Often mistaken for cockroaches, firebrats are a common indoor pest in the United States. This nocturnal insect is closely related to the silverfish and the two share many similar features. The firebrat is a wingless insect that when full-grown is ¼ to ½ inches long. The firebrat has several long appendages that are each as long as its body. It has two antennas protruding from the front and three tail-like appendages on its abdomen. The firebrat has a gray and brown body with splotches of darker colors. Firebrats prefer to live in dark and warm or humid areas. They are often found in attics, near furnaces or fireplaces and in insulation around hot water or heating pipes.
Firebrats are scavengers that feed on a variety of food sources, comprised of mostly carbohydrates and starches. These include items such as book bindings, wallpaper paste, glue and crumbs. Firebrats are a hardy insect and can live for months without food. If a firebrat is sighted inside the home it is important to find the source of the infestation. Check areas that are dark and moist such as basements, attics, closets and other storage areas. Firebrat infestations are often marked by stains on wallpaper and fabric. If there is a large population, the damage may be considerable. Fortunately, firebrat populations tend to grow at a slow rate.
The first step to prevention and management of firebrats is to reduce moisture in suspected areas of infestation. Check around windows and cabinets and seal all cracks and crevices with caulking, plaster or putty. By reducing the area of livable space for the insects the population will drop dramatically. Although insecticides are not always necessary for firebrat management, professional grade applications may be necessary for large firebrat populations and infestations. Boric Acid and Diatmaceous Earth, also known as Silicon Dioxide are two chemical options to combat firebrats. Residual spot treatments and insecticides such as permethrin, cyfluthrin and cypermethrin are also effective. Professional help is also an effective means to prevent and manage a firebrat infestation and encouraged especially in cases where chemicals will be used.
Residents or business owners in St. Louis and surrounding areas who suspect a firebrat infestation should retain the services of the professional exterminators at Bugs by Brian. Professional firebrat extermination service begins with a thorough examination of the household or business. Once the infestation is controlled, our expert exterminators can help homeowners and business owners make an effective plan to prevent the firebrat problem from recurring.
Call St. Louis pest control company Bugs by Brian today at (636) 394-0101 to exterminate a firebrat infestation in your home or business.