How do I deal with silverfish in a move/storage situation
June 14, 2015 10:46 PM   Subscribe

We've got some silverfish at my current apartment, which I'm in the process of boxing up for two months of storage followed by a new apartment (I'm overseas in the meantime). How do I pack up to manage this infestation? My goal is to kill them off during storage if possible, but at the very least to keep the problem from getting worse. (Eg keep the silverfish from migrating from, say, my books to my clothes.)

The infestation isn't too bad (I see one every month or so), but they're definitely camping out in some of the hundreds of books we have here.

My thinking right now is 1) bag up my books as I go in garbage bags before putting them in cardboard boxes and seal those bags with tape; 2) drop some mothballs in the boxes; 3) maybe buy some desiccant packs to reduce humidity. Are these smart steps? Do I need to do something else? Diatomaceous earth? Permethrin?

The storage container is coming on Thursday, so I don't have time (or space) to cycle all books through the freezer, although I could try to unpack slowly and do so once I get to my new space (maybe leaving boxes in the garage until I'm done. I'm in CA, so they're probably going to be stored in a relatively dry area.

My moving boxes are too heavy for me if I fill them up with books, so I've usually mixed what I pack--half books, half linens or clothes, for instance. Is that an awful idea if some of the books may have silverfish? I envision having books and non-books bagged separately, sealed with tape, but in the same boxes.

Please help me avoid making this infestation worse, if at all possible!
posted by col_pogo to Home & Garden (3 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Diatomaceous Earth did the trick for me, almost instantly, and we had had them around for years. They never came back. So I'd use that, right now, and maybe you can get bags or balls of it to put in with the stuff?
posted by tardigrade at 1:24 AM on June 15, 2015

Best answer: Totally endorse diatomaceous earth as well. sprinkle some in the bottoms of your boxes and maybe between layers of books. It wipes right off and is harmless to humans.
posted by BigLankyBastard at 5:06 AM on June 15, 2015

Best answer: You don't really want to be inhaling it though, in any large amounts. I'd wear a mask while sprinkling and unboxing/wiping later on.
posted by barnone at 7:54 AM on June 15, 2015 [1 favorite]

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