How To Tell Silverfish Apart From Firebrats In Hendersonville

Steps To Protect Your Investment

There are many exciting things about owning your own home. But with ownership comes responsibility, and if you are not vigilant, certain things could be damaging your home without anyone even noticing!

It is no fun to turn the light on in your bathroom and find an icky little insect in your sink, yet this is a far too common sight in Hendersonville homes. If given the opportunity, silverfish and firebrats won't think twice about making your home their home. Your home has lots of food options for a silverfish or firebrat. They eat materials that have cellulose, such as wallpaper, books, documents, and photos. They'll also get into your pantry and eat cereal and other starchy foods. If you're seeing bugs in your Hendersonville home, and you're wondering whether or not they are silverfish or firebrats, there are a few ways you can tell the difference.

What is the difference between silverfish and firebrats?

  • Silverfish are typically silver, as their name suggests. Firebrats, which get their name from the fact that they like to be near the heat generated by fireplaces, are not silver. They are a mottled mix of black, brown, and orange.

  • A silverfish has a shiny exoskeleton. Firebrats are not shiny. This is partly due to the fact that firebrats have tiny hairs.

  • Silverfish tend to be ½ to 1 inch long. But keep in mind that their babies look like them. A silverfish doesn't start life as another type of bug, such as a maggot, grub, or caterpillar. It starts out as a nymph, which looks like a tiny adult.

  • Firebrats are smaller than silverfish. They're not likely to be more than ½ inch long. They also have offspring that start out looking like tiny adults.

  • You'll find silverfish hiding in cool, dark, moist locations in your home, such as your bathroom or basement. Firebrats are likely to be in warm, dark, moist locations, such as near your boiler, furnace, or fireplace. 

silverfish near a book

Do silverfish or firebrats come in through drains?

When you walk into your bathroom and see a little insect attempting to crawl out of your bathroom sink and having a difficult time with it, you might think that it came into your home through your drains. This is a common misconception. But neither silverfish or firebrats move through pipes. They travel on the outside of pipes and are drawn to drains because they get a drink from water droplets. Sometimes, when they crawl down into a sink or tub, they can't get back out because the surface is too smooth.

How do silverfish and firebrats get inside?

They get into homes the same way many other insects get in; they take advantage of gaps, cracks, and holes in exterior walls and foundations. If you want to prevent either one of these pests, you need to consider potential entry points.

Do silverfish and firebrats eat the same things?

Yes. You can expect both of these insects to feed on paper, cardboard, glue, starchy foods, grains, vegetables, sugar, and fabrics. When they feed on these things inside your Hendersonville home, they become pests. They may damage clothing, books, wallpaper, and stored items. They may get into your pantry and kitchen foods.

Do you control silverfish and firebrats in the same way?

Yes. Both of these insects can be managed with exclusions, moisture control, and yard work.

  • Do a detailed inspection of your exterior and use a caulking gun to fill in gaps and holes.

  • Make sure your doors and windows have a good seal.

  • Repair or replace window and door screens.

  • Repair leaky pipes, faucets, and showerheads.

  • Install dehumidifiers in areas of your home that stay humid.

  • Store paper products and clothing in sealed plastic totes.

  • Rake leaves up, or blow leaves out of your landscaping, and out from underneath exterior structures.

  • If you don't have gutter guards, clean your gutters to remove obstructions.

  • If you have scrap wood, construction materials, dead branches, or other wood sources near your home, move the wood to at least 20 feet from your exterior.

Perimeter Protection

Silverfish and firebrats are typically nuisance pests that can cause a little bit of damage in storage spaces and other areas of your home you don't routinely enter. If you follow the tips given above, you may be able to reduce silverfish or firebrats below your threshold of comfort. If you want the best control possible, we recommend Perimeter Plus Pest Control. We developed the Perimeter Plus Pest Control plan to address over 47 common Hendersonville pests, including silverfish and firebrats. The goal of perimeter protection is that it stops these insects "before" they get into your home and start causing problems.

Would you like to learn more?

We'd love the opportunity to speak with you. Reach out to us and speak with one of our friendly agents. You don't have to live with either of these icky bugs. Get your perimeter pest protection in place today.


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