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I recently moved to an apartment near the ocean and the air is more humid/moist than any of my previous homes. I've noticed that at night a few silverfish always come out in my bathroom (linoleum floors) and when I try to catch them, the would often escape through the crack between the wall and the floor.

I did some research and found that diatamaceous earth is a non-toxic material that helps with the control of these little guys. I bought some and laid down this fine dust along the floor boards of my bathroom. However, this didn't do that much to control the silverfish.

I recently found a couple of babies inside a framed print! I've also seen some on the carpet in the apartment (I might see more, but the carpet camouflages them a bit!).

What is the best way to control these pests short of fumigating the whole place?

(n.b. I have a cat and a newborn in the apartment)

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My experience is that silverfish are like cockroaches. If you put down poison, they may leave for a while and live at your neighbour's place. But once the poison goes away (as they all will) they return. –  shufler Nov 30 '11 at 19:01
    
Amen to that @shufler. –  milesmeow Dec 1 '11 at 1:40
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4 Answers

Silverfish like cool, damp locations and feed on paper and other starchy materials. If the source of your silverfish problem is a crawlspace you might improve things by laying down heavy plastic sheeting over the ground and making sure it's properly vented to reduce moisture a little. Otherwise, silverfish are very annoying but basically harmless (except to your valuable books/documents- keep them sealed up).

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I've tried poison to no avail and it's expensive but I've also used a paper trap with some sort of adhesive. I suppose the silverfish should stick on it and die of hunger. I've bought a couple of the traps and I think it was cheaper and probably it's more sustainable but I also think that you cannot terminate them all because of the crack.

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I'd fill the crack(s) with caulking first off. Depending how damp it is, a dehumidifier may dry things out and make it less desirable.

Make sure you aren't leaving wet towels and rags around, especially on the floor.

If they are getting in your carpet, make sure you are vacuuming regularly.

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My experience is this. One exterminator said getting rid of them "is a process". Another told me they need to come out on a regular basis to get rid of them. iirc, that was every six months. The cost was maybe $100.

Another exterminator told me the attic is the best hiding place for them and that needs to have a bomb placed there so the powder gets into everything to kill them. Then the corners of the room need to be sprayed. The poison itself is not really dangerous to humans and even drinking it would only give you an upset stomach.

None of the diy baiting things with borax/sugar worked for me. I recently bought a small home to be used as an office and I will be calling someone out to work on this after we get some remodeling done.

In case anyone is concerned, silverfish do not carry any diseases.

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