Silverfish and firebrats are wingless, flat insects with two long, slender antennae on the front and three long, slender “bristles” at the rear of a tapered, carrot-shaped body. They are 1/2 inch long when fully grown. Silverfish may be found almost anywhere in the house, but are most commonly found in moist, warm locations (such as around sinks and other plumbing fixtures). Silverfish feed on fungal molds and organic matter. They will damage natural fabrics, paper and book bindings.
They are covered with shiny silver scales that give the body a metallic sheen. They are frequently found in sinks or bathtubs because they fall in seeking moisture and then cannot climb out. Silverfish are most active at night and run very swiftly with a wiggling motion that resembles the swimming action of a fish.
Firebrats are similar to silverfish in overall appearance but lack the silvery sheen. The body color is gray or brown, usually with numerous dark markings that give a mottled appearance. Unlike the silverfish that may be found in any part of a house, firebrats prefer areas of high temperature (90° F and above) and high humidity. Therefore, firebrats are more common in attics and around furnaces, ovens, and water heaters.
Silverfish and firebrats are pests primarily because they are a nuisance and an annoyance. They may consume or stain foods, fabric, paper, books, or wallpaper. Damage to these items is significant, however, only in cases of very large infestations present over long periods of time.
Niban Bait is one of the more popular products for treating Silverfish and Firebrats. Niban controls cockroaches, crickets, silverfish and various occasional invaders. Designed for both interior and exterior use, NIBAN Granular Bait is environmentally sensitive and virtually odorless, making it well suited for use in and around homes, apartments, schools, hotels, restaurants, supermarkets, food processing plants and other sensitive accounts.
For a more traditional approach, treat cracks, crevices, and voids on the interior with a dust insecticide such as Delta Dust, or Drione. These products can be applied to cracks and crevices where these insects hide. Be sure to pay attention to plumbing areas, wall voids, and under cabinets. Pay special attention to any areas of your home where there is water. This includes the refrigerator, air conditioner, dishwasher, laundry room and all of the plumbing. The attic, basement, or crawl space may need to be treated as well.
On the exterior, they may be found associated with the nest of insects, birds, mammals, and under tree bark and mulch. They can be found in wood shingles or sidings on houses, they may enter the home from these. In addition, silverfish often live in the soffits and behind the fascia board behind gutters. Individual silverfish then invade the interior of the home from this “reservoir” site. If possible, dust with Delta Dust in the void of the eve.
A residual insecticide such as Suspend, Demand or Tempo can also be applied to treat the exterior, or cracks and crevices on the interior.
– These concentrates are mixed with water and used in a compressed hand held sprayer to make your application.
Aerosols & Ready to Use Products
These “ready to use” products are convenient and great for a contact kill and great for flushing out insects. Most offer great residual properties as well.
These “ready to use” bait products are convenient and great controlling bugs
Dusts are usually used to treat into cracks and crevices (such as in the crack between the wall baseboard and floor), in wall voids, cavities, attics or crawl spaces. Be sure that there is proper ventilation in the room and that you don’t over dust or dust in areas accessible by people.
For additional control, incorporate the use of glue board traps for the capture and elimination of silverfish. Trapper Max Glue Boards are sold in packages of 72. Set them out in dark areas where silverfish might be hiding or foraging. Maintaining sticky traps in drawers, behind toliets, or under sinks are an excellent way to intercept silverfish as they forage.
Tips For Control
Sanitation is important but not entirely effective in reducing populations because insects often reside between wall partitions, in insulation materials, in books and papers, among bookshelves and in other protected places. However, be sure to remove old stacks of newspapers, magazines, papers, books and fabrics plus foodstuffs spilled and stored for long periods of time. Often reducing available water and lowering the home’s relative humidity with dehumidifiers and fans is helpful. Repair leaking plumbing and eliminate moisture around laundry areas. Lighting a dark, sheltered area may force these insects to move to new sites where they can be controlled more easily. Once the infestation has been eliminated, sanitation will help prevent re-infestation.