Do Mothballs Kill Silverfish?

This is a question that many people want to know the answer to. Silverfish are pesky little insects that can cause a lot of damage to your home.

They often hide in dark, moist places and can be challenging to get rid of. Some people swear by using mothballs to kill silverfish, while others say that it doesn’t work.

So, what’s the truth?

In this blog post, we will explore whether or not mothballs kill silverfish and provide tips on how to eliminate silverfish naturally!

Do Mothballs Kill Silverfish?

Nothing is quite as frustrating as finding telltale signs that silverfish have been through your belongings.

These critters are notorious for loving all things starchy, including paper and clothing.

Mothballs are designed to kill moths and insects by releasing poisonous fumes into the air.

However, silverfish are relatively resistant to these fumes, and it can take many mothballs to effectively kill them.

In addition, mothballs can be harmful to humans if inhaled, so it’s essential to use them cautiously.

Suppose you’re dealing with a severe silverfish infestation. In that case, it’s best to consult pest control services to find the most effective solution.

Read More: Do Silverfish Mean My House Is Dirty?

What Are Silverfish, And Why Do They Cause Problems In Homes?

Silverfish are small, wingless insects that get their name from their silvery-gray color. Although they are harmless to humans, they can cause a lot of damage to homes. They live in damp areas and are one of the common household pests.

Paper attracts silverfish and often feast on books, photographs, and cereals.

They can also cause damage to clothing and tapestries. In addition to eating household items, silverfish can also contaminate starchy food items with their droppings.

In severe silverfish infestations, silverfish can become a nuisance and cause anxiety for residents.

If you think you have a silverfish problem, it’s essential to contact a pest control professional for help. Don’t let these pesky insects ruin your home – take action today!

Read More: How Fast Do Silverfish Multiply?

How Do Mothballs Kill?

Mothballs are small balls of chemicals that release fumes that kill and repel moths, silverfish, and other insects.

The most common ingredient in mothballs is naphthalene, although newer mothballs may also contain paradichlorobenzene. Naphthalene is a white, crystalline substance that quickly evaporates in the air and has a robust and distinct smell.

When naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene molecules are inhaled, they bind to receptors in the nose and lungs that are usually activated by a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine.

This binding prevents the acetylcholine receptors from being activated, which interferes with the ability of nerve cells to send signals to each other.

As a result, the nerves in the silverfish’s nose and lungs become overstimulated and eventually stop working.

This process eventually leads to the silverfish’s death. Mothballs are most effective when they are fresh, so it is important to regularly replace them.

Additionally, mothballs should be used in well-ventilated areas to avoid exposure to too many fumes.

Tips For Getting Rid Of Silverfish Without Using Mothballs

Silverfish are pests that love to feast on cloth and paper. They’re also attracted to damp basements, which is why you’ll often find them in basements, bathrooms, and kitchens.

Suppose you’re dealing with a silverfish control problem. In that case, you’ll be happy to know several ways to get rid of silverfish without using mothballs.

One of the simplest ways to deter silverfish is to keep your home clean and clutter-free. Vacuuming regularly and decluttering will make it harder for silverfish to find places to hide and lay their eggs.

You should also ensure that your home is well-ventilated to discourage mold growth, which can attract silverfish.

In addition, consider placing cedar chips or lavender sachets in areas where silverfish are commonly found. Make sure that you use them in a spray bottle. These natural pest control repellents will help to keep silverfish away.

Several effective insecticides will kill silverfish if you’re dealing with a more severe infestation.

Be sure to follow the instructions carefully and apply the product in the areas where silverfish are most likely to be found.

You may need to treat your home multiple times before the infestation is completely eliminated.

However, with patience and perseverance, you can get rid of silverfish for good!

Read More: Can Silverfish Swim?

The Pros And Cons Of Using Mothballs To Kill Silverfish

Mothballs are one of the most common ways to kill silverfish, and there are several reasons why they are so effective.


  • First, mothballs release a poisonous gas that quickly kills silverfish.
  • Second, the smell of mothballs can repel silverfish, so they are less likely to return to an area where they have been used.
  • Finally, mothballs are relatively inexpensive and easy to find, making them a popular choice for killing silverfish.

However, mothballs should be used cautiously, as the gas they release can harm humans and pet food sources if inhaled in large quantities.

For this reason, it is essential to follow the directions on the mothball package carefully when using them to kill silverfish.


Mothballs have long been used as a cheap and easy way to kill silverfish bugs. However, some drawbacks to this method should be considered before using mothballs in your home.

  • First, mothballs are poisonous to humans and pets if inhaled or ingested.
  • Second, they can be difficult to remove from your home once used.
  • Finally, mothballs often do not actually kill silverfish but simply drive them away.

If you decide to use mothballs to kill silverfish, use them safely and follow all directions carefully.

Alternatives To Mothballs For Killing Silverfish

Mothballs are a popular choice for killing silverfish, but they’re not the only option. Several alternative methods can be just as effective.

One such method is to create a silverfish trap. This can be done by placing a piece of cardboard or paper near where silverfish are commonly seen.

The silverfish eat cardboard or paper and then can be trapped when they try to climb on it.

Another method is to use diatomaceous earth. This powder is made from fossilized algae, and it’s deadly to silverfish (and other pests). When applied to areas where silverfish bugs are present, it will kill them on contact.

Finally, you can also try using essential oils. Certain essential oils, like eucalyptus oil and boric acid, have insecticidal properties and can help repel or kill silverfish.

So if you’re looking for an alternative to mothballs, give one of these methods a try.


Mothballs may be effective at killing silverfish, but they can also pose a risk to human health. Because mothballs are designed to kill insects, they contain chemicals that can harm people if inhaled or ingested.

In addition, mothballs can be flammable, and the fumes they produce can irritate the eyes and lungs. For these reasons, it is essential to use mothballs carefully and only as a last resort.

If you decide to use mothballs to kill silverfish, place them in a well-ventilated area and keep children and pets away from the area until the mothballs have dissipated.

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