Most people recognize earwigs because of the common story that leads people to believe that earwigs crawl into the ears of sleeping people where they then burrow into their brains and lay their eggs. Luckily, this story is completely untrue; earwigs are just a type of nuisance pest that is found living across most of the United States.
Adult earwigs are dark reddish-brown in color and grow to be about 5/8th of an inch in length. Earwigs have a long narrow body with two “cerci” or pinchers coming off of their hind end. The male cerci are curved, the female cerci are straight.
Habits and Life Cycle of Earwigs
The earwig lifecycle begins with the female digging into the ground and then laying her eggs; after the eggs hatch, small light brown colored nymphs emerge. The nymphs stay in their nest and are fed by their mother until their first molt. Earwigs go through five molts total before they become darker in color and reach adulthood.
Earwigs are found living in damp dark areas, outside they can be found living underneath mulch, leaves, logs, piles of grass, and in hollow trees. Earwigs emerge from their hiding spots at night to feed. Earwigs eat things like insects, mites, leaves, flowers, soft fruits, and mold.
If the weather becomes too hot and dry for them they will move inside looking for better living conditions. In houses, they can be found hiding under sinks, in bathrooms, in basements, in laundry rooms, and in crawl spaces.
Earwigs are not dangerous to people or pets, they are not venomous and they don’t bite. Their pinchers cause people to believe they are more of a danger than they really are, the pinchers are used to defend themselves against each other, but aren’t strong enough to cause any real pain to a human.
Getting help from a professional pest control company is the most effective method of control for earwigs. The experts at American Pest Solutions have the knowledge, experience, and technology necessary to eliminate your earwig infestation. We offer residential pest control services that help defend your home from pests common to Massachusetts.
Preventing earwigs from choosing your home and property can be a difficult task but there are several things that you can do to help prevent them. Seal cracks and crevices that are found in your home’s or other building’s foundation, caulk spaces found around windows and doors. Place woodpiles up off of the ground and store a distance away from the outside of your home; remove piles of leaves, grass, and other organic matter from your property that can attract earwigs. Reduce humidity levels in your home by fixing leaky pipes and fixtures and by installing de-humidifiers where necessary.