it causes them to dry out and die. However, it is important to consider whether salt really does kill silverfish, as well as any potential risks that come with using salt as a pest control method.

Does Salt Really Kill Silverfish?

Salt has long been touted as a natural solution for many household pests, and silverfish are no exception. But does salt really get rid of silverfish? In this section, we’ll explore how salt works as a desiccant, as well as other potential benefits and risks associated with using salt to kill silverfish.

Salt is a popular choice when it comes to pest control because it does not just kill the silverfish, it also dehydrates them. This is because when the salt comes into contact with a silverfish or any other insect, it absorbs the moisture from the insect’s body. Without moisture, the insect will eventually die. Moreover, the salt acts as a barrier and prevents the silverfish from returning to the area.

Salt can also be used to control other pests such as spiders, ants, cockroaches, and more. Additionally, salt is a relatively safe and eco-friendly pest control method compared to chemical-based solutions. It does not harm the environment or pose any risks to humans or pets.

Another benefit of using salt to kill silverfish is that it is inexpensive. You can easily find salt at any grocery store or online. Additionally, salt does not require any special tools or equipment, making it a great DIY solution.

However, there are a few potential drawbacks associated with using salt to kill silverfish. For example, salt will not kill the eggs or larvae of silverfish, so it is important to follow up with other pest control methods to get rid of these stages of silverfish. Additionally, salt can leave behind a residue that can damage carpets, fabrics, and wood. Thus, it is important to use the lowest amount of salt possible to get the job done.

In conclusion, salt can be used as a natural solution to kill silverfish. However, it is important to understand the potential risks and drawbacks associated with this pest control method. Additionally, it is best to follow up with other pest control methods in order to completely get rid of silverfish and their eggs or larvae.

How to Use Salt to Kill Silverfish

Salt is a popular solution for killing silverfish, due to its ability to dry out the insect’s body, leading to death. While salt is commonly used to eliminate silverfish, it is important to understand how salt works and how to use it effectively so that your silverfish problem is taken care of.

How Salt Works as a Desiccant

Salt works as a desiccant, meaning it absorbs moisture from the environment, and from the silverfish themselves. When the salt comes into contact with the silverfish, their skin absorbs it, causing moisture to be drawn from the insect’s body. This process dehydrates the silverfish and eventually kills it.

Does Salt Have Any Other Benefits?

Salt can also be used to deter silverfish from entering certain areas. Sprinkling a line of salt around the perimeter of a room or other area can create an unpleasant barrier that silverfish won’t be interested in crossing.

Does it Have Any Potential Risks?

There are some potential risks to using salt to kill silverfish. Since salt absorbs moisture, it can also cause moisture buildup in areas where it is used. If used in certain fabrics or papers, it can cause damage or discoloration. Additionally, salt can be toxic to other types of insects, and could potentially harm beneficial insects in the environment.

What Types of Salt Can Be Used?

For silverfish control, you can use regular table salt or rock salt. The most effective type of salt is rock salt, as it is coarser and has more surface area for the silverfish to absorb.

How to Distribute the Salt

When using salt to kill silverfish, it should be distributed in areas where silverfish are likely to be found. This includes baseboards, behind furniture, and in dark corners. Sprinkle salt in a thin line along these areas, making sure to get into any nooks or crannies.

What Other Pest Control Methods May Work?

In addition to using salt, there are other methods for controlling silverfish. Vacuuming can help to remove silverfish and eggs, while using boric acid can help to kill silverfish and prevent them from returning. Additionally, using mothballs in small enclosed areas can help deter silverfish from entering.

Regardless of which method you choose to use, it is important to remember that the best way to prevent silverfish is to keep your home clean and free of clutter. In addition to eliminating silverfish, this is an important step in keeping your home healthy and pest-free.

The Best Way to Prevent Silverfish

The best form of silverfish control is to prevent them from entering in the first place. Preventative measures are essential for keeping these pesky insects away.

Cleanliness is key when it comes to preventing silverfish. Vacuum and mop regularly, and keep clutter to a minimum. Storing items off the floor and in sealed containers can help discourage the silverfish from setting up shop in your home.

Sealing cracks and crevices in window frames and baseboards can also help to keep silverfish out. Sealing any gaps or holes large enough for the silverfish to squeeze through can prevent them from gaining access to your home.

Keep your home well ventilated by opening windows and doors when possible. Silverfish prefer cool, damp, and dark environments, so good ventilation can help keep them away.

Vacuuming regularly can help remove silverfish eggs and larvae from carpets and furniture. Vacuuming furniture and carpets can also help to reduce the amount of dust particles and food scraps that may attract the silverfish.

Finally, you can use natural silverfish repellents to help deter these insects. Essential oils such as eucalyptus, peppermint, and lavender can be sprinkled around the perimeter of your home.

Household items such as cedar, cloves, and bay leaves can also be used to repel the silverfish. Diatomaceous earth can be sprinkled in areas where silverfish are likely to hide, such as in cracks and crevices or under furniture.

These natural repellents can be effective in keeping the silverfish away, but if the infestation is severe, professional pest control services may be necessary.

Natural Silverfish Repellents

Silverfish can be a pesky nuisance in any home, but with the right repellents, you can keep them away. While salt is a popular choice for killing silverfish, there are also natural, non-toxic repellents that can help keep them away for good.

Essential Oils:

Essential oils can be a great way to deter silverfish from entering your home. They have a strong scent that the bugs are not fond of, and the smell will linger around your home. Popular essential oils to use are peppermint oil, lavender oil, and tea tree oil. You can spread a few drops of the oil around the perimeter of the house, or combine it with water and spray it around doorways.

Household Items:

Common household items can also be used as effective silverfish repellents. Borax is a laundry additive that can be sprinkled around the house or in cracks and crevices. Cedar shavings or chips are also effective at keeping silverfish away, and can be placed in water-prone areas.

Diatomaceous Earth:

Diatomaceous earth is a natural desiccant, meaning it will absorb moisture, which is the main element silverfish need to survive. Sprinkling diatomaceous earth around your home can help effectively deter silverfish from entering and keeping them out.

There are many natural and non-toxic methods of repelling silverfish, from essential oils to diatomaceous earth. These options are safe for you and your family, and can help keep silverfish away for good. Be sure to do regular checks of your home for any signs of silverfish, and use the above methods to further help prevent them from entering.


At this point, it is clear that salt can be effective in killing silverfish, but it should be used as a part of an integrated pest management program. You should also use other pest control methods, such as vacuuming, sealing cracks and crevices, and using natural repellents like essential oils and household items.

It is important to focus on prevention as the best way to get rid of silverfish. This means practicing good hygiene and cleanliness to minmise the conditions that attract them. Sealing cracks and crevices, as well as vacuuming regularly, can help keep them away.

In addition, you can use natural repellents like essential oils and household items (such as citrus peels, cloves, and boric acid). Diatomaceous earth is also an effective natural silverfish repellent.

Ultimately, salt can be useful in killing silverfish, but it should be used in conjunction with other pest control methods. Prevention is key when it comes to getting rid of silverfish – this means practicing good hygiene and cleanliness, and sealing cracks and crevices. You can also use natural repellents like essential oils and household items. Diatomaceous earth is also an effective natural silverfish repellent.

With a combination of prevention and pest control methods, you can ensure that your home is free of silverfish. This can help reduce the chances of infestation and keep your family safe from these nuisance pests.


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