Pest Away Tips

5 Effective Ways to Prevent and Eliminate Firebrat Infestations

Have you ever heard of firebrats? These elusive insects, also known as Thermobia domestica, are small but mighty.

In this article, we’ll dive into what firebrats are, their appearance and life cycle, where they live, and how they differ from silverfish. Additionally, we’ll cover whether firebrats are dangerous and what risks come with infestations.


Firebrats have a carrot-shaped body that can range in color from grey to silver and brown, with dark patches. They have three long tails and long antennae, which set them apart from other insects.

Firebrats are smaller than silverfish, only growing up to 15mm in length, compared to silverfish that can measure up to 20mm. Unlike silverfish that prefer cooler temperatures, firebrats thrive in areas with high heat, humidity, and low lighting.

Life Cycle

Firebrats have a lifespan of about two years and undergo molting up to 50 times during their development. They reproduce by laying eggs that take between two to three weeks to hatch.

It’s important to note that their rate of development and reproduction depends on temperature. In warmer weather, firebrats’ reproductive cycle speeds up, leading to increased infestation in hot and humid areas.

Where do firebrats live? Firebrats can be found in a wide range of hot and humid areas, including bakeries, kitchens, boiler rooms, and walls or water pipes.

This is because they thrive in areas of low natural light and high temperature. Additionally, firebrats are known to feed on starchy materials such as glue and bookbinding and tend to avoid light altogether.

Firebrats vs. Silverfish

Firebrats differ from silverfish in several ways.

Besides their size and color, firebrats prefer hot environments, while silverfish do better in cooler temperatures. Additionally, silverfish can survive in damp areas, while firebrats need high humidity levels to thrive.

Lastly, firebrats have relatively weak jaws, which can limit their ability to damage materials compared to silverfish. Are firebrats dangerous?

While firebrats might be unsightly, they are ultimately harmless to humans and pets. However, they can pose risks in other ways.

Risks of firebrat infestations

Firebrat infestations can damage items such as books, clothing, insulation, and other starchy materials. Additionally, firebrats can also contaminate food items, which makes them an unsanitary pest to have around.

As a result, keeping firebrats under control and preventing them from infesting one’s property is essential to maintain a clean and risk-free environment.

Preventing firebrat infestations

Prevention is key when it comes to countering a firebrat infestation. The following tips can help homeowners prevent firebrats from infesting their property:

– Keep areas clean: Use cleaning products to wipe down areas that are prone to clutter or dust.

– Store food correctly: Seal food in airtight containers and dispose of any expired food. – Reduce humidity: Invest in a dehumidifier for rooms that have high humidity levels.

– Seal crevices: Fill any cracks or gaps in walls or pipes where firebrats might be able to enter. In conclusion, understanding firebrats and their characteristics is critical to preventing infestations and keeping one’s living or office spaces hygienic and safe.

While firebrats might not be harmful to humans or pets, they can pose significant risks in other ways, such as contamination and destruction. Remember to follow the prevention tips outlined in this article, and you’ll be better equipped to keep firebrats at bay.

3) Causes and Prevention of Firebrat Infestations

Firebrats are accidental home invaders that typically thrive in hot, humid environments, such as kitchens, boiler rooms, and densely populated crawlspaces. They prefer areas that have a lot of moisture and little to no lighting, making them difficult to detect.

Their accidental establishment in homes is usually due to the presence of ideal living conditions and the availability of food sources.

Preventing firebrat infestations centers around developing and maintaining healthy household habits. Some preventative measures include:


Upkeep Sanitation: Keeping a clean house is essential in preventing infestations. Daily chores, such as sweeping, wiping down surfaces, and taking out the trash, can go a long way in eliminating any potential food sources and create an environment that is less hospitable to pests.

2. Secure Dry Food: Firebrats are known to feed on starches and carbohydrates, such as bread and cereal.

Keeping dry foods and pet foods in secure containers will minimize the food sources that may attract firebrats to your home.


Clean Susceptible Areas Regularly: Cleaning the areas where firebrats frequently nest, such as crawlspaces, attics, and pantries, on a regular basis can be an effective way to minimize their population.


