You can get rid of silverfish by using citronella, lavender, peppermint, or cedar essential oils. To drive silverfish away from clothing, make silverfish repellents by scenting absorbent crystals with essential oils, then placing the crystals in organza bags as homemade sachets. You can also use an electronic diffuser or reed diffuser to drive silverfish out of your bathroom and kitchen. To make your entire home unfriendly to silverfish, dab a few drops of essential oils on the air filters in your HVAC system. Then, make homemade silverfish repellents by adding drops of essential oils to silica beads in jars. These air freshener jars can be placed on bookshelves to stop silverfish from eating your books.
Do Essential Oils Keep Silverfish Away?
Silverfish are repelled by the scent of several essential oils, including lavender, cedar, and orange. The reason essential oils work to drive away silverfish is that the strong aroma of the oils masks the scents of food. Silverfish will avoid an area that smells of essential oils because it is harder for them to locate food in these environments. So, you can drive silverfish away from your clothing, books, or kitchen pantry with these oils.
- You can deter silverfish from areas of your home by using essential oils.
- The scent of essential oils masks other smells, which makes it difficult for silverfish to find food sources.
- Silverfish will avoid areas that smell like certain essential oils and look for food elsewhere.
Although essential oils are effective at keeping silverfish away from your clothing, food, and other belongings, silverfish won’t be killed by these oils. If you want to kill silverfish, use these methods to get rid of silverfish permanently.
What are the Best Essential Oils to Repel Silverfish?
There are several essential oils that are known to repel silverfish. However, the best choices are:
These essential oils are commonly available and are renowned for their ability to drive away insects. You can choose your essential oil based on your favorite scent, or you can experiment with a few to see which ones work best for you. Our editors often use citronella, peppermint, and lemongrass essential oils to make natural insect repellents. These will work on silverfish as well.
How to Get Rid of Silverfish with Essential Oils: 5 Methods
You can keep your clothing, food, and the rest of your home safe from silverfish infestation with just a few essential oils. Here are the best ways to use natural oils to fend off silverfish:
Protect Your Clothes Homemade Scent Sachets
Silverfish are well known for infesting closets and dressers to devour clothing. You can protect your wardrobe from these household pests with absorbent crystals and the essential oil of your choice. Here’s how to do it:
- Pour 2 cups (450 grams) of these absorbent crystals into a bowl.
- Sprinkle 20 drops of your chosen essential oil onto the crystals.
- With a spoon, mix the crystals and essential oils together.
- Pour portions of the scented crystals into these organza bags.
- Place the bags on closet shelves, jacket pockets, or dresser drawers to repel silverfish.
Whenever your scent-diffusing sachets no longer smell like essential oils, you can either add a few more drops of oil to the bag, or you can replace the crystals. These homemade sachets work as scent diffusers that repel silverfish from your closet and dresser. If you’re worried silverfish may have already invaded your closet, follow our guide to washing clothes to kill silverfish eggs.
Use a Diffuser in the Bathroom
Silverfish are attracted to moisture, so they are very likely to invade your bathroom in search of a place to hide and lay their eggs. Luckily, you can repel silverfish by using an essential oil diffuser in your bathroom. Simply run the diffuser for 20 minutes daily to keep silverfish out.
- It is common for silverfish to invade bathrooms because they are attracted to moisture.
- Use this essential oil diffuser for 20 minutes per day to keep silverfish away.
- Choose a relaxing essential oil scent, such as lavender, to create a pleasing aroma while you drive away silverfish.
In addition to driving away silverfish, an essential oil diffuser in your bathroom works as an aromatherapy tool. Turn the diffuser on while you shower to fill your bathroom with relaxing scents. Lavender and cedar oils are the best choices here.
Use a Reed Diffuser in the Kitchen
Silverfish are drawn to the smells of food. If they are not controlled, silverfish can even raid your pantry to eat crumbs and chew their way into food packaging. To keep silverfish out of the kitchen, you can use a reed diffuser. Here’s how:
- Use these reed diffuser jars.
- Pour ¼-cup (60 ml) of oil into your diffuser jar.
- Add 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of rubbing alcohol to the jar.
- Sprinkle in 10 drops of your chosen essential oil.
- Place 5–7 of these unscented diffuser sticks in the jar.
- Place the diffuser in a central area of your kitchen.
Reed diffusers gradually release the scent of the essential oil into the air. Unlike an electronic diffuser, you don’t have to plug a reed diffuser in or worry about turning it on. It works as a silverfish repellent 24/7! Robust, fresh scents are the best choice for repelling silverfish in kitchen areas, where there may be several scents left over from cooking. Peppermint and lemongrass essential oils are particularly good for kitchens.
Treat Your Air Filters with Essentials Oils
You can drive silverfish out of your entire home by adding essential oils to the air filters in your air ducts. To do so, locate the air filters in your HVAC system. These may be in a basement or behind any of the larger vents in your home. Then, simply sprinkle 3–5 drops of essential oil on the air filter to circulate silverfish-repelling air throughout your home. Refresh the essential oils every few days until your silverfish problem is gone.
- Dab 3–5 drops of essential oils on the fabric filters in your furnace or HVAC duct system.
- Instead of accessing your air filters, you can dab cotton balls with essential oils and place them in your vents to get the same effect.
- By circulating scented air through your home, you will help to repel silverfish.
If you do not want to add essential oils to your air filters—or you can’t easily access your filters—you can get a similar effect with cotton balls. Simply dab the cotton ball with a few drops of essential oil and wedge it into a floor or wall vent. The air blowing past the cotton ball will circulate essential oil aromas throughout your home.
Place Homemade Air Fresheners on Your Bookcases
Silverfish are drawn to books and bookshelves. This is because silverfish feed on the glue that books are bound with. To keep your personal library from being destroyed, use these homemade essential oil air fresheners:
- Pour 1 cup (225 grams) of these silica gel crystals into a jar.
- Sprinkle 10 drops of essential oil of your choice into the silica gel.
- Leave the jar open so the scent can diffuse
- Place the jar on your bookshelf
- Refresh the essential oils whenever the scent begins to fade (usually once per month).
If you’re worried about the jars being knocked over and spilling silica, there is a solution. Use mason jars for the task. Then, place a small piece of thin cloth over the top of the jar and screw on the metal lid ring. This will allow the scent to diffuse without any risk of spills.
Can You Use Essential Oils to Get Rid of Silverfish?
Essential oils are very effective for driving away silverfish and other pest insects. The best ways to use them for this purpose are:
- Make sachets from essential oil, absorbent crystals, and organza bags, and place them in your closet to protect your clothes.
- Run an electronic essential oil diffuser for 20 minutes per day in your bathroom to keep silverfish out.
- Place a reed diffuser with essential oils in your kitchen.
- Sprinkle essential oils on the air filters in your HVAC system.
- Fill a jar with silica gel crystals, add 10 drops of essential oil, and place the jar among bookshelves and storage areas to keep silverfish away.
Using essential oils in this way can drive out silverfish and reduce the risk of silverfish infestation in your home. Plus, you’ll get to choose scents you enjoy. It’s a natural and healthy way to keep your home bug-free.