Silverfish & Firebrats - School IPM - USU Extension

    Silverfish and Firebrats

    Lepisma spp.; Ctenolepisma spp.; Thermobia spp.

    Fact Sheet: English, Spanish.


    Adult silverfish (Clemson University,


    Adult firebrat (Clemson University,


    Silverfish damage (Clemson University,


    • 1/2 - 3/4 inch long and have scales
    • slender, wingless soft-bodied insects
    • fire brats are brown or gray, and silverfish are shiny silver or pearl gray
    • long antennae
    • three long filaments off the back end
    • very common in pest monitors

    Nesting Habits

    • females lay eggs in crevices, on cloth or buried in food or dust, usually around moist (moisture not always necessary), warm areas or paper products
    • very common around vending machines, art rooms, libraries, or anywhere there is moisture, heat, and paper
    • present in most buildings


    • paper, fabrics, and similar materials
    • glue or pastes in paper/books
    • dead insects


    • scrape surface of paper

    IPM Recommendations

    • Complete control is difficult.
    • Reduce moisture by fixing leaky plumbing.
    • Remove or store potential food sources in sealed containers.
    • Vacuum regularly under vending machines and in cracks and crevices around vending machines, book shelving, etc.
    • Seal all cracks and crevices in the above-mentioned areas.

    Additional Resources:

    IPM for Silverfish, Firebrats, and Booklice: Integrated Pest Management in Sensitive Environments (University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension)