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Silverfish Repellent

Are you troubled by the presence of silverfish in your home and looking for ways to repel them? These small, silver, wingless insects can be found in dark and damp areas like attics, basements, and closets. They can cause damage to fabrics made of silk, cotton, and other materials, as well as paper, such as in books.

Repellents such as cedar, citrus, lavender, clove, and ultrasonic devices can help rid you of a silverfish infestation. Typically, silverfish repellents work best with traps and preventative tactics.

Read on to learn about the home remedies you can use to repel and eliminate silverfish and prevent them from returning.

Dekko Silverfish Packs for Insects
  • Boric Acid 20.0%
  • Dekko Silverfish Paks are to be used in residential housing (indoors and attics), basements, closets, bookcases, around household clothing and fabric containers, drawers, and also rugs and carpets.
  • Dekko Silverfish apply at approximately 2 oz per 100 square feet or 1 quart per 250 square feet

8 Silverfish Repellents

The following are examples of ways to repel silverfish. Some of these silverfish repellents will also act as insecticides. Read on to learn more about what these are and how to use them.

When using sprays as described below, use care when applying liquids to sensitive materials such as paper or fabrics. It could cause some staining, so test in an inconspicuous spot. Prevent children and pets from consuming the liquid.

Please note, silverfish repellents will work best in conjunction with preventatives and traps. Please refer to our extensive guides on what you can use and do.

1. Cedar

Cedar oil is an effective insecticide against many insects, including silverfish. It also serves as a repellent. Cedar can be used in different ways.

Cedar Shavings

Cedar shavings can be placed in infested areas such as closets, basements, and attics to repel silverfish. However, cedar shavings can create a mess and should be vacuumed and replaced weekly.

Cedar Sprays

The following are two examples of cedar sprays:

  • DIY: Mix 30 drops of cedar oil per 1 ounce of water. Shake before spraying and apply to areas of concern.
  • American Hydro Systems NS2 NatureShield: This is a natural product that uses cedar oil to get rid of silverfish. It has a long-lasting effect that can last for up to 5 days. Mix one gallon of Nature Shield with 8 gallons of water.
American Hydro Systems NS2 NatureShield Low Odor Insect and Pest Repellant, 64oz, 2 Pack (Model: NS2 2PK)
  • INSECT & PEST BARRIER: Protects your garden, lawn, and outdoor space from all flying insects, mosquitoes, ticks, fleas, ants, silverfish and other crawling insects.
  • APPLY THROUGH HOSE OR SPRINKLERS: Insect repellant can be applied automatically through sprinklers with the American Hydro Systems ProFeeder. Apply as needed with tank or boom sprayers.
  • COVERS A LARGE AREA: Treats 500 square feet per gallon, or more with varied water pressure and walking speed. Spray yard bug spray regularly on vegetables, fruit trees, flowers, lawn, siding, or any other outdoor surface. Repels for up to 5 days.
  • EASY TO USE: Premium quality and powerfully effective, NatureShield is an environmentally friendly insect repellent

2. Cinnamon


Cinnamon works similarly to cedar shavings, which can also repel silverfish with its scent and is known for its pleasant aroma. Place cinnamon sticks in areas where silverfish are commonly found, such as bathrooms, kitchen cabinets, drawers, and study rooms. Alternatively, you can create sachets filled with cinnamon and place them in these areas.

A product that contains both cedar and cinnamon is Exterminator’s Choice – Silverfish Defense Spray. This ready-to-use 32-ounce spray is a natural and effective solution to keep your home’s damp spaces free of silverfish without the use of harsh chemicals. It is pleasant to smell while keeping silverfish at bay.

Exterminators Choice - 32 oz Peppermint Rodent Defense Spray - Great for Lawns, Gardens, Attics, and Garages - Non-Toxic Deterrent for Pest Control - Repels Mice and Rats - Safe for Kids and Pets
  • Peppermint Rodent Spray - Keep your home safe and protected from unwanted visitors with Exterminators Choice Rodent Repellent Spray; it works great on most common types of mice and rats, preventing gnawing, nesting, and chewing
  • Perfect for Indoors and Outdoors - Use the mouse repellent spray to rid yourself of rodents from damaging and ripping up your lawn, garden, attic, garages, and barns; also great for spraying along doors and windows
  • Non-Toxic Formula - Our peppermint spray for rats features all-natural ingredients and no harmful chemicals, so it is safe to use around your pets and kids; the unique blend of essential oils works to irritate and deter most types of rodents away from your property
  • Easy to Use - To use, shake the mouse and rat repellent spray well and apply a few spritzes using the included sprayer onto the designated area; for best results, apply when dry
  • Long-Lasting - The peppermint oil spray for rodents comes in a 32-ounce spray bottle to ensure you have more than enough to last you a while and keep those pesky critters out and away from your home

3. Citrus

Citrus fruits

Citrus can work wonders in repelling silverfish as they cannot tolerate their strong scent. This natural remedy is effective and safe to use around your home. Use orange and lemon peels to keep these pests at bay. Simply place the peels in areas where you suspect silverfish activity, and they will be driven away from your home. However, remember to replace the fruit peels regularly.

Alternatively, you can mix lemon juice with water to make a spray solution and apply it to the infested areas, such as the bathroom sink, gutters, and cracks and crevices where silverfish might be present. You can also mix 30 drops of citrus (lemon, orange, etc.) essential oils per 1 ounce of water. Shake before spraying and apply to areas of concern.

