If you have seen a silverfish you know where it gets its name. With its silvery blue metallic color and the way it moves, it looks like a little fish. Silverfish hide during the day; they are active at night and avoid light. They are most commonly found in kitchens, bathrooms, basements, crawlspaces and other areas of high moisture. They have a very flat body and can squeeze through or into just about anywhere.
As a result of the silverfish’s appetite you may find damage to books, paint, carpet, paper products, photos, clothes, plaster, tapestries, silk, linen, cotton, stuffed animals and leather. Some other items on the menu include coffee, dander, sugar, pet and human hair, insect parts, their own shed exoskeleton and they have even been known to eat portions of synthetic material. They can survive more than a year without eating and can live for several years. It is very common for them to infest boxes of stored items. Silverfish may find their way in from outside or be brought in accidentally on items–for instance from an infested storage area.
Firebrats look very similar to silverfish. They appear to be the same size and tear drop shape, but darker in color. Both are nocturnal and enjoy the same food sources. Besides their color differences, it is important to note that firebrats love heat, preferring temperatures around 100 degrees—certainly a factor in their name. Firebrats can be a problem in commercial kitchens and boiler rooms as well as areas of your home where there is high heat: attics, hot water tanks, heaters, stoves and fire places are a few examples.
Neither are good climbers and both may be found stuck in the sink, tub, waste basket, toy box, dresser drawer and other areas with smooth surfaces.
Both of these are covered under our Quarterly Pest Management Program.