No one wants insects in their home, even if those insects are small. Small insects can cause just as much damage as larger ones. Take firebrats, for example. Although tiny, firebrats are a big nuisance! These pests eat carbohydrates and can destroy books, clothes, food, wallpaper, and more.
Do you suspect firebrats have invaded your home? Here’s how to spot and get rid of these pesky brats.
What are firebrats?
Firebrats are flat insects that are very small. They have three structures that look like long hair on their tails. They’re often seen crawling on walls and in and out of crevices. It’s likely you’ve seen a few in your lifetime.
Firebrats are common, and it shouldn’t surprise you to see them in your home. They aren’t dangerous to humans or pets.
But just because firebrats aren’t dangerous doesn’t mean they belong in your home. It’s best to get rid of them before the situation gets out of hand. But first, you need to know for sure that you’re dealing with firebrats.
Is it a firebrat or a silverfish?
Firebrats and silverfish look a lot alike. They both belong to the same family: Thysanura. But while there are several species of silverfish, there is currently only one type of firebrat.
It’s not always easy to tell firebrats and silverfish apart. Start with color. Firebrats are more of a grayish-brown color, and it’s common for them to have dark spots scattered across their backs. On the other hand, silverfish are silver and are slightly larger than firebrats.
Firebrats thrive in environments that can reach temperatures of 98°F to 102°F degrees. But that’s way too hot for silverfish! Firebrats have heat-resistant feet, so it’s easy for them to withstand heat. If you live in a hot or humid climate and think you see a firebrat, you’re probably right.
Because of their resistance to heat, firebrats are often found in warm areas of the home. Hot water pipes, boilers, furnaces, roofing shingles, and carpets are all common firebrat hiding places.
How to get rid of firebrats
A small firebrat problem can quickly become an infestation. One firebrat can give birth to 100 offspring or more, and those offspring will reach reproductive age within a few months.
Sustenance also isn’t a big issue for firebrats. They can survive for up to 300 days without food and water. They’re some of the most resilient pests around. So it’s no surprise that getting rid of them isn’t easy.
Your best bet is to contact a professional pest control service to help get rid of a significant firebrat infestation. Check out this site for help getting rid of firebrats in your home.
Stop firebrats in their tracks
You can take steps on your own to keep firebrats under control. Act quickly and your efforts can prevent a firebrat takeover. Here are a few things to try.
Reduce their food
Firebrats will have little incentive to stick around if they find nothing of interest. Keep items such as pet food, cereal, pasta, and flour sealed in airtight containers or sealed storage bags.
Firebrats love a warm, cozy carpet. Regularly vacuum your carpets to get rid of firebrats before they get comfortable.
Eliminate water sources
Firebrats are attracted to damp basements and crawl spaces. Keep these areas dry by using dehumidifiers to remove moisture from the air. If your basement or crawl space is unfinished, cover the ground with plastic sheeting.
Firebrats can enter your home via wall interiors and the spaces between ceilings and walls. Openings around pipes can also provide access to your home. Seal these openings with caulk, spackle, or expandable foam.
Get rid of firebrats for good
Firebrats aren’t a physical threat. They don’t sting or bite, so they shouldn’t cause you any pain. But they’re pests, and that means they can cause damage to your home and your belongings. They can also contaminate food.
Spotting firebrats isn’t always easy. They’re small and can hide in crevices. That means they can get away before you see them.
Taking steps on your own to keep firebrats at bay should help avoid a problem. But if you’re seeing firebrats (or signs of their presence) on a regular basis, you might want to contact a pest control service to help get the job done.