Firebrats are small, wingless insects. Commonly confused with silverfish, they have long, slender bodies with gratis-brown coloring and dark spots on their backs. They also have characteristically long antennae and three long, thin tails, inspiring their colloquial name, “bristletails.” Despite their name, firebrats aren’t found near fire. They are attracted to sources of moisture in and near a home, such as leaky roofs and damaged plumbing fixtures. They also will enter the home in packages and cardboard. Once drawn into a home, they enjoy other areas where there is clutter and sources of food.
Although firebrats do not harm humans in any way, they do cause property damage and contaminate household items in their wake. Their damage will be mostly found where they find food sources, around pantry foods, sugary and protein-rich foods, as well as paper products. Additionally, their general presence and behavior is a nuisance and disturbance to residents. For an infestation, prevention is key. This can be accomplished by sealing points of entry, keeping your home at a low temperature and humidity, and quickly repairing any plumbing issues. If prevention fails, an infestation can be difficult to control. For an effective, multi-approach strategy, trust a pest control professional.