Earwig Identification Guide

What are earwigs?

The earwig’s name means “ear creature.” It was once thought that they crawled into the ears of sleeping people to lay their eggs. Luckily, that is not true; they lay their eggs in the damp soil, not in the ears of people!

an earwig on a leaf

Earwigs are nuisance pests that mainly live outdoors but occasionally find their way into our homes and businesses. Earwigs have a long slender body that is flattened from top to bottom and is reddish-brown. Most species have wings, but they rarely fly. Earwigs are well-known for the pincer-like appendages (cerci) that extend off their abdomen. They use their cerci as a way to defend themselves from each other and other insects.

Are earwigs dangerous?

Earwigs are one of the most common and easy to recognize pests living outside in our gardens. An earwigs pincers may look intimidating, but know that they are not strong enough to pinch a person.

In very high populations, they can damage grass and plants as they feed, but this is not a significant concern. The biggest concern with earwigs is that they can move into our homes in large numbers.

Why do I have an earwig problem?

Earwigs are scavengers that live outside in damp, dark areas, feeding on plants and other insects. Our gardens and landscaped areas provide earwigs with everything they need — food and a moist area to shelter.

If the weather outside becomes too dry, they will search out areas of moisture. In the process, they often find their way into our homes through spaces under basement doors, around basement windows, or cracks in the foundation.

Where will I find earwigs?

Outside, earwigs hide under rocks, landscaping timbers, mulch, dense vegetation, and similar locations that provide damp living conditions. They often find their way into garages and sheds and hide under cardboard boxes and other storage containers.

If earwigs have moved into your home, they will gather in damp, dark areas. Basements, bathrooms, kitchens, closets, and crawlspaces are often home to earwigs. Piles of laundry, furniture, bedding, potted plants, newspapers, magazines, and even loaves of bread are common hiding spots for earwigs.

How do I get rid of earwigs?

Alder Pest Control will help you get rid of earwigs from your Arkansas property. We will work closely with you to not only meet your pest control needs but to exceed them. We provide the comprehensive services necessary to eradicate pests and prevent them from returning.

If you are ready to get rid of pests from your home or business, our professionals are happy to help! We will work with you to put the services in place needed to maintain a pest-free property. For more information about our earwig control services, reach out to us today!

How can I prevent earwigs in the future?

The easiest way to protect your property from earwigs is to partner with Alder Pest Control. You can also use the following prevention tips to help keep earwigs from invading your property in the first place:

  • Before bringing plants, boxes, or other containers inside of your home, inspect them for earwigs.
  • Cut back shrubs and bushes to keep the soil around your home’s foundation dry.
  • Repair leaky pipes and fixtures.
  • Keep your gutters and downspouts free of debris and make sure your downspouts direct rainwater away from your foundation.
  • Cut back weeds, tall grass, and shrubbery away from the outside of your home.
  • Around the foundation of your home, replace wood mulch with crushed stone.
  • Store your trash cans, compost bins, and recycling bins up off of the ground.
  • Use dehumidifiers, air conditioners, and circulator fans to reduce humidity levels in your home.
  • Keep storage areas clear of debris and limit the number of cardboard boxes you store in your home.
 

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