Iconic for a pincher at the end of their abdomen, earwigs are a well known pest that can commonly be found in homes, and outside. Although “ear” is in their name, they won’t end up in your ear any more frequently than other tiny creatures might.
The short answer to that question is no. While they can pinch, they are not venomous. More than anything they are annoying. Avid gardeners may have noticed their negative effect on vegetation. These bugs will chew through leaves and flowers, leaving them damaged and less appealing.
You might have noticed more earwigs in the bathroom and kitchen. These areas tend to have more moisture, which attracts these pests. It also doesn’t help that earwigs are omnivores, meaning that they are not picky eaters! These little guys will chow down on just about anything from other insects to crumbs left out on the kitchen counter. They will happily eat whatever we decide to leave out after meals. In addition to food, wet and rotting wood will attract these little critters.
Like many pests, earwigs find their way into home through small cracks and holes. Often, these openings are near doors and windows. Another common way that earwigs can enter homes is during the Fall when potted plants are brought into kitchens and garages. They will live on the plants, or in the soil where it is moist and, unknowingly, homeowners may bring earwigs inside with their plants.
The best way to manage earwigs is to clean up after meals, making sure not to leave out treats or crumbs that would attract these bugs to the kitchen. This is especially important after dinner. Earwigs are nocturnal, meaning that they are most active at night. If food is left out or crumbs are still present, you may wake up to find a few unwelcome guests in the morning.
Noticeable cracks and crevices in the foundation and around doors and windows should be sealed. Wet and rotting wood should be removed or replaced. As is needed to prevent other pests, foliage around the home should be trimmed back in order to eliminate the bridge between the home and the outside. These practices coupled with effective pest control, will keep earwigs at bay!
Another way to help manage earwigs on the outside of the home is to get rid of lights near the ground. While small garden lanterns along a path may be romantic, they will attract earwigs and add to your problem.
As always, Insight is here for you! We want to help you with your pest concerns and frustrations. Our technicians are qualified to apply pesticides that are pet, children and environment friendly. If you are struggling with earwigs or have any other pest concerns, please contact our office to schedule an appointment with one of our technicians.
Make sure to check out our Why do Wasps Keep Coming Back post or our answer to the question, Do I have Moles?