4. Lavender


Like citrus, lavender is an effective silverfish repellent. Using lavender essential oil in a diffuser or a spray is the best option. Dried lavender sachets will lose their aroma quickly. To use lavender essential oil, put a few drops in a diffuser and replace it as the diffuser empties. Or mix 30 drops of lavender essential oil in 1 ounce of water in a spray bottle. Shake before spraying.

5. Cloves

Cloves contain eugenol, which is an effective insecticide for household pests like silverfish. It works similarly to other natural remedies like cedar shavings, citrus fruits, and lavender. To use this remedy, simply place a whole clove in areas where silverfish are often found, such as floorboard cracks, dark and damp areas, holes, and gutters. The smell of the clove will repel these pests and keep them away from your home.

Alternatively, make a spray by mixing 30 drops of clove essential oil in 1 ounce of water. Shake before spraying.

Consider using the commercial product Safer Brand Safer Home SH110 Indoor Ant, Fly, Roach, Spider, Silverfish & Flea Killer. This ready-to-use spray uses clove and cottonseed oil to repel and kill insects in 3 minutes. It is safe to use around people and pets when used as directed.

Safer Brand Safer Home SH110 Indoor Ant, Fly, Roach, Spider, Silverfish & Flea Killer Ready-to-Use Spray – Made with Natural Oils – 24 fl oz, Blue
  • Say Goodbye to Bugs - Kills ants, flies, roaches, spiders, silverfish, fleas, and other insects that commonly invade your home
  • Works Fast – The quick-kill formula kills 100% of ants, flies, and roaches within 3 minutes
  • Family Friendly – It’s SAFE FOR USE AROUND CHILDREN AND PETS when used as directed
  • Winner of the Parent Tested Parent ApprovedTM Seal of Approval
  • Naturally-Derived Formula – It’s made with a blend of natural oils, including cottonseed oil and clove oil, and contains no harsh chemicals

6. Cucumber Peels

Cucumber peelings are an effective and natural remedy to repel silverfish. To use this remedy, simply peel a cucumber and place the peels in areas where silverfish are commonly found, such as kitchen cabinets, basements, and bathrooms. Be sure to replace the peels regularly to maintain their effectiveness.

7. Ultrasonic Device

MaxMoxie Ultrasonic Pest Repeller Humane Mice Control Electronic Insect Repellent Reject Rodent Bed Bug Spider Rat Defender Home Animal Plug in 2 Pack
  • How It Works: The patented system sends ultrasound to disorient and disturb pests so they can't feed or nest there, driving them from their home. Effectively reject rodents, roaches, spiders, mosquitoes, bed bugs, and ants.
  • Kids and Pets Safe: Ultrasonic sound is inaudible to humans and household pets. Environmentally friendly, no poisons, no traps, no dead pest, non-toxic and tasteless.
  • Designed to Last 3-5 Years: The product can be used for a little night light, with low power consumption and suitability for long life. It contains 2 units in a single package.
  • Easy to Use: Just plug in the ultrasonic pest repellent and it will start to emit different frequencies to protect your home (living room, bedroom, kitchen, garage, and attic) from pests.
  • Occurs within 2-3 Weeks: It's normal that the pests will increase in the beginning because they are getting away from their living place after the attack of the ultrasonic. Reduction in pest activity should occur within 2-3 weeks. EPA Establishment Number: 94838-CHN-1

Use an ultrasonic device such as the MaxMoxie Ultrasonic Pest Repeller. An ultrasound repeller is an electronic device that emits high-frequency sound waves that are unpleasant to silverfish and other pests. When the device is plugged into a power outlet and turned on, it emits these waves that create discomfort for silverfish and cause them to leave the area. This product is designed for indoor use and is safe to use around children and pets as it does not use any chemicals. Each unit can cover an area of approximately 1600 square feet. To use the ultrasound repeller, simply plug it into an electrical socket and switch it on. Place the device a few inches from the floor for best results and make sure it is not obstructed by curtains or carpets.

8. Mothballs

Moth balls by Enoz

To deter silverfish from invading your space, you can try using mothballs (naphthalene) as a remedy. Silverfish detest the smell of mothballs, so placing them around areas where silverfish are spotted can be effective. Keep in mind that mothballs are not lethal to silverfish; they simply serve as a silverfish repellent and discourage them from inhabiting those areas.

Place mothballs in areas such as closets, wardrobes, and suitcases to keep bugs away. It’s important to note that mothballs are regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency in the United States, and their use should strictly follow the label instructions. Any misuse or use not specified by the label is not only illegal but also poses a potential threat to human health, pets, and the environment. Naphthalene balls can be toxic if ingested and can also cause skin irritation if handled improperly. It’s essential to use caution and follow the instructions when using any pesticide, including mothballs, to ensure safe and effective use. This is not recommended as the first choice of repellent since there are alternative natural and safer methods available to repel bugs and pests, as mentioned in this article.


There are several silverfish repellents available, or you can make a DIY solution that can effectively help in getting rid of these pesky insects. Cedar shavings, cinnamon, citrus fruits, lavender, cloves, and cucumber peelings are all-natural options that can be easily found and used in various infested areas. Mothballs and ultrasound repellers are other options that can be effective as well, but it’s important to follow the label instructions and use them safely.

By using these silverfish repellents in conjunction with preventatives and traps, you can keep your home free from silverfish and their damaging effects. If in doubt, contact professional pest control services.