Use An Air Purifier: An air purifier can remove the humidity in your living space, significantly reducing the conditions that firebrats thrive in.

By being proactive with preventative measures, you can identify potential infestations early on and avoid long-term pest problems.

4) How to Get Rid of Firebrats

If you notice firebrats invading your home, eliminating them quickly is critical. The following are some effective ways to get rid of these pests:


Using Sticky Traps: Trapping firebrats with sticky traps can be an effective way to eliminate current pests and their eggs. Ensure the placement of the trap in areas of excessive activity to maximize efficacy.

2. Boric Acid: Boric acid is a non-toxic and effective method for eliminating firebrats.

When ingested by a firebrat, boric acid affects its digestive system, causing dehydration, which results in the pests’ eventual death. This method works best for small infestations.

3. Pesticides: Pesticides, such as deltamethrin and pyrethrin, can effectively kill firebrats, but use only in emergency cases.

As pesticides can be toxic and harmful to household pets, use in spaces with severe infestations, or outbreaks in kitchens, where firebrats can contaminate food and pantry goods. 4.

Natural Remedies: Natural remedies, such as table salt, cinnamon, cloves, cedar oil, citrus fruit peels, cucumber peels, and flour and water, can be effective at repelling or killing firebrats. These methods are nontoxic, and some are even household items.

However, their efficacy and use depend on the extent of infestation and other factors. 5.

Products Review: Deltamethrin and Dekko Packs are well-known firebrat insecticides, trusted for their effectiveness in eliminating these pests while minimizing damage to household items. Deltamethrin is a potent residual spray that can provide lasting relief for a prolonged period.

Dekko packs contain boric acid, making them an excellent non-toxic alternative to traditional insecticides. However, it is essential to consider the toxic levels when using pesticides and insecticides, and use only as directed.

In conclusion, preventing firebrat infestation requires proactive measures, including upkeep sanitation, storing dry foods in secure containers, regular cleaning of susceptible areas, and use of an air purifier. Eliminating firebrats, once established, requires effective and efficient measures, including sticky traps, boric acid, and natural remedies, while always considering non-toxic options and the harmful effects of pesticides.

By keeping your living space clean and implementing preventative measures, you can avoid costly damage to household items and maintain a pest-free environment.

5) Conclusion

In summary, firebrats are small insects that thrive in hot, humid environments and can cause damage to household items and contaminate food sources. However, identifying their presence early on and implementing preventative measures is crucial in avoiding disastrous infestations.

These preventative measures include keeping a clean home, storing dry food in secure containers, regular cleaning of susceptible areas, and investing in an air purifier. If you find yourself with a firebrat infestation, several methods can help exterminate them effectively.

Assessing the severity of the infestation and understanding the benefits and drawbacks of each method will guide you in choosing the appropriate approach. Some examples of effective methods to get rid of firebrats include sticky traps, boric acid, natural remedies, and insecticides.

Sticky traps are affordable and user-friendly, while boric acid is a non-toxic and effective method for smaller infestations. Natural remedies are environmentally friendly and cost-effective but may be less effective for more significant infestations.

Insecticides are the most potent and effective but come with the potential disadvantage of being toxic and harmful to animals. In conclusion, early detection and prevention are essential in avoiding firebrat infestations, while various methods can help get rid of them if necessary.

Always consider environmental and health factors when choosing an appropriate method, and ensure that you follow the manufacturer’s directions on all products used to ensure optimally effective results. In conclusion, firebrats are a common household pest that thrive in hot, humid environments and can cause damage to household items and contaminate food sources.

Preventing and detecting firebrats early on is crucial in avoiding disastrous infestations. By keeping a clean home, storing dry food in secure containers, regular cleaning of susceptible areas, and investing in an air purifier, you can prevent firebrats from invading your home.

If you find yourself with a firebrat infestation, there are various methods to exterminate them effectively. By considering environmental and health factors and following the manufacturer’s directions on all products used, you can eliminate firebrats and maintain a pest-free environment.

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