Silverfish & Firebrats
Silverfish are the shape of, well… a fish (go figure…). They are wider at the head and taper towards the tail. The body is covered in small scales that are – you guessed it – silver!
Silverfish will grow to a length of ½ – ¾ inch (not including the antennae on their head or the ‘bristles’ that extend out from the tail). In addition to the antennae and bristles, they typically have three legs on each side of their body. They have three long bristle-type appendages at the end of their body. Their antennae are long and threadlike, while eyes are compound, small and widely-spaced. Silverfish can move forward, backwards, and sideways very quickly.
They are far from the worst pest you could encounter, but they can cause damage.
What attracts silverfish? They are not picky. They need water and will eat a wide variety of materials. This includes everything from food such as cereal, oatmeal and grains to the glue in book bindings and wallpaper. Silverfish will also eat paper, clothing and other fabrics. They also like to get into corrugated boxes to eat the glue – strange critters! Clothing, bedding, papers, books and magazines stored in cardboard boxes can be severely damaged by Silverfish.
The good news is, Silverfish cannot bite or pinch, and they cannot hurt you. They are also not known for transmitting disease.
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.
Silverfish & Firebrat Control
Typical DIY silverfish control methods work temporarily. Traps, boric acid, and essential oils can all help remove silverfish but they don’t address the root cause – the eggs. Unless the entire silverfish population is treated, they will return.
Silverfish can be found in cracks and crevices, so getting rid of them requires precision treatments. Our technicians target the small, hard-to-reach areas where silverfish make their home. Our silverfish control methods are people, pet, and environmentally friendly.