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Controlling Silverfish

Living in Southern CA has many wonderful things, and a few not so wonderful, very irritating things that we learn to deal with. Just like everywhere else I have lived, it comes with regional bugs that are there for no reason. It doesn't matter how often you clean.


You follow all the "rules"; like making sure you aren't bringing home anything in the potatoes except potatoes, sealing all the cracks, no dirty dishes, etc. Still after all of this, there are silverfish. They seem to like paper, not food in my house. They come up through the drain.

I called to ask about these awful little things. The response was they are all over Southern California, and there is nothing a pest control company can do. In my case, I couldn't have harmful poison around, and was hoping they had an answer as to what to do about the few I had seen. I had seen several things that was suppose to work (like cinnamon and cloves). So I put cinnamon powder, as well as the sticks, where the pest company had told me they usually are. This didn't work so I had to find something else.

I read silverfish can't stand clover. I guessed it was worth a try. Besides liking paper, they also like clothes. The only trace I could see was a few little holes. I put clover around all of the baseboards in the closet area and linen closet.


I remembered the whole cloves I had seen put in ham at family reunions. So I got Styrofoam balls from the local craft store. I put the cloves in it like you do in top of a ham or other food. It was easily hung off of the rod where my clothes hang.

I still see one or two a couple times a month. I think they're coming from next door, because it is always in the drain or stove. Other than that, they have disappeared. Putting the clover powder against the wall and baseboard in the closets, I believe worked best.

Getting rid of boxes and paper is something I do also. I wouldn't want anyone to have these pests but mine wasn't ever bad, and ended up being easy to control.

Source: Pest control company told me they like paper and clothes, but not food. A Living Green article had a couple suggestions.

By Luana M. from San Diego, CA

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October 25, 20110 found this helpful

Where did you get the clover? I love natural remedies!

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October 26, 20110 found this helpful

At the grocery where the spices are. You can sprinkle ground cloves or do like I do and get a piece if Styrofoam put whole cloves in just like you would food.


It works and is safe! I actually used a piece that was in packing in a box last time.

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June 9, 20170 found this helpful

Did you mean actual "clover" ? In reading the rest of your comment it sounds like you are talking about "cloves". These are 2 entirely different things from different plants. I have never heard of being able to purchase "clover" powder anywhere. "Clover" grows in my lawn. Are you suggesting that I harvest that and dry it?

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