What are Earwigs?
Earwigs can be a very unpleasant looking creature and will sneak into your home without you being aware. It can take some time for them to be discovered once they are inside. Earwigs are night-shifters and hide in dark areas that are difficult to reach. They only emerge at night to hunt for food.
Some types of Earwigs have wings but they can't fly. They are most well-known for their pincers, which they use to protect themselves from other insects. The adult earwigs can grow up to a quarter inch in length. Their long, slender bodies are reddish-brown and have a slimmer shape.
Earwigs are believed to burrow into people's ears while they sleep. This myth is unfounded and has no scientific basis. Many people are afraid of earwigs because of the pincers at the back of their abdomens. These pincers are used by earwigs to defend themselves and spar with other earwigs.
What kinds of Earwigs are there?
Although the European earwig (Forficula auricularia) isn't native to the United States, it is the most common species that Americans find in their homes.
Red Legged Earwigs
The brown bands on the yellow legs of red-legged earwigs, Euborellia annulipes (or Euborellia annulipes), are what distinguish them. Although it is not native to North America, red-legged earwigs can be found in Florida.
Striped earwigs, or Lubidura Riparia, are easily identified by their light-tanned color and modified cerci (or forceps). Because they have two dark longitudinal stripes along their length, they are called striped earrings.
Anisolabis maritime, also known as maritime earwigs, live near the coast but avoid the water. They seek food along the coast. They are not able to swim and can drown in water.
Behavior and Habitat of Earwigs
Biology and habits of different types of insects are not the same. Earwigs prefer to live in moist, un-managed areas. If conditions are right, earwigs can become a serious problem in your garden. Earwigs can thrive in gardens that have adequate ground cover, food, and moist soil.
Earwigs eat either decaying or live plants. In rare cases, they can also eat predatory species. Learn more about What earwigs eat.
Earwigs move very fast. Earwigs are fast-moving and will run quickly when ground litter is removed.
Night is when earwigs are most active. They hide in damp places and cracks during the day. They can be found under logs, rocks, and mulch in flowerbeds. Earwigs eat plants as well as insects.
Attracted to Lighting
Lights attract earwigs. Earwigs can be a nuisance when they are outside on hot summer nights. They will be collected under cushions or other items that have been left out overnight.
Signs for Earwigs
They are often found in places where water is available, such as kitchens, bathrooms, or laundries. Earwigs can also be found in bedrooms and family rooms. Earwigs can be found in every room of the house but infestations is rare.
The average number of eggs a female lays is between 30-50, but the exact numbers vary depending on the species. The nymphs go through four to five molts after hatching until they turn into adults. The nymphs, or immature earwigs, look similar to adults but do not have wings. Learn more about the earwigs' life cycle.
How to keep Earwigs from your Home?
To keep earwigs away from a house, it is important to create conditions that are inhospitable to their success. Install a vapor barrier in a crawlspace to keep them out. If there is still excess moisture, dry it using dehumidification.
If earwigs wander in from outside, ensure that the door sweeps at the bottom fit tight and that there are no cracks in the foundation. You can install screens on brick weep holes. All window screens should be installed securely.
Earwigs can be prevented from entering your home or apartment by doing a little bit of preparation and inspection once a year. The pest control professionals can also offer advice and tools to help keep earwigs away from your home.