How to Get Rid of Silverfish on The Carpet, Fast

Silverfish are fabric pests that feed on the carpet’s fibers. They’ll cause permanent damage to carpets by chewing on them. 

Silverfish can damage carpets with natural fibers. These include wool, silk, and fur. Such carpets are more vulnerable than those with synthetic fibers.

Many people don’t notice the signs of silverfish in the carpet. These bugs are sneaky and fast. And they can escape anyone’s notice. 

End result? Permanent carpet damage.

So, in this guide, you’ll discover the proven methods to get rid of silverfish on the carpet.

You’ll also find what causes silverfish in the carpet and the signs they leave behind.  

Reasons for Silverfish in Carpet

What causes silverfish in carpets

Carpets and rugs are potential food sources for silverfish. Silverfish are fabric pests that feed on carpets, clothes, and paper products.

The starch present in fabrics and pulp are their primary food sources. But, the protein in natural fibers such as wool and silk is also a food source for silverfish. 

Carpets collect dust and debris that attract silverfish. Additionally, carpets can harbor dust mites and their molted skin. These are also viable food sources for silverfish. 

Another important factor that draws silverfish to carpets is moisture. 

If the floor underneath the carpet is damp, then it’ll attract silverfish. 

Why? Silverfish are moisture bugs that live and hide in damp areas. 

That’s one of the reasons silverfish are common in bathrooms, kitchens, and basements.

Silverfish will hide in the cracks and gaps underneath the carpet. And they’ll even lay eggs in these crevices. 

Signs of Silverfish in Carpets

The presence of live silverfish on the carpet is a telltale sign.

You’ll also find chewed holes and silverfish droppings on the carpet. 

Their fecal droppings look like black pepper-like pellets. They appear as black dust particles on the carpet. 

Infested items, like carpets, clothes, and books, also develop yellowish stains. These yellowish stains are secretions that silverfish leave behind when they crawl. 

If silverfish nest underneath the carpet, you can also find their molted skin. Silverfish molt several times before they reach adulthood. 

How To Get Rid of Silverfish On Carpets

how to get rid of silverfish on the carpet fast

Cleaning the carpet, controlling moisture, and using silverfish killers and repellents remove silverfish in carpets.

Here’s how to do it.

Vacuum Clean: Begin by vacuum cleaning the carpet and its adjacent areas. Don’t skip the edges and corners of the carpets. 

Vacuum cleaning will remove the dust, molted skin, debris, eggs, and adult silverfish from the carpet.

Be sure to use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter to prevent the spread of allergens. Dispose of the vacuum dust bag in a sealed plastic bag outside your home. 

Boric Acid or Diatomaceous Earth: Some silverfish might escape the vacuum cleaning. Silverfish are fast crawlers. They can easily hide underneath the carpet during vacuuming.

Boric Acid

Sprinkle boric acid on and underneath the carpet to kill the remaining silverfish. Boric acid poisons silverfish when they ingest it. 

However, use it with caution. Boric acid can be harmful to humans and pets if they ingest it. 

Ensure your children and pets don’t have access to the carpet with boric acid.

Wash your hands with a hand-wash after using boric acid. 

As an alternative, you can also use food-grade diatomaceous earth. It’s safe and acts like desiccant dust.

Diatomaceous earth is a natural substance. It penetrates the exoskeletons of silverfish. 

Upon entering silverfish’s bodies, it absorbs their fluids and causes death by dehydration.

Use Silverfish traps: Place sticky traps or homemade ones (like a jar lined with masking tape and baited with starchy food) around the room’s edges to catch silverfish.

Sealing: Seal cracks and crevices on walls, ceiling, and floor. Look under your carpet for them, too.

Caulk those cracks to prevent silverfish entering and making homes beneath the carpet.

Dehumidify: Silverfish thrive in moist places. Use a dehumidifier to reduce your home’s humidity. 

Aim for less than 50% humidity. This will make conditions less hospitable for silverfish.

Fix Water Leaks: Leaky pipes in the house cause the dampness to spread to walls and floor.

The dampness causes cracks. It also attracts many bugs and insects, including silverfish. 

So, check the plumbing areas in the kitchen, bathroom, and basement for any water leaks. If you find any, fix them. 

Cedar Oil Sprays: Essential oils, like cedar oil, are silverfish and bug repellents. You can mist your carpet with a diluted essential oil and water solution.

Other products like cinnamon, vinegar, dried bay leaves, and cucumber leaves are silverfish repellents. You can keep them around the carpet to keep silverfish away. 

Clean and Declutter: Clutter of paper, fabrics, and cardboard boxes attract silverfish.

Clean and declutter your home often. This will remove food sources and hiding places. Store books, magazines, and papers in clean aerated areas. 

Carpet Treatment: At times, the carpet can remain dirty after vacuuming. It’ll be best to give the carpet to a professional carpet cleaner. 

Carpets not only accumulate dust but also get food and beverage stains. Professional cleaning deep cleans the carpet.

Regular Inspection: Keep an eye on any silverfish activity and their signs in your home. Pay special attention to damp areas like bathrooms, kitchens, basements, and attics.

Professional Silverfish Treatment: If silverfish are returning to your carpet, it means there are many more in the house. 

In that case, your home needs a professional pest controller to eliminate silverfish. 

Do Silverfish Live in Carpets?

Yes. Carpets are ideal for silverfish. They like dark, moist places. Plus, ready food sources make your carpets and rugs prime real estate for silverfish. 


You can get rid of silverfish on the carpet using the methods in this post. 

But it doesn’t end there. You’ll also need to use silverfish repellents on the carpet to keep silverfish away.

You’ll also need to track any silverfish activity and their signs. Repeat the steps if you find them. 

However, a severe silverfish infestation will always need professional pest control. 

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