Currently viewing the category: "Silverfish, Bristletails and Firebrats"

Subject: Boston Apartment Bug
Location: Boston, MA
December 24, 2012 12:21 am
I find one of these bugs every so often in my 4th story apartment in Boston. Usually in the bathroom. I have never seen these before (grew up in the midwest). I have been wondering for a while, and finally got a picture of one. There are two antennas in the front, and three in the back.
Signature: Doug


Hi Doug,
You have Silverfish.  They are a common household pest and they can be very difficult to eradicate.

Subject: Should I be worried?
Location: Northern Ontario Canada
November 4, 2012 4:54 pm
I’ve got two bugs that have invaded my appartment. And no others in my building. Not bed bugs thankfully. But I’m wondering if I should be worried. Here is a pic of the first one.
Signature: Mark


Dear Mark,
Though we thought this creature somewhat resembled a Silverfish, we wanted to run it by Eric Eaton before responding to you.  Here is Eric’s comment.

Eric Eaton Responds
That is a (dead, shriveled?) silverfish or firebrat.  They are generally a nuisance more than a real pest, but they like to eat starchy materials.  They can be a real pain in libraries where they eat the dried glue in book bindings.

Subject: kitchen bugs
Location: Vancouver BC, V6G 2A5
October 9, 2012 11:53 pm
I’ve been having a few of those fast moving bugs on my kitchen floor. I’ve seen one coming out of my bathroom sink too. They seem fairly harmless but just wondering what they are …
Signature: kitchen bugs


Dear J,
You have Silverfish, a common household pest that is difficult to eradicate.

looks like a louse, but the legs are all wrong…
Location: Los Angeles, CA
March 8, 2012 12:39 am
Hi Bugman,
I found a bug while bathing my kids. Singly in the water.
I have looked and looked online. The closest thing is lice. But it is soooo different looking…
* Color and opaqueness
* size
* visible dark eyes
* visible internal ’organs?’
* Antenna similar length smooth and seem segmented looking
* smooth
* tubular body
* legs tucked under
* legs are set of 3 flat ovals with tiny simple foot kicking out at about 45degree angle, all pressed against underside of body not visible from top view. with two additional very small front legs that are leg like (not flat disc like the other 6) ending with a single point foot (not claw like like a louse).
* the upper torso is segmented (like a crawdads tail) and tapers down the abdomen ending with two points at the back.
* the torso is slightly larger than the abdomen – more oval to accommodate the tucked legs.
* each leg comes from one of the segments.
The mouth parts are hard to see, but seems to have a little bit of a two part mustache (palp). The way the light hit they eyes it seemed like they might be compound because there were a lot of light dots reflecting back.
It is a soft exoskeleton which yields to the tip of the pin as I push.
It is about 7.5 mm long (9mm to the tip of antenna).
Other info:
The cat jumps into the tub when it is empty and drinks water that pools under the faucet.
I always rinse the tub before bathing, but sometimes more than others. I was tired this evening, put about 70% into it.
So it could be from the outdoor cat, or from the kids. It was a hair washing night… or…
I sure hope I was able to give enough information, clearly enough for you. I used a 30x – 25mm illuminated loupe to ID this little guy. I don’t have anything that would be able to photograph him though…
Thank you,
Signature: Lesley Sue

What's That Bug???

Dear Lesley Sue,
We do not believe this is a Louse, but we are uncertain of its true identity.  It most closely resembles one of the plant sucking insects in the order Hemiptera, most likely an immature nymph.  We suspect it might be something the cat brought in.  The photo doesn’t have much detail.  You can try browsing through the photos on BugGuide from the suborder Auchenorrhyncha to see if you can find a match, or perhaps one of our readers will write in with a comment.

Bug in Italy
Location: Milan Italy
March 4, 2012 9:09 am
I have seen this bug twice in my apartment in Italy, once in my closet and again today on my window sill. Is it a roach? Also, is this something I could be allergic too or bites? I have been incredibly itchy at night since I have moved into this apartment a few months ago!
Signature: Creeped out


Dear Creeped out,
This is a Silverfish and it is a common household pest found in many parts of the world.  Silverfish will eat stored foods, but they also feed on a variety of organic materials not considered to be food, including the glue in book bindings and wallpaper.  To the best of our knowledge, they do not bite.  Silverfish are reported to be very difficult to eradicate.

Location: Atlanta, GA
January 20, 2012 10:06 pm
What is this bug? I keep a clean house and though I love nature I don’t like it skurring though my house. Since it’s got cooler here in Atlanta I’m seeing these guys more and more no matter how much I clean.
Signature: Sir. Arke


Dear Sir. Arke,
You are being pestered by Silverfish, common household intruders that are extremely difficult to eradicate.