Storage PestCommon Stored Pest SpeciesStorage Pest ManagementSilverfish & FirebratsSilverfish & Firebrats Management
- Stored products include all durable agricultural commodities that can be dried and stored in bulk, such as cereal grains, flour, oil seeds, legumes, nuts, dried fruits, animal products, and packaged, baked or processed foods
- Insects have infested stored food products since the beginning of human civilization
Silverfish & Firebrats
- Silverfish and firebrats are wingless, flat insects with two long, slender antennae on the front and three long, slender bristles at the rear of a tapered, carrot-shaped body
- Silverfish and firebrats are nocturnal and hide during the day
- Silverfish and firebrats feed on many types of paper and fabric; particularly attracted to glazed paper or material used in book bindings, which may include starch, glues, or other materials.
- Often the first indication of a silverfish and firebrats infestation is the evidence it leaves behind. Damaged paper may have notched edges or holes throughout, depending on the severity of the infestation. Book bindings that are attacked by silverfish or firebrats may have ragged edges or markings on the bindings. Silverfish and firebrats may also leave cast skins, scales, and/or feces on attacked materials
- Adult silverfish are about ½ – ¾” in length with light gray, dark gray or silver-colored scales
- A silverfish female may lay over 100 eggs during her lifetime. Eggs are laid singly or in small groups, hatching in three to six weeks
- Silverfish prefer cool, damp areas, and are often found in bathrooms, basements, and in bookshelves or other areas where rarely used items are stored
- Silverfish are most active at night and run very swiftly with a wiggling motion that resembles the swimming action of a fish
- Adult firebrats are about ½” in length and can be gray in color, but usually the scales are brown and mottled in appearance
- Firebrats lay about 50 eggs at one time in several batches. Eggs hatch in about two weeks under ideal conditions
- Firebrats prefer areas of high temperature (90° F and above) and high humidity. Therefore, firebrats are more common in attics and around furnaces, ovens, and water heaters.