How to get rid of them?
If one book has been infected, place it inside an air-tight plastic bag along with some silica gel desiccant. The silica gel is important to get rid of moisture, because you will now place the sealed plastic bag with the book in it inside the freezer. Leave it in there for a couple of days so that those bugs catch their death of cold.
If you're feeling particularly paranoid, (like I usually am) feel free to leave the plastic bag in there for a week. If they're not dead, then you might likely have an infestation of zombie silverfish, which is out of the scope of this blogpost.
But what if a whole colony of silverfish decided to invade your whole bookcase? Then you have to make sure you're ready for war.
Place a generous amount of silica gel (or if you can find it, diatomaceous earth) behind your books at the back of the shelves so that moisture levels remain low. Silverfish like things to be damp, and turning their environment into a parched desertscape will not make things peachy for them.
The next step is to place traps for these pests along the bookshelves. This is how you go about building Your Very Own Silverfish Trap:
- Find some jars that will fit into your shelves.
- Clean out the inside of these jars thoroughly until the inside walls are so clean and smooth, baby bottoms can't even come close to comparing.
- Wrap the outside of each jar with masking tape.
- Place some starchy food inside each of the jars, then place them along your bookshelves.
How it works is the desiccants behind the books will push the silverfish out towards the traps. And then, once they sense the food inside the jars, they will climb the easily-climbable masking tape-wrapped outer walls and fall inside the jar to get the food. They won't be able to get out, because the inner walls of the jars will be too smooth to climb up. Leave the traps out long enough, and you will find your silverfish infestation considerably lessened.