There is a superstition that earwigs burrow into the ears of people while they sleep. This is a myth and without any scientific basis. Earwigs frighten many people because of the pincers on the back of their abdomens. These insects use these pincers for defense and for sparing with rival earwigs.There are more than twenty species of earwigs in the United States. Depending on the species, adults range in size from 5-25 mm. They are slender insects with two pair of wings. Some species produce a foul smelling liquid that they use for defense. They also produce a pheromone. Scientists believe that this pheromone is the reason that earwigs cluster together in large numbers. Immature ones resemble the adults except they do not have wings.
- Earwigs are primarily nocturnal, feeding at night. They are scavengers, eating primarily dead insects and decomposing plant materials.
- Some species are attracted to lights.
- During the day, earwigs will seek shelter under organic matter such as mulch, pine straw, leaf litter, and other debris. They prefer dark and damp areas like under sidewalks, and stones.
- They eat live plants and can do damage to field crops.
- Earwigs are found in homes and can get in through entry points like doors and windows, and by going up the foundation.
- Their populations build up around foundations. Earwigs produce large populations rather quickly and are often a major problem in new subdivisions.
- Earwigs live in habitats that also harbor centipedes, sowbugs (roly-poly), and millipedes.
- Because they are attracted to moisture it is important to eliminate high moisture areas. Earwigs may be present, although invisible during the day around foundations, in mulch, under stones, boards, etc.
- Look for ways to eliminate damp moist conditions particularly around crawl spaces, faucets, and along the foundations.
- Rain gutters and spouts should direct water away from the house foundation.
- Caulk or use weather stripping at all possible entry points such as doors, windows, pipes and other entry points at the ground level
- Change landscaping by creating a clean, dry border immediately around the foundation wall. Gravel or ornamental stones can make an attractive barrier against earwigs and other pest invaders.
Call Natura Pest Control for a Quote
If you notice a large population of earwigs in or around your home in contact Natura Pest Control to receive your free quote. Our knowledgeable pest exterminators in Reno, NV, Oklahoma City and Tulsa, OK will use the best techniques and technology available to completely remove these insects from the premises. We will also treat the area to prevent earwig infestations for years to come.