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Earwig Identification & Prevention

What are earwigs?

Earwigs are scavengers and feed on decaying aphids, snails, insect larvae, and plants. These insects have unique forceps-like appendages (cerci) that extend off of their abdomens, making them easy to identify. An earwig's appearance will vary from species to species; in general, earwigs are dark brown to reddish-brown and have long, flat, slender bodies, and some species may also have earwig crawling on a surface inside of a home in greensboro north carolina

Listed below are the most common species of earwigs living in North Carolina and South Carolina:

European/Common earwig

European (standard) earwigs have a wide distribution and live throughout much of the United States.

Maritime earwig

Maritime earwigs live in the sandy soil along shores and bays.

Ring-legged earwig

Ring-legged earwigs live in the southern portion of the United States.

Are earwigs dangerous?

Earwigs are nuisance pests and pose no danger to people. The forceps-like structure that scares people called the cerci isn't strong enough to cause us harm. They use this structure to defend themselves against each other and other insects; however, there are still good reasons why these nuisance pests shouldn't be allowed to live in your home, such as the following:

  • They move inside in big numbers and are difficult to find and eliminate.

  • They produce an unpleasant odor when disturbed.

  • Earwigs will contaminate dry goods stored in the pantry and kitchen areas.

Why do I have an earwig problem?

Earwigs prefer to live in damp, dark areas. Gardens, woodpiles, and compost piles are things that attract earwigs to a property. Earwigs spend most of the year living, feeding, and breeding outside but move inside homes and other structures to escape unsuitable