Earwigs

What do earwigs look like?

Earwigs are dark brown to reddish-brown in color and have a slender flattened body. They have six legs and thin, thread-like antennae which contribute to about half their body length. Earwigs are commonly identified by their pincer-like appendages called “cerci” which extend off the end of their abdomen. The shape of their cerci is an easy way to tell if the earwig is male or female. Females have a straight pair of cerci and males are curved. Most species of earwigs have wings, though not all can fly.

earwig up close

Where do earwigs nest?

Earwigs nest in damp dark areas: under mulch, under piles of leaves, rocks, landscape ties, and logs. Earwigs hide in these nesting spots during the day and emerge at night to feed on decaying plant materials and small insects such as mites and fleas. Inside homes and other buildings, earwigs take up residence in places that mimic their damp, dark outdoor nesting spots. Basements, bathrooms, laundry rooms, under rugs, behinds baseboards, or near floor drains all make great indoor nesting spots for earwigs.

Why do I have an earwig problem?

Earwigs prefer to live outside, but, when living in close proximity to the foundation of homes and other buildings, they may move inside when the weather outside becomes too hot and dry.

Are earwigs dangerous?

The earwig’s appearance and a common myth associated with them makes many people believe that earwigs are dangerous. In reality, they pose no danger to people or property. The myth associated with earwigs is that they crawl into people’s ears and tunnel into their brains while they are sleeping to lay their eggs. But there is absolutely no truth to this. Their pinchers may look scary, like they could do some damage, but they aren’t strong enough to cause real harm to people. Earwigs use their pinchers to defend themselves against each other, not people. While earwigs aren’t dangerous, they are a nuisance pest, and steps should be taken to prevent them from living inside homes and other buildings.

How do I get rid of earwigs?

The best way to eliminate earwigs is to contact a professional. At Superior Pest Solutions, our professionals will inspect your property to accurately identify pests and conditions that are attracting them. Based on our findings, we’ll implement a plan of action to eliminate earwigs and other household-invading pests. For earwig control in Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland, and Gloucester counties reach out to Superior Pest.

How do I prevent earwig infestations?

Earwigs can be difficult pests to prevent, but, in addition to putting into place a professional earwig control service, the following tips can help prevent earwigs from choosing your home to invade.

  • Reduce humidity levels in your home with the use of dehumidifiers, air conditioners, and ventilated fans.
  • Make sure that gutters are in good-working order to direct water away from the exterior of your home.
  • Seal cracks or gaps in your home's foundation.
  • Install door sweeps on all exterior doors.
  • Leave a stone barrier between mulch or soil and your home’s foundation.
  • Remove piles of leaves, grass and other debris from your property.
 
 

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