Silverfish bugs (sometimes referred to as firebrats which is related to the silverfish) are some of the most ancient insects, and were on the earth even before insects started to develop wings. They have found evidence that silverfish existed 400 million years ago, which is further proof why this bug deserves a bit more attention than other insects. Silverfish are also one of the most common insects to infiltrate a home.
What is a Silverfish?
Silverfish are slender, wingless insects that are covered with scales. They have two antennae and three long appendages at the bottom of their bodies. Their bodies are thicker at the top and taper down towards the end, and are a grayish-silver color. Silverfish are about ½ to 1 inch long and while the young are identical to the adult, they are usually shorter. These insects can move very fast, especially when their habitat is disturbed.
How to Identify A Silverfish
Are generally ½ to 1 inch in length
Live anywhere where there is high humidity
Are a shiny silvery color
Find them mostly at night in damp places
Silverfish normally live anywhere on average from 2-4 years, but it's not rare for a silverfish bug to live up to 7 years. They prefer to live in cool damp places with high humidity (usually humidity levels in excess of 75 °F) such as crawl spaces, bathrooms, and basements.
Silverfish are excellent wall climbers and can jump as much as two feet vertically in the air. They feed on a high starch diet and will eat items such as book pages, photos, clothing fabric, cardboard, and wallpaper. They can go up to one year without having to eat, and because of this it is unlikely that you can get rid of silverfish by removing their food source.
Silverfish are extremely hard to get rid of when using conventional bug control methods. They are immune to nearly all bug poisons so even if you have your home regularly treated for bugs it is very unlikely that it will kill the silverfish. Many people recommend using boric acid to kill silverfish, but since boric acid is harmful towards both children and pets it is not recommended. Because of this, it is recommended that you use non-conventional methods to get rid of silverfish.
What is a Firebrat?
Firebrats are very closely related to silverfish, and not surprisingly they are almost always confused with silverfish. They are almost identical in function and appearance, except that firebrats are a striped orange, brown, and black colors. One of the only differences between firebrats and silverfish is that firebrats prefer very warm and moist places, while silverfish prefer cool and damp.
How to Identify A Firebrat
Are generally ½ an inch in length
Live in high humidity places
Are a dull orange, brown, and black striped color
Find them in hot places such as near furnaces and ovens
The Differences Between Silverfish and Firebrats
The following video highlights the differences between silverfish and firebrats so you can more easily identify them in your home.
Need A More Powerful Way to Get Rid of Silverfish & Firebrats?
Silverfish and firebrats are both tough insects to get rid of. To completely get rid of all the silverfish and firebrats in your home using methods which are guaranteed to work, we recommend downloading our Rid Silverfish guide below:
Get rid of silverfish & firebrats faster (sometimes within days)
Learn more effective strategies based on your particular situation
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Keep all silverfish from coming back
Get access to the best strategies which guarantee silverfish elimination