Silverfish and paper fish are very common in the house. Many people think that silverfish and paperfish are the same, mainly because they are very similar, but they certainly are not. The main difference is that paper fish can cause much more damage than silverfish. Silverfish are not really dangerous for your health, but it is also not hygienic to have them in the house. This is because fungi and bacteria can stick to their legs. Paper fish are also not harmful to human health. Yet it is wise to fight them as soon as possible. Paper fish can damage a lot of other things in the house, from magazines and books to clothing.
Read below how you can recognize silverfish and paper scraps and view useful tips to prevent and combat them.
Difference between silverfish and paper fish
Although silverfish and paper fish are very similar, there are still a number of differences to be discovered. Paper fish, for example, are slightly longer. A paper fish is about 15 mm long, while a silverfish is between 7 and 12 mm long. In addition, silverfish have a shiny silver color, which immediately explains the name. Paper fish are light gray and have white legs.
Why do I have silverfish or paper fish at home?
Both bugs love damp areas. Do you suffer from silverfish and paper fish in the house? Then there is a good chance that you are dealing with too high a humidity. The bugs are therefore most common in damp areas, such as the bathroom, toilet and kitchen. Paper fish get their name from their love for paper. You will often find them in places where you have placed many newspapers, magazines and books, for example.
How can you prevent silverfish or paper fish in the house?
Prevention is always better than cure. This certainly also applies to silverfish and paper fish. Below you will find three useful tips that can prevent those bugs from appearing in your house:
- Silverfish and paper fish crawl through seams and cracks in the house. Makes them difficult to transport around your house by closing seams and cracks;
- Books and magazines are decoratively beautiful, but they also mainly attract paper fish. Do not you want that? Then it is wise to store the books and magazines properly in a closed box;
- Good humidity in the house not only ensures that you can prevent the silverfish and paper fish from appearing in your house, it is also much better for your health. That is why it is important that you keep the humidity level. Ventilation and insulation play a decisive role in this;
- Store grains, pasta, rice, quinoa, flour, sugar, you name it, in airtight jars to keep silverfish from reaching these tempting food sources.
Fight silverfish and paper fish? 5x Tips!
Do you regularly see silverfish or paper fish shooting away in the house as soon as you turn on the light? We have a number of tips for you that you can use to combat them. There are both natural and chemical methods:
- Fall from empty jar. For this to work, you’ll need a few jars, masking tape, and torn pieces of bread. Wrap your pots completely in masking tape and place the bread in the pot. Before going to bed, place the pots in areas that you suspect are good hunting grounds for silverfish. The masking tape allows the insects to climb into the pot, but the smooth glass prevents them from climbing out;
- Essential Oils . Like most insects, silverfish silverfish cannot tolerate the scent of lemon and lavender. Buy a bottle of lavender or citrus oil and dilute it in a larger bottle of water. Shake the bottle well and spray this mixture in areas that attract silverfish, such as under sinks, in cupboards and the edges of rooms. The great thing is that this method is non-toxic to us, so spray to your heart’s content;
- Powder diatomaceous earth . This powder is one of the ultimate weapons against insects. If the bugs eat it, their bodies will be sealed from the inside. All you have to do is spread the powder in popular places. Leave it overnight and clean it up with the vacuum cleaner the next day;
- Fall from rolled up newspapers . This is another simple, yet effective homemade trap. Roll up some newspaper and put an elastic band or elastic on each end to keep it in shape. Dip buns in water or run them under running water until moist, but not too wet. Before going to bed, place the sandwiches around your house in places where silverfish congregate. They are attracted to moisture, food sources and shelter. In the morning, collect and dispose of all your traps. Do not roll out the newspaper, because then the bugs can escape again;
- Buy traps and pesticides . There are many traps and resources for sale with which you can fight silverfish. Some are natural, while others contain pesticides. Dispose of the traps according to the instructions on the packaging.
- Use herbs . Another fragrance-based method. Putting your herbs in your cabinets is a great way to repel silverfish and keep your cabinets smelling good. Silverfish cannot tolerate strong smelling spices such as cloves, cinnamon and other overpowering spices;
- Boric acid . This powder is a natural substance, which helps to combat silverfish and paper fish. It will kill the silverfish as well as their eggs. Spread it over familiar spots before going to bed and vacuum it up in the morning. You may have to repeat this process until they are all gone. When using boric acid, always wear a face mask and make sure that pets or children do not come into contact with it. This powder is toxic to adults, children and animals. Inhalation requires immediate medical attention.
- Pesticides . The last option available is to use good old pesticides. Look for a pesticide that contains liquid pyrethrin as it is very effective at killing silverfish. This spray is suitable for use anywhere except in the kitchen or utility room, as well as anywhere children and pets have access as it is highly toxic.
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