Print Friendly and PDF

Ban Fish Moths or Silverfish from your Cupboards

Fish moths, also known as Silverfish, can wreak havoc with your clothing, leaving small holes in winter woollies and your favourite clothes faster than a hoard of moths.


When you have lived in your home a few years, you start to see the appearance of fish moths or silverfish appearing in cupboards and drawers. They will also pop up between the pages of magazines and books, and any other place where they can find food.







These little buggers might be harmless, but they can bring about a great deal of damage to clothing and will eat away at certain fabrics and woollen items.



Fish moths survive on a diet of polysaccharides that consists of starches, sugars that covers almost anything edible in the home, including books, carpets, glue and adhesives, wallpaper, and especially clothes and textiles. These household pests can very quickly take over, so it is important to take measures to keep them out of your cupboards and drawers and try your best to eliminate the population as and when it pops up.







There are several ways to keep fish moths out of your cupboards and drawers and away from your valuable book collection, and we will list these below. Keep in mind that some of these methods are eco-friendly while others are a bit more extreme. You will select the method depending on how badly the infection is and how much damage these little buggers are inflicting on your household goods.


Regular Cleaning

On a regular basis, you should remove clothes from cupboards and drawers so that you can use a vacuum cleaner to suck up any dust or dirt in these areas. If you are bothered by fish moths or silverfish where you store books or important papers, it's a good idea to clean these out regularly as well.

Once cleaned out, allow cupboards and drawers to air out to remove any traces of damp, as fish moths are attracted to the moisture.



Where possible, store your seasonal clothes, not in use in vacuum-sealed bags or airtight containers.



Cedar Oil

Cedarwood and cedar oil have long been used as a repellant for insects, particularly in wardrobes, cupboards and drawers. It is easy to buy cedar blocks or cedar essential oil and these can be placed in closed cupboards or drawers to repel moths, fish moths and other pests.







If you are unable to source cedarwood, you can use a pine block and apply cedar oil to this. The blocks need to be regularly oiled to ensure the aroma is strong enough to keep pests at bay.

Place cedar wood or pine blocks in cupboards and drawers, as well as within bookshelves and bookcases. While this won't kill off the insects, it will protect your property.



Boric Acid

Boric acid is another natural pest repellant that will keep fish moths out of drawers and cupboards. Sprinkle boric acid around the edge of cupboards and shelves and in storage space. Boric acid is poisonous to fish moths and you will be able to control the population with regular treatment.







Bug Spray

Be sure to regularly take out and tidy up cupboards and drawers and give them a good spray from top to bottom. It's a good idea to do this when you're not going to be using the room for a few hours, due to the smell of these toxic bug sprays. If you give cupboards and drawers a quick spray regularly, you will be able to control the fish moth population and prevent harm to clothing and fabrics.

You will find fish moths or silverfish in almost every home. They're like ants - once they arrive they never seem to leave. While it is hard to totally eliminate these pests, the above methods will offer some control and work towards protecting your valuables.



back to top