Silverfish and Firebrats

Eat Books


A fish with body-armor?

Silverfish are creatures of the past. They are paper eating insects like fire-brats, which is another kind of silverfish. About a half-inch long or so, they are considered primitive and even look the part. They have a mean armored scale look…but their defense…is to run away. Or should we say…wriggle away.

They are creatures of the night that actually hide during the day. They like damp dark places like basements and crawl spaces…and inside your books where it is dark and there is a lot of paper to eat and become a bigger pest.

A pest that eats my what?

And why is this a pest? And how do I get rid of them? Good questions. Silverfish are a pest because of what they eat.

They eat paper. They eat your books. In fact they eat volumes of books. And they eat your wallpaper, that is the glue. And they eat photographs. Just about whatever you have in your library. Silverfish, just like fire-brats and termites and white ants eat organic materials. The latter burrow from the shelf right through volumes of books and back into the shelf again. And guess what.

Your book bindings and your wall paper use organic glue (made of flour and water), just like the starch in your clothes…which they also eat. Many a museum or library or collection of rare books have been destroyed by silverfish infestations.

So how do you get rid of silverfish?

Just do what the museums and libraries do to get rid of their bugs. Museums, libraries, and other archival collectors put into practice these things below to control the silverfish bugs and protect their collections of books in the library as well as protect all other organic based artifacts they have.

How to Control Silverfish

  • Old books need to be in a moisture controlled environment. Humidity is their friend and promotes infestations.
  • Scattering cloves seems to chase them away
  • Scatter pyrethrum powder
  • Fumigate
  • Buy Silverfish traps. Glue traps. Sticky traps.

Contact a pest control company for more help.