Firebrats are frequently compared to silverfish due to their overlapping similarities. Firebrats are grayish-brown and speckled with darker spots on their back. Their body is shaped like a carrot, tapered from front to back. Firebrat’s most identifiable characteristics are their long pair of antennae with 3 long, slender, hair-like structures that extend from the last segment of their body, which lends them their nickname, bristletails.
Firebrat Behavior, Diet & Habits
Firebrats prefer damp, warm temperatures, and, as the name suggests, they can survive in very hot areas. They prefer temperatures around 100 degrees F. Firebrats are wingless and move very rapidly.
A firebrat’s diet is high in protein, sugar, or starches. In your household, firebrats feed on books, photos, papers, wallpapers, and natural textiles. Once firebrats find a good source of food, they usually stay close to it. However, they can survive without food for many months due to their hardy nature.
In a home, firebrats are found around pipelines from the basement to rooms on lower floors, bookcases, shelves, behind baseboards, windows, and door frames. They are also commonly found around hot water heaters, pipes, ovens, or trapped in bathtubs. Outside, they are found under rocks, bark, or leaves.
Firebrats do not carry diseases and should not pose many threats. However, firebrats can present threats to your personal belongings, such as important documents, beloved photos, old books, and maybe even your hairbrush, due to their liking of hair and dandruff.
Firebrat Prevention/ Treatment
Firebrats enjoy high levels of humidity, so a part of firebrat prevention is controlling the humidity. To discourage firebrats from your home, keep basements, laundry rooms, bathrooms, and showers clean and dry. Ridding the moisture from these spaces is most important. Utilizing a dehumidifier in moist areas and fan ventilation will also be beneficial in discouraging firebrats. Also, routinely keep storage cabinets, containers, and closets clutter-free. Books, newspapers, papers, and magazines offer firebrats a meal, so it is important to frequently move your items in your bookcase and shelves.