The Silverfish Trap

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Our story

We bought our dream house in 2016, but not all the old inhabitants had moved out. Thousands of long-tailed (grey) silverfish stayed. And multiplied. The basement was full of them, but they also appeared in the rest of the house, most frequently encountered in the kitchen.

Whereas the common silverfish requires constant moist conditions, the long-tailed silverfish easily roams everywhere and is trickier to catch and contain. Most traps are glue based, but after seeing how the cautious silverfish interacts with glue, we understood that glue traps is not a good approach. At the time there were also no poisons available that were known to be effective in handling the problem. So, we set out to try on our own.

We studied their behavior and started to test various attractants we had at hand. Over the next months we developed trap prototypes and tried to find the most attractive lure ingredients. The work was successful, and we realized that we were not only able to handle our own problem, our trap and lure was so promising that we wanted to bring it on the market. Meanwhile Norwegian newspapers ran stories on long-tailed silverfish almost daily, and desperate homeowners risked seeing the value of their property plummet if a long-tailed silverfish infestation was discovered.

Our trap

We designed a pit-fall trap where silverfish in all stages of their life can crawl up. When they approach the center of the trap, they lose their grip on the polished surface and fall into a lure filled saucer. The lure consists of food ingredients only and is thus nontoxic. Its liquid fraction is vegetable oil which kills the insects quickly when they fall into the lure filled cup. The lure doesn’t evaporate and has a long-lasting attractive effect on silverfish and our studies have shown that the effect lasts for at least 12 months.

The main parts of the trap are reusable. Only a small cup (1.7 grams of plastic) and lure (2.5 ml) are needed for each use of the trap. A single use can last for a full year or until the trap is filled with more than 100 grown silverfish and the insects have absorbed all the oil. We typically package our traps with cups and lure for 3 usages of each trap and we make further refills available at an affordable rate.

The trap is sturdy and doesn’t easily fill with sand and dust like many other traps. Professionals using it to monitor public spaces report very low rates of disappearing traps compared to glue traps. The low loss rate, long lasting effect, no need for frequent follow ups, and reusable traps makes it a good and cost-effective solution. For the public the visually pleasing traps that hide dead insects and don’t collect dust also serve as a clear sign that measures are taken against the infestation. With well placed traps the number of observed silverfish may start to decrease after some weeks.

Not just silverfish

Although it is designed for long-tailed (grey) silverfish, it also works well on the common silverfish. We’ve also seen springtails, ants, flies, centipedes, and various beetles being trapped at rates that are likely higher than random catch. The traps have also been tested for use on bed bugs. When used without lure in corners in heavily infested apartments they caught more bed bugs than climb-up traps.

Local suppliers

We supply the Norwegian market directly and to Sweden and Denmark through Proverm. We are looking for suppliers in other markets, suggest a supplier or contact us to become a supplier or for direct imports.

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