8 Ways To Get Rid Of Firebrats In Your Apartment

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An infestation of firebrats can aggravate and possibly harm your house or place of business. Here are 8 ways to get rid of firebrats in your apartment. Any damage that firebrats can create can be avoided by keeping the current outbreak under control. It’s crucial to start looking into strategies to get rid of firebrats as soon as you see them in your area. 

What is a firebrat insect, and what does it look like?

Firebrats, also known as bristletails, fall under the insect category, along with silverfish insects. Firebrats are common insects that infest various areas, such as bakeries, kitchens, and boiler rooms.


They can contaminate food, stain clothing, and destroy paper products. If you are experiencing an infestation of firebrats in your apartment, these are the eight ways to get rid of them.

Firebrats are a type of cricket that is 27 cm in width. They are typically grey, silver, or brown and have dark patches on their backs. They also have three long tails and long antennae.

They are wingless pests that are fast on their feet and can jump sideways. Firebrats can be found in attics, walls, ceilings, and other places where they can hide and breed.

What causes firebrats in the house?

Firebrats are usually caused by the accidental establishment of ideal living conditions for these insects. This can include having a lot of clutter or leaving these at-risk areas unchecked, which can allow the accumulation of a firebrat population.

Firebrats are often found in areas with high humidity and moisture levels. If your environment has too much moisture, it will be very inviting for these pests to invade.

Where do firebrats live?

Firebrats live almost exclusively within areas inhabited by humans. They are commonly found in bakeries, kitchens, boiler rooms, and within walls with hot water pipes.

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If you see firebrats in your home, there is a good chance that they have found a comfortable place to live and reproduce.

Firebrats are commonly known for their ability to start fires. Still, they can also cause much damage by eating through fabrics and other materials. They use traps, pesticides, or vacuum cleaners.

Are firebrats dangerous?

Firebrats are not considered dangerous to humans. They are, however, considered pests because of their appearance and behavior. They can be a nuisance in homes and apartments because they like to live in warm, dark places where they can find food. 

What are the signs of firebrat infestation?

Like many other pests, firebrats can be a major nuisance if they infest your home. Though they are not known to harm us, their presence can still be very distressing. Additionally, these pests do not cause any property damage.

However, if you see signs of an infestation, there are a few things you can do: clean up fecal matter, repair small chewed holes, and remove food sources. If you see the following signs after cleaning the area, you probably have another infestation:

  • Feces spilling out of the sink or bathtub and onto the floor
  • Burrowing into the ground and taking their molted skin with them
  • Skin sacks containing their entire body

What are the risks of firebrat infestation?

Firebrats, while not commonly known to cause structural damage, can compromise the sanitary conditions of your living space. They can contaminate food with fecal matter and scales that fall off their exoskeleton. If left untreated, they can also destroy personal property.

They are known to track fecal matter and other unwanted bacteria into cracks and crevices, which can increase the allergens in your environment.

8 Ways to get rid of firebrats in your apartment

An infestation of firebrats can be a complete nightmare. Fortunately, there are some tried-and-true approaches to getting rid of firebrats in your home. Use the following techniques to manage a firebrat infestation:

Sticky traps

Sticky traps are an ideal way to trap and eliminate current pests in your home. The sticky material on the trap grabs onto the insect as it walks across it, eventually killing or incapacitating it.

It’s necessary to remember that this does not guarantee the eggs will be destroyed, so it’s not a perfect method to use with more developed infestations.

Boric acid

Boric acid is toxic, and it is deadly to firebrats. Boric acid can be sprinkled around the areas where you have seen firebrats, or it can be mixed with vapor to create a spray.

When the pest inhales boric acid, this can lead to the fatal dehydration of the firebrats. The firebrats will consume the boric acid, which leads to their death.


Pesticides can be a useful tool in getting rid of firebrats, but they should only be used as a last resort. Pesticides are toxic to humans and food supplies, so it is important to use them cautiously.

Although pesticides may effectively eliminate firebrats, it’s important to remember that they should never be used near kitchen areas. Using any kind of chemical in close proximity to food can be dangerous.

If you’re looking for a safe and non-toxic way to get rid of firebrats, consider using boric acid or diatomaceous earth instead.

Table salt 

One way to kill them is by using table salt. You can sprinkle it around the areas where you have seen firebrats or transfer it to a spray bottle.

The firebrats will consume the salt, eventually resulting in fatal dehydration. Pour table salt in areas where you have seen the most firebrat activity. Make sure to pour enough so they will come into contact with it, but not so much that it will create a dangerous slipping hazard.

