Silverfish & Firebrats
Silverfish are those slithery, silver, slimy critters you occasionally see scampering around your kitchen, bathroom or basement. They are about ½” long, have antennae about the same length as their bodies and three “tails”.
While they are slithery and slimy and no one wants them in their house, it is rare that silverfish are a major problem in our part of the country.
At Green Giant, we consider silverfish a nuisance pest and most often get 100% control with only one visit. Silverfish infestations can get quite large and difficult to control in warmer, more humid climates.
Firebrats look and behave very much like silverfish but firebrats are brownish in color, compared to the silver metallic-looking scales of a silverfish. In our area, silverfish are much more common than firebrats. Both prefer areas with high humidity, so there is usually a water source where you find these insects.
Silverfish and firebrats are collectively known as bristletails and are most often found in homes; they are rarely found in nature. While we do consider them nuisance pests, they can still cause damage.
Both will feed on the glue in book bindings and wallpaper for protein. They also eat cereal, dried beef and other starchy, dry products. The excrement from these bristletails can also make a mess and sometimes causes more damage than the actual feeding. The good news is that they do not feed on wool or any animal products.
Fun Fact: If silverfish have a source of water, they can live over 300 days without food. They can also live for several weeks without food or water.