Bullet Silverfish and Firebrats

These insects of the order Thysanura are the most primitive of insects. They develop without metamorphosis, the young are identical in appearance to the adults, only smaller. The Silverfish is described as an elongated, silvery colored individual with the body tapering to the tail, one pair of antenna, no wings, and the three tail-like appendages that earned them the nickname "bristle-tail"

The Firebrat is like the Silverfish except for a darker color and slightly larger size. The adults are about 1/2 inch long. A unique item about Silverfish and Firebrats is that they do not stop molting when reaching adulthood. They will continue to shed during their two to four year life span, regenerating lost appendages as they do so.

Silverfish may be found in any damp, dark areas such as damp attics, basements, and subareas but will also be found in attics of homes in Southern California. Firebrats prefer areas of higher temperature than Silverfish. Both are common residents of new construction due to the fresh lumber moisture. They eat the paper on insulation, plant fibers and other high starch content foods, and may severely damage wallpaper, photographs, book bindings and clothes made of linen or cotton.