Using herbs to get rid of silverfish

SILVERFISH in the house is a nuisance and can cause irreparable damage to books and other valuable documents.

Often the first sign of this pest is chewed pages of a precious or favourite book. By then it's too late and the damage is done. Prevention is the best protection and should become a regular housekeeping activity.

Identifying silverfish is quite easy. They are fast scuttling, oval insects covered with soft scales, ranging from grey-white to pale silver-brown, with their bodies tapering to three tail appendances.

The good news is that they can be eradicated completely using natural alternatives.

However, it takes time and a lot of patience.

To begin, thorough vacuuming should be carried out on both books and book shelves, as well as cupboards, crevices and cracks in shelves, and storage boxes.

Remove books from shelves and items from cupboards before vacuuming.

Books should be thoroughly vacuumed, giving special attention to the spine old books are especially susceptible.

Dust the pages with powdered pyrethrum, continually fanning the pages to ensure adequate protection.

Before replacing books on shelves, wipe them thoroughly and liberally with lavender oil to act as a repellent.

A really potent lavender oil can deter silverfish for up to 12 months.

Vacuum books that are to be stored away for a long time, then place in plastic bags with sprigs of lavender or cottonwool soaked in lavender oil, seal, and leave in the sun for about six hours.

Place bunches of dried lavender in storage boxes and cupboards, or a mixture of lavender and bay leaves.

Cinnamon bark pieces, dried wormwood leaves and the dried leaves of tansy and mint crumbled together and put into muslin bags will help to keep silverfish from your cupboards and drawers.

Before treating food cupboards remove all foodstuffs and then wash with very hot water and dry along wall edges with a hair dryer turned on hot.

The problem with this insect is that as fast as they can be sprayed more of them will hatch out; the hair dryer and hot water will help to eradicate the eggs.

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