Cedar oil or shavings 

Cedar oil is a natural insecticide and will kill firebrats on contact. The most effective is to spread cedar oil or shavings around the affected areas. Cedar wood shavings can also help to create an environment that is not conducive to their survival.


Mothballs are a household item that has been used for years to deter pests such as rats, mice, and firebrats.

The powerful ingredient in mothballs is the chemical naphthalene, which repels pests. Mothballs are easy to use. However, it is important to read the instructions on the package carefully as they can vary depending on the brand.

Essential Oils

The essential oils have been shown to help repel pests. Some common oils include peppermint, orange, lemon, cinnamon, clove, and rosemary. You can add these oils to an oil-based poison or even put them in a spray bottle to use as a repellent.

To make an all-purpose insecticide spray, mix two teaspoons of tea tree oil, one teaspoon of lavender oil, and 1 quart of water. Tea tree oil is very effective against firebrats. Lavender oil also has insecticidal properties and can be used as a repellent.


Firebrats thrive in warm and humid climates, but when the temperature drops below 40 ̇F, they become slow at growing.

Since the adults can’t survive extreme cold, keeping them in the freezer for a long time helps eliminate them without freezing. Cleaning the rooms daily is essential if you want to eliminate firebrats. 

How to Prevent Firebrats From Coming Back?

Store all non-perishable goods in a sealed container. You can also use food scents to deter them from re-entering your home. Some popular food scents include peppermint, citrus, and lavender.

To keep firebrats from returning, you must be diligent in your efforts. Remove any items in your apartment that you no longer use, such as old furniture or clothes. And lastly, be persistent in your attempts to keep firebrats out – they are very resourceful creatures!

Firebrat life cycle

The firebrat life cycle is a process that takes two to three weeks for the eggs to hatch. Once hatched, the nymphs undergo several molts before maturing into adults. The adults will continue to molt throughout their lifetime and can live up to three to five years.

Interestingly, male and female firebrats only mate if they are within three or four molting cycles of each other. They have complex courtship behaviors that involve antennal shaking and leg brushing.

Males produce a sac of sperm, which the female takes into her body to fertilize her eggs. Eggs are then laid in groups of fifty or sixty at temperatures of 30-40 degrees Celsius. Female firebrats can lay up to 6000 eggs during their lifetime.

Do firebrats bite?

Firebrats do not bite humans or spread disease, but they can contaminate food and other items in your home. 

Interestingly, firebrats are also known to damage books, papers, and other stored paper-related items. They will feed on the glue that holds these materials together, which often leaves behind a telltale sign of their presence.

Is it silverfish or firebrat?

Silverfish and firebrats are both bristletails, but there are a few key differences between the two. The most obvious difference is that silverfish have shiny bodies with a greyish, silvery, or blue color, while firebrats have greyish-brown scales on their bodies.

Silverfish can live impressively long, with a lifespan of about three years old, while firebrats only live for about one year.

On the other hand, firebrats are not as easily discouraged. They will eat just about anything, even if it’s not high in sugar or starch. And unlike silverfish, they’re not as vulnerable to damage from wallpaper and printed materials.

Silverfish are mainly found in wet environments and can be killed by damage to their nerve cells. On the other hand, firebrats can live up to two years or more and are resistant to many pesticides. They prefer hot, dry areas like near ovens and radiators.

How to trap firebrats?

Firebrats like to live in warm, dark places and often come out at night. There are a few ways to trap firebrats.

One way is to wrap the outside of the glass with tape. This will create an obstacle that the firebrat can’t cross. You can also use a sticky trap or bait them with food and sweep them up when they come to get the food.

You can get rid of firebrats in your apartment by trapping them. You can set a container upright in areas where you have seen silverfish or firebrats. 

Firebrats is a thermophile insects. One way for firebrat extermination is to trap them is to use a glass container with tape around the top. The insects will climb up the taped surface, but they will be trapped in the glass container.


Firebrats are beneficial to both the environment and society. They help break down organic matter, which other organisms can then use. Before taking any action, it’s important to assess your current situation and identify the source of the infestation.

The powerful scent of peppermint oil, comparable to lavender oil, can deter silverfish infestation. Most essential oils have insect-repelling qualities because of their powerful aroma. Eucalyptus, tea tree and cinnamon essential oils are further effective treatments for silverfish eradication.

About the author

A biotechnologist by profession and a passionate pest researcher. I have been one of those people who used to run away from cockroaches and rats due to their pesky features, but then we all get that turn in life when we have to face something.