Silverfish and Firebrats are wingless insects. They have a flat, tapered body covered with metallic-appearing scales. They have three long sensory features attached to the bind end of the body.
Firebrats are larger than Silverfish and have a mottled appearance. Three species of Silverfish are found in Ontario, along with the Firebrat. They are active at night and favour humid, dark location as well as being outdoors.
While the Silverfish breeds optimally in temperatures of 22°C to 27°C, the Firebrat tends to select furnace rooms and walls near radiators or steam pipes, where the temperature range is between 27°C and 41°C.
Silverfish and the Firebrat are ametabolous, meaning their life cycle is without metamorphosis. Eggs hatch into young which moult numerous times into an adult.
The adult continues to moult, a procedure unique to Thysanurans. Many structures harbour one or the other of these insects, or perhaps both, but because of their secretive nature, they are often not seen.
They feed quietly on starchy things like glue and bread crumbs, as well as textiles and a variety of other foodstuffs and leave holes in the materials they feed on. A common place to find them is in wash basins and bath tubs.