Biology and Life Habits
Both Silverfish and Firebrats were originally from warmer countries and they have adapted themselves to our cooler climate by dwelling in warm humid places.
They are about 10 mm (1/2”) in length and are torpedo shaped with 3 long bristletails at the end of their abdomen. The Silverfish is silvery in color while the Firebrat is grayish in color with numerous dark markings.
The Silverfish prefers flour, starch, sugar materials and paper products as its food source, while the Firebrat basically feeds on paper products.
Their life cycle can range from two months to two years, with the female laying 50 to 100 eggs in crevices and under objects.
Questions and Answers
Q. What is the difference between Silverfish and Firebrats?
A. Although they have a very similar appearance, the silverfish prefers temperatures of 22C to 27C while the firebrat prefers temperatures of 27C to 41C.
Q. Do Silverfish/Firebrats carry germs and disease organisms?
A. No, they usually live in warm and humid places, in basements, around water pipes, and inside linen closets. The silverfish do not breed in or live off decaying organic matter (garbage). Therefore they are less likely to pick up disease causing organisms on their body.
Q. When am I most likely to see Silverfish/Firebrats?
A. They are nocturnal and are most active at night.
Q. What time of the year are Silverfish/Firebrats most commonly found?
A. They are year round pests.
Q. What do Silverfish/Firebrats eat?
A. They feed on starchy substances such as paper, glue, textiles, but they will also eat biscuit and breadcrumbs.
Q. How long do they live?
A. The majority live about 2 years at a temperature of 31C (84 degrees Fahrenheit)
Q. How can I prevent a re-infestation of Silverfish/Firebrats?
A. Where possible, change the physical environment, control or eliminate areas of chronic moisture, e.g. Leaking plumbing (particularly laundry rooms). Reduce hiding places by strategically caulking, etc; vacuum and re-organize likely hiding places on a regular basis.
Preparation Guidelines for a Silverfish/Firebrat Treatment
1. In order to achieve control, the Reliable technician will perform a crack and crevice application inside the areas where silverfish/firebrat activity has been noticed, i.e., warm areas of the home. Please remove any items stored directly against the walls in such areas so that the technician can access all areas for treatment.
2. Vacate the premises during service and do not re-enter until at least 4 hours after treatment. Open windows for 20 minutes after re-entry if possible
3. Infants (under 12 months), pregnant women and people suffering from heart, kidney, respiratory ailments or allergies, should remain away for at least 24 hours.