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Firebrat Facts & Information

Protect your home or business from firebrats by learning techniques for identification and control.

Firebrat illustration
Thermobia demestica


How do I get rid of firebrats?

What You Can Do

No single method or simple technique is successful in controlling firebrats. Here are some tips to help prevent infestation:

  • Seal holes and cracks around windows and doors.

  • Lower the temperature and humidity in the home by using air conditioning units, fans, or dehumidifiers.

  • Fix any leaking plumbing pipes to reduce the firebrat’s source of water.

What Orkin Does

It is wise to seek the services of a pest management professional when using insecticides to combat an infestation of firebrats, as it takes the integrated approaches of prevention, sanitation, and treatment with a product. If firebrats become a problem, seek the help of your local Orkin service branch.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Behavior, Diet & Habits

Understanding Firebrats


Two of their most distinguishing characteristics are the presence of a long pair of antennae and 3 long, slender, hair-like structures that extend from the last segment of their body – giving them the common name, bristletails.

  • Color: Firebrats are grayish-brown and speckled with darker spots on their back.

  • Body Shape: Their body is tapered from front to back and is somewhat carrot-shaped.

These insects do not have wings, but move around by running rapidly. Often confused for silverfish, firebrats are a different species and generally prefer warmer habitats than silverfish.

Firebrat Next to Ruler


Both young and adult firebrats share the same or very similar environments, so all ages of the insect will be located together in a suitable habitat. The pests are primarily seen in environments that are generally dark and warmer than 90 degrees F, including near dryers, hot water heaters, steam pipes, ovens and attics. Firebrats may be found in bathtubs since they often are trapped in the tub as they seek moisture.

Life Cycle

Eggs are laid in batches of about 50 and hatch in a little less than two weeks, which explains why a homeowner may suddenly see a large number of small firebrats in places they’ve never been seen before. The insects will live for about three to four years and molt throughout their lives.

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