How Long To Freeze Books To Kill Silverfish

Silverfish infestation can damage your books. Others suggest putting them into the freezer right away. Is it effective or does it sound ridiculous? Luckily, we have conducted research to find out the best way to kill silverfish.

Silverfish are common pests that can be eliminated with a little bit of freezer time. It is recommended that you freeze books for at least two days to kill silverfish. If you are dealing with a large infestation, you may need to freeze the books for longer. After freezing the books, be sure to check them for damage and silverfish eggs.

In this blog post, we'll explore how long it takes to freeze books to kill silverfish and why this is an effective way to get rid of these pesky critters. Keep reading for tips on how to freeze books and get rid of silverfish for good!

Up close photo of a silverfish, How Long To Freeze Books To Kill Silverfish

What Are Silverfish and Where Are They Located? 

Silverfish are small, wingless insects that get their name from their silver-grey color. They feed on organic matter, including paper and fabrics. As a result, they can cause significant damage to books, clothing, and other stored items.

Silverfish lying in between the book pages

In addition, silverfish are known to eat food that is meant for human consumption. While they do not typically bite humans, their presence in food can be unsightly and unappetizing.

They are common household pests and can be found in a variety of habitats, including basements, kitchens, and bathrooms. Silverfish are attracted to damp and dark places and feed on mold, mildew, paper, and book bindings.

Although they do not carry diseases, they can be a nuisance. If you think you have silverfish in your home, the best way to get rid of them is to contact a pest control professional.

What Are the Dangers of Silverfish? 

While they are generally harmless to humans, they can be a nuisance due to their destructive eating habits. Silverfish feast on a variety of items at your home. In addition to causing damage to your belongings, silverfish can also trigger allergies and asthma attacks in some people.

Asthma and lungs illustration

If you suspect you have a silverfish infestation, it is important to contact a pest control professional as soon as possible. Taking steps to eradicate silverfish from your home will help keep your family safe and your belongings intact.

Is Freezing Book Effective in Killing Silverfish?

While silverfish are difficult to control, one potential method of eradication is freezing. By placing infested items in a freezer for several days, the cold temperature will kill the silverfish.

But then, this method is only effective if the items are completely sealed in airtight bags or containers. Otherwise, the silverfish will simply burrow their way out once they thaw.

Silverfish eating book pages

Additionally, freezing will not kill the eggs of silverfish, so it is important to take preventive measures to avoid future infestations.

How Long Do You Freeze Books to Kill Silverfish? 

You can place infested items in a plastic bag and put them in the freezer for at least two days. The cold temperature will kill the silverfish, after which they can be vacuumed up or disposed of in any other way.

While freezing is an effective way to kill silverfish, it is important to note that it may not prevent them from returning in the future. 

How to Kill Silverfish Using a Freezer?

If you've ever found a silverfish in your book collection, you know that these pests can do serious damage to your books. Silverfish love to eat paper, so they can cause extensive damage to books, especially if they're left unchecked.

Fortunately, by putting the books inside a freezer, you can take them to kill silverfish. Here are the steps to prepare?

  1. First, remove all of the affected books from your shelves and place them in a plastic bag.
  2. Then, seal the bag tightly and place it in the freezer for a few days. After some days have passed, remove the bag from the freezer and allow the books to thaw for several hours.
  3. Once they've thawed, inspect each book carefully for silverfish. If you find any pests, dispose of them immediately.

With these simple steps, you can get rid of silverfish from your books and protect your collection from further damage.

How Cold the Freezer Should Be for Killing Silverfish?

By lowering the temperature of your freezer to below 71 degrees Fahrenheit, you can create an environment that is inhospitable to silverfish. The extreme cold will kill the silverfish, and they will be unable to reproduce.

As a result, over time you will be able to reduce the population of silverfish in your home. Just be sure not to put any food items in the freezer while you are trying to kill the silverfish, as the food will also become frozen!

What Are Some Alternate Methods for Killing Silverfish? 

Silverfish are common household pests that thrive in humid environments. These small, silver-colored insects are known for their destructive feeding habits, as they often damage books, clothing, and wallpaper in search of food.

Though silverfish are difficult to control once they establish themselves in a home, there are a few methods that can be used to kill them.

Diatomaceous Earth

A small brown bowl of Diatomaceous earth

One popular method is to use diatomaceous earth, which is a fine powder made from the fossilized remains of algae. This powder is lethal to silverfish, as it punctures their exoskeletons and causes them to dehydrate.


A small bottle of borax

Dusting surfaces with talcum powder or Borax can help to create an inhospitable environment for silverfish, as both of these substances absorb moisture.

Cedar Oil

Get cedar oil on Amazon.

Cedar oil is a natural repellent of silverfish which can be found at most hardware stores. When using cedar oil as a treatment for silverfish, it is important to spray all areas where they may be hiding, such as baseboards, cracks, and crevices.

A small vial of Cedar oil

Reapply the cedar oil every few weeks to maintain its effectiveness.


Sweet candies and marshmallows

Finally, setting out traps baited with sweet foods can help to lure silverfish into an area where they can be killed. Though eliminating silverfish can be challenging, using one of these methods can help to get rid of these pesky pests for good.

How Do You Prevent Silverfish from Infesting Your Books? 

There are a few simple steps that can be taken to prevent silverfish from taking up residence in your home.

Proper Book Storage

Start by ensuring that your storage areas are clean and dry. Silverfish thrive in humid conditions, so good ventilation is also crucial. The best way to prevent silverfish from infesting your books is to keep them stored in a cool, dry place.

Also, storing your books in a climate-controlled room or sealable plastic container can help deter them.

Regularly Check for Signs of Silverfish Infestation

Don't forget to regularly inspect your books for signs of infestation. By taking these steps, you can help keep silverfish out of your precious collection.

In addition, you should regularly inspect your books for signs of infestation and take steps to eliminate any existing silverfish.

Vacuum the Area

Vacuuming floors and shelves can help remove silverfish eggs and larvae. This will help keep the population of silverfish under control and reduce the chances of an infestation.

Add Silica Gel Packets

If you are experiencing a silverfish infestation, consider applying a silica gel packet to your book collection. Silica gel packets absorb moisture and can help create an inhospitable environment for silverfish.

By taking these simple precautions, you can help keep your books safe from silverfish damage.

See silica gel packets on Amazon.

Final Words

Up close photo of a silverfish

Silverfish can be eliminated with a combination of freezing and using an exterminator. If you are looking for a more natural solution, freezing books may work for you, but it is important to freeze them for the right amount of time to kill all the silverfish.

By following these steps, you can get rid of your silverfish problem without harsh chemicals.

To learn more tips and ideas on preventing pests infestation at your home, check out our posts below:

Does Epsom Salt Kill Termites?

Odorous Ants In Walls – What To Do?

Can You Mix Sevin Dust With Water? [And How To]