The Best Way to Get Rid of Silverfish and Moths

Updated April 17, 2017

Finding the best way to get rid of silverfish and moths can be tricky. You may not notice that you have a moth problem until there are holes in your favourite wool sweater. Silverfish will destroy the spines of your favourite books if left unchecked. You will need to understand the life cycle and habits of these insects in order to get rid of them for good.

Tidy Up

Vacuum and thoroughly wipe down surfaces in infested areas of your home. You want to make sure that you not only get the adult bugs, but any eggs and larvae as well. For example, moth larvae are what eat away at clothing, creating holes in the fabric. With moths you should remove clutter and all the clothing from your closet to be washed. Once the clothing is washed and dried, put it in plastic bags and put them into the freezer for four days to make sure all eggs and larvae are killed. Clean out every inch of the closet before putting them back.

Prevent Food Contamination

Silverfish bugs are also quite destructive and can be hard to get rid of. They are not drawn to clutter like many other pests. They are attracted to areas with high humidity like kitchens and laundry rooms. They like eating starch on clothing, wall paper paste and other glue-like substances. Moths like grain-based food, tea, nuts and raisins. If these foods are not tightly secured in their container, they could become infested.

Both moths and silverfish are both attracted to items in the pantry such as flour and other grains. Once they get into these foods, you can have an infestation on your hands. Buy airtight storage containers of glass, metal or hard plastic with tight-fitting lids to keep moths and silverfish out.

Without knowing it, you could be bringing moth larvae or eggs home from your trips to the grocery store in flour or rice. It's always a good idea to put these items in the freezer for four days before using, to kill any larvae.

Nontoxic Pesticides

Pesticides work, but they aren't necessarily the best way to get rid of silverfish and moths. Some may introduce dangerous toxins into your home. You don't want poisonous substances near the cereal and cookies.

One solution is diatomaceous earth, which is commonly used to get rid of silverfish. It is a colourless, odourless powder that you sprinkle in dark areas where the insects have been sighted.

Traps are another nontoxic solution to eliminate both silverfish and moths. You can find traps at providing everything you need to get these pests out of your home for good.


It's not a good idea to use pesticides around food. Traps are a much safer option. You can find pesticide-free traps at various websites.

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About the Author

Based in Atlanta, Georgia, Kimberly Gail has worked as a freelance web copywriter and content provider for more than six years. Her work has been featured on eHow and She has a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from the University of Alabama.