Firebrats can become a major pest if left untreated. Firebrats are 1/2″ to 1″ in length, they don’t have wings, they are usually light grey to tan in color and nocturnal. You know they are a problem when you begin to find them on your ceiling, in light fixtures, in sinks or baths, or on counter tops.
Although firebrats like to eat vegetable matter, they will readily feed on anything in the home. Anything includes meat, pantry items, fabric, boxes, paper, wallpaper, clothing, pet food or other items in the home. Most customers we help complain of firebrats which are active in the upstairs of their home such as bathroom and attic areas. And many times this activity is confusing. Firebrats found in bath tubs or sinks are thought to be coming up from the drain pipe. This rarely if ever happens if the sink is used even just a few times a year. Here is what does happen. Firebrats seek moisture, mold and other food commonly found where it is wet. They will readily forage into tubs and sinks attracted to the moisture. Being nocturnal, they forage at night never seen.
Once in the tub or sink, they cannot escape. The next day they are found either dead or walking around by the drain and they are mistakenly thought to have come up from the pipes! If you are finding firebrats in such areas, they are most likely coming from an adjacent wall void or ceiling space – maybe even your attic if it’s above this area. And though these pests will thrive around the home under rocks and mulch, they will readily seek shelter under siding of your house. Once they establish themselves on the outside of the home, they will move from there into your attic and living areas.
In the attic, firebrats will find an unlimited supply of food. Since many homes have recycled blown in paper insulation and boxes used for storage, food abounds! Once firebrats infest these areas, it is only a matter of time before they find their way into your living areas.
Controlling firebrats can be accomplished one of two ways. There has been huge improvements in the products we have available to treat them. Although you may think that spraying is the most effective way to treat, it usually won’t work as well as dusting or baiting. I will discuss all options in this article, explain how to do the work and then recommend the products necessary. You will be able to link to the products discussed by clicking on any name in this article which appears blue on your page.
FIREBRAT CONTROL SPRAY
If you have firebrats around the outside of the home and occasionally one gets inside, perimeter treatments may stop them. The best formulation for firebrats is ESFENVALERATE. This concentrate is easy to work with. It mixes readily with water, does not have an odor and will last a month or more per application. It works well on a variety of pests but is particularly effective against firebrats. Concentrate your spraying along the foundation wall and make a two or three foot band which will provide the necessary barrier. Use one of our is SPRAYERS to do the application; we are sure to have one which will suit your need or budget. If you are finding some inside treat with the Esfenvalerate inside as well. Concentrate on baseboards when spraying low. If the activity is located up high, you may consider taking some of the finished spray and applying it on crown mouldings, around light fixtures and other places near the ceiling by using a paint brush. This type of application will enable you to keep the material from making a mess which is what would happen if you tried spraying it up high.
If the infestation is past the point of having an occasional invader, you will need to do more than just spraying. In most cases, firebrats will move under wood and vinyl siding. Once established, they will move into the attic. They like to nestle down under the insulation and will infest storage boxes as well. From there they will move into living areas. To deal with these infestations, you will achieve better results by dusting or baiting.
FIREBRAT CONTROL DUST
DRIONE DUST is a silica based material that works as a desiccant on insects. Firebrats cannot live where it is applied. Drione can be used both outside and inside. Apply some under siding, around routes of entry, into storage boxes, into light fixtures, into electric outlets, and broadcast it throughout the attic if they are nesting under the insulation. The great thing about Drione is that wherever you apply it, firebrats, as well as any insect, cannot live. This means that through a process of elimination you should be able to solve most problems. If you know you treated a certain area yet you still are seeing some, then you must have missed a void or nest sight. Use one of our HAND DUSTERS for getting equal and uniform distribution – especially for crack and crevice treatments. These tools do a great job of getting the dust where it needs to be and avoids both waste and the mess that goes with applying most any dust. Most indoor applications will last 6-12 months; outside applications may only remain active for a few months since high moisture levels will tend to break the dust down. If you have only a small area to treat, get some PT-230. This is basically “Drione in a can” and does not need an applicator. The can is pressurized like most any aerosol can and it comes with a small needle like tip which allows for specific applications where it matters the most. If you have a lot of area to treat, get the loose Drione in the 1 lb jars or bigger and use an applicator.
FIREBRAT CONTROL BAIT
If dusting sounds like too much work, you can bait for firebrats as well. NIBAN FG has been used several years for crickets, ants and roaches. It is also labeled and works well for firebrats. Niban uses boron as the active ingredient so it is safe to use around children and pets. It does not have an odor, can be applied inside and outside and will last a long time. Niban should be applied the same way as Drione. Treat cracks and crevices where the firebrats are entering the structure. For proper application and coverage, a BAIT APPLICATOR should be used. Get some in boxes, light fixtures, electric outlets, around book cases and shelves and behind cabinets where these pests are likely to be hiding. Niban uses a food base which firebrats love and are attracted to.
The advantage of using Niban over Drione is that you are likely to get control with the Niban as long as you deliver it close to where the firebrats are nesting. If you are dusting with the Drione, the firebrats will be able to avoid treated areas and thrive if you miss their nest sight. In other words, since firebrats tend to forage for food, they will actively find the Niban as long as you have some where firebrats have been seen. The same is not true with the Drione. If you don’t get it just where it needs to be applied, the problem could persist. Local populations will just move around your treatment so if you choose to use the Drione, be prepared for followup applications and be sure to exercise some patience during the process.
If you have large attic or crawl spaces to treat with either Drione or Niban, use our DUSTIN MIZER for getting it applied properly. The Dustin Mizer enables you to apply either material to large open areas by simply turning the crank handle. If you need to get it out over a vast area, turn it hard. It will propel either material 20 to 30 feet.
FIREBRAT CONTROL TRAPS
Once you have done your treatment, give it time to take effect. The baiting will work within a few days; expect to see dead firebrats around the same places you had been seeing them previously. If the nest site was in the living areas, Niban will control your problem. If the firebrats are originating from attics or walls and you needed to dust, it may take a little longer to get the results you want. You may find installing some FIREBRAT TRAPS to be helpful. These work around the clock and will catch many which otherwise would take a lot longer to kill. These traps should be installed in any room you either saw previous activity or where you want to make sure no activity exists. Prime locations for trap placement include bookcases, wall units, cabinets, TV cases, pantries, medicine cabinets, closets, filing cabinets or any other place where activity has been observed. Change them every 3 months and inspect them every couple of weeks. If you are still catching firebrats in areas that were treated, you then know further treatment is needed.
Firebrats can become a pest inside the home. Use Esfenvalerate to keep them out. If they have gotten inside, use Drione dust for quick control or Niban bait for more sensitive areas. Although they can live in attics, roof tops and outside siding, firebrats will gladly move into valuable books, record albums, cabinets and clothing. To see the products discussed above, link to our product catalog below. There will find the items needed to do your own pest control. You will be able to see our product line as well as learn how to order.