10 Scents that Repel Silverfish

The best scents for repelling silverfish are natural aromas, including cedar, peppermint, citronella, lemongrass, and other essential oils. In addition, you can use dried herbs such as lavender or rosemary as silverfish repellents. To drive off silverfish and kill them with the same product, apply boric acid powder to hidden areas where silverfish congregate. The powder acts as a repellent and will kill any silverfish that walk through the powder or eat it.

Scents that repel silverfish

Why Do Scents Work to Repel Silverfish?

Scent repellents work to repel a variety of insects, including silverfish, because strong aromas mask the scent of food sources. This is why citronella candles work to drive away mosquitoes. The scent of the burning candle makes it very difficult for the mosquitoes to smell you, so they can’t find and bite you. Similarly, strong smells make it difficult or impossible for silverfish to find food. This means that silverfish will avoid your home, and silverfish inside your home will begin to look elsewhere for food.

  • Strong, natural scents mask the scent of food, which makes it hard for silverfish to locate their preferred food source.
  • When silverfish have a hard time finding food in your home due to scent repellents, they will leave in search of food.
  • If scent repellents on their own aren’t enough to get rid of all the silverfish in your home, consider using traps and other deadly methods.

Scents on their own may not be enough to completely eliminate a silverfish infestation. Although you can use scents to discourage these household pests, other pest control methods may be necessary to completely rid your home of silverfish. Use these methods to get rid of silverfish permanently.

How Do You Use Scents to Get Rid of Silverfish?

An essential oil diffuser is one of the best ways to drive off silverfish with scents. You can use an electronic diffuser or a reed diffuser. These are simple methods that work. For more information, check out this article on the many ways to use essential oils against silverfish.

  • An essential oil diffuser is one of the best ways to use scent to keep silverfish away.
  • You can use a reed diffuser or an electronic diffuser.
  • Hang these cedar blocks in your closet to drive silverfish away with strong aromas.
  • Organza bags filled with dried herbs that repel silverfish work wonders. Try lavender, bay leaves, and rosemary.

You can also use cedar wood products—such as cedar hanger blocks in your closet—to keep silverfish away with scents. Alternatively, you can use sachets of dried herbs, including lavender and rosemary, to drive silverfish away. You can tuck small bags of these dried herbs into your dresser drawers or behind the books on your bookcase. The scent of these items will drive off silverfish.

10 Scents that Repel Silverfish Effectively

Silverfish can infest several areas of your home. They feed on the starchy food in your pantry, pet food, cardboard, and the glue that binds books or holds wallpaper to your walls. Since silverfish feed on several household items, they can be found almost anywhere in your home. You can use these scents to repel them.


Lavender is an incredible scent for deterring silverfish. Because you can use lavender essential oils or dried lavender for this purpose, you have several options for how you use this repellent. Lavender essential oil in a diffuser can keep silverfish out of any room where you place the diffuser. Dried lavender can be placed in potpourri jars or sachets to keep silverfish out of drawers, off bookshelves, or out of your bathroom.


You may think of citronella foremost as a repellent for biting insects, such as flies and mosquitoes, but it works well against silverfish as well. You can light a citronella candle in your home to drive away silverfish. However, if the scent is too strong, you can instead use citronella essential oil in this electronic diffuser.


Lemongrass essential oil provides a bright, citrus scent when it is used in a diffuser. It’s perfect for kitchen spaces. You can even grow a lemongrass plant in a window planter box. The fresh smell of this plant works as a powerful natural silverfish repellent.


If you don’t have essential oils handy, you can simply sprinkle ground cinnamon in areas where silverfish are invading your home. The strong smell of the cinnamon will drive off the silverfish, since it makes it very hard for the insects to smell and find food. It’s a great idea to sprinkle cinnamon inside your cabinets if you have a silverfish infestation.


Due to its strong, distinct smell, peppermint is an excellent silverfish deterrent. Simply mix 10–20 drops of peppermint essential oil in a spray bottle with some water and spray it along your baseboards. Silverfish love to crawl under baseboards to hide and lay their eggs during the day. But, if your baseboards smell like peppermint, silverfish will flee elsewhere.


Strong citrus smells, including the smell of oranges, repel silverfish. Essential oils are the best way to use the scent of oranges to keep silverfish away. Leaving orange peels out on bookshelves may repel silverfish for a short while, but orange peels are prone to growing mold. So, it’s better to stick with the scented oil produced from orange peels.


Cedar oil, cedar shavings, and cedar wood blocks all work as silverfish repellents. In fact, scientific studies have shown that Japanese cedar essential oil has 80% repellency against silverfish. So, whether you use small bags of cedar shavings in your dresser drawers, cedar blocks hanging in your closet, or cedar essential oil sprinkled on your home’s air filters, the scent of this tree is proven to send silverfish running.


Like cinnamon sticks, cloves are a savory spice that silverfish hate. Sprinkle ground cloves wherever silverfish have begun to invade your pantry. It’s safe to sprinkle cloves and other herbs near your food, unlike pesticides. You can use some powdered cloves to keep silverfish away from your food without putting your family at risk of exposure to chemicals.

Boric Acid

Boric acid is unique on this list because it also has the power to kill silverfish. In fact, you can follow our tips to kill and repel silverfish with boric acid. In addition to making poisonous baits, you can also sprinkle boric acid powder under baseboards and appliances. Silverfish will either avoid the area or be killed as they walk through the powder. Just be careful when applying boric acid powder, since it should not be touched, inhaled, or eaten by humans or animals.


The common rosemary plant is great for driving off silverfish. Dried rosemary leaves in sachets can be used to ward off silverfish. Also, since growing rosemary indoors is easy, you can have a potted rosemary plant in your kitchen. When you’re not using fresh rosemary to flavor your dishes, the plant will keep silverfish away just by growing in your home.

What Scents Keep Silverfish Away?

The best scents for keeping silverfish out of your home are:

  • Lavender
  • Citronella
  • Lemongrass
  • Cinnamon
  • Peppermint
  • Orange
  • Cedar
  • Cloves
  • Boric Acid
  • Rosemary

These strong scents will prevent silverfish from easily finding food in your home. This leads silverfish to search elsewhere for food. So, as silverfish begin to hunt outside for food, you’ll notice a decrease in silverfish activity in your home, all thanks to natural scent repellents.

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