Unilever logo
Cleanipedia ZA logo
Stay informed! Visit the SA Department of Health's website for COVID-19 updates: www.sacoronavirus.co.za.

How To Get Rid Of Fish Moths

Don’t let fish moths scare you – learn how to get rid of fish moths in your home.


silverfish on a pile of books

Key steps to getting rid of fish moths:

  1. Don't leave any food out or open. 

  2. Throw out old newspapers and magazines.

  3. Use a dehumidifier and deal with any sources of moisture around the home.

  4. Consider using essential oils to repel fish moths with scents.

Fish moths, also known as silverfish, are one of the most off-putting pests you can find in your house. While not directly harmful, their appearance can make your skin crawl and they can potentially damage books, wallpaper, and clothes. Luckily, it is possible to get rid of fish moths and prevent future infestations: here’s how.  

Keep bathroom surfaces clean with Domestos Thick Bleach as this is where fish moths are most frequently found.

How to get rid of fish moths, or silverfish, in your home

Follow these straightforward instructions to get rid of fish moths quickly and easily:

  1. Keep food closed. Food is a big attraction for fish moths so one of the easiest things you can do is always keep food containers firmly closed and clean up crumbs quickly. Systematically go through your kitchen (and anywhere else food might be lurking) to remove spoiled food and transfer any open food items to sealable containers.

  2. Reduce humidity levels. Fish moths like moisture so reducing humidity in your home can help keep them out. Consider buying a dehumidifier to draw moisture from the air but don't neglect general home maintenance either - make sure your water pipes and roof aren’t leaking, seal up any cracks in the walls, and ensure that your gutters are nice and clear.

  3. Declutter crowded spaces. Make sure you’re not providing a friendly environment for fish moths to set-up their own homes by keeping hold of clutter. Magazines or books left in damp areas are the ideal home for fish moths so minimise the amount of paper you keep around the house, especially in rooms like the bathroom or kitchen where moisture levels will be higher.

Using essential oils to get rid of silverfish or fish moths

The Poll

What’s most important to you when it comes to cleaning?

0 Votes

Aside from cleaning and tidying your home with bleach to remove fish moths or silverfish, you can also use certain ingredients to deter them from setting up camp in the first place. Essential oils are a great natural fish moth repellent, especially if you’re looking for tips on how to get rid of fish moths in cupboards! Simply apply a few drops of your chosen essential oil to the areas where fish moths are most likely to be found.

Here are some of the most effective essential oils you can use to keep fish moths out:

  • Cinnamon oil

  • Peppermint oil

  • Orange oil

  • Tea tree oil

What causes fish moths in the home?

Fish moths are drawn to environments where it is easy for them to breed. This includes anywhere they can get food and water - so damp, dark areas such as under baths and sinks or at the back of damp cupboards. Fish moths tend to be brought into the house on paper and books so always be vigilant about what you’re bringing home, especially any items that have been stored in moist conditions.

Now you know how to get rid of silverfish or fish moths, you can remove these pests and reduce the chance of them coming into your home again. Remember to always keep your kitchen and bathroom squeaky clean with Domestos bleach as this is where you're most likely to find fish moths.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can I use in my cupboard for fish moths?

The best way to stop fish moths from starting in your home and especially your cupboards is to keep your cupboards clean and dry. Fish moths love moisture so deal with any damp problems when they arise and make sure you don’t keep old magazines or newspapers in your cupboards.

How to get rid of silverfish naturally?

Getting rid of fish moths or silverfish naturally is easy. Use a few drops of your favourite essential oil directly in the area where you’re having a problem with them. You can also add 10 -12 drops to your warm water for cleaning too. Try cinnamon, peppermint, orange and tea tree essential oils.

Are fish moths and silverfish the same?

Yes, they are. Silverfish is another name for fish moths.

What causes fish moths in the house?

Fish moths love a damp, dark environment. So, you’ll often find them in cupboards, especially is they are not well ventilated, in the bathroom, kitchen, and in bedrooms.

What products to use to get rid of fish moths?

Before opting for harsh chemicals, try getting rid of fish moths naturally by leaving a few drops of essential oils in the problem area. Always make sure to use Domestos Thick Bleach in bathroom and kitchen areas where fish moths are commonly found.

Originally published