Both of these insects look very much alike. However, they are normally found in different parts of the home. Silverfish are commonly found on ground floors or in basements or crawlspaces. Firebrats like warmer temperatures and are usually found in attics and upper levels of the building, especially in structures with wood shake roofs. These pests often arrive from outdoors living in bark dust, decaying matter like grass clippings, leaves and compost piles. Treatment includes a thorough inspection of the property, treatment of either attics, crawlspaces or both, crack and crevice treating the interior, exterior or both, or a combination of all of the above. The silverfish is common indoors in cool, damp places such as basements. The firebrat is found in warm places, such as around steam pipes and boilers. Silverfish will infest and damage a variety of materials, ranging from clothing, books, papers, to even wallpaper. They are a nuisance pest that people can find repulsive. Silverfish love humidity. When storing books or papers, reduce the humidity by using a desiccant package in storage boxes. Silverfish will travel great distances in search of food.
Adults are approximately ½”, black with red lines. Box Elder Bugs, along with ladybugs and cluster flies, normally enter structures in the fall. They are not a real problem at this time as they search for dark, undisturbed areas in which to hibernate. However during the spring season, they can emerge indoors in significant numbers. Access prevention is your best weapon against this pest. These insects follow warm air currents, so you can reduce inviting heat loss and create a physical barrier with weather stripping. Seal crevices along the roofline and around doors and window frames.
Fabric pests like the clothes moth and webbing moth share many of the same charactastics and behaviors. They are both usually white or cream colored and measure about 3/8″ long. Both of these moths can cause irreparable damage to personal belongings. They feed on almost any item made of natural fibers, particularly items made of wool, cashmere and silk. They are also capable of digesting animal hair. Treatment includes trapping, chemical treating, inspection and washing or dry-cleaning of infested articles.
Carpet beetle adults are small 1/16″ round normally gray or black. Their larva are what damages your personal belongings. They are able to digest animal hairs and will feed on almost any item made of natural fibers, mostly wool, cashmere and silk. The larva is about 1/4″ in length. They are fuzzy and often a light brown, but may vary in color. They are most commonly found in birds nests, rodent burrows, old wasp or bee hives. They can also be found in bark dust, mulch, plant bedding and on plants. Treatment normally requires a thorough inspection, treatment of the outside grounds of the building, crawlspaces, attics, and interior treating.