Thermobia domestica is an insect discovered by American entomologist and paleontologist Alpheus Spring Packard in 1873. (Integrated Taxonomic Information System 2012). Thermobia (Greek root "thermos" meaning hot) is found primarily in homes (domestica, root word from Latin "domus" meaning house) as a pest. Historically, this heat-seeking critter was found around bakery ovens and fire stoves seeking starchy foodstuffs, which is where it earned the nickname "firebrat." (Adams 1933).
They are distributed throughout most parts of the world and are normally found outdoors under rocks, leaf litter, and in similar environments, but are also often found indoors where they are considered pests. They do not cause major damage, but they can contaminate food, damage paper goods, and stain clothing. Otherwise they are mostly harmless.
At 1 1⁄2 to 4 1⁄2 months of age the female firebrat begins laying eggs if the temperature is right (32–41 °C or 90–106 °F). It may lay up to 6000 eggs in a lifetime of about 3–5 years. After incubation (12–13 days), the nymphs hatch. They may reach maturity in as little as 2–4 months, resulting in several generations each year.