Lepisma and Thermobia species These common household pests are similar in size, shape, and feeding habits except for their coloration and hiding places. Silverfish are silvery and prefer damp, cool to warm locations (70° to 80°F) such as basements and wall voids. Firebrats are mottled gray and prefer damp, hot locations (90° to 105°F) such as hot-water pipes and areas near the oven or furnace. These pests are active at night, hiding during the day. They feed on many things, especially products high in starches, including human food, paper, paste, linen, and other fabrics. Silverfish damage books by feeding on the bindings. These pests crawl around the house along pipes and through holes or crevices in the walls or floor. The adult females lay eggs in cracks or openings behind baseboards and other protected areas.
Seal all cracks and crevices in the infested areas, especially around pipe openings and crevices in the walls or floor. Clean in cracks or openings behind baseboards and other protected areas where females often lay eggs. Store valued papers and clothes in tightly sealed plastic bags.