Silverfish and Firebrats of Columbia County, Oregon

Silverfish and Firebrats are flat soft insects that are most often found indoors such as in bookshelves, clothes drawers, or pantries. They are a unique group dating back about 400 million years and not closely related to any other insect. They eat starches, including spilled flour and sugar, the glue in book bindings, or old clothes.

Common Silverfish (Lepisma saccharina) northwest oregon columbia county
Common Silverfish (Lepisma saccharinum) – Metallic gray with a tapering abdomen. Found in human homes, scurrying away when exposed. May have originated in Eurasia but now worldwide. (photo © Mandy Wagner)
Four-lined Silverfish Ctenolepisma lineata)
Four-lined Silverfish (Ctenolepisma lineata) – Brown or grayish-brown, not shiny, and often with dark lines. Antennae and “tail” are very long. Introduced from southern Europe. (photo © David Anderson)
Firebrat Thermobia domestica northwest oregon columbia county
Firebrat (Thermobia domestica) – Brown with mottled dark bands. Prefers warm and somewhat humid environments, so often found near furnaces or in bakeries (photo © sylviamd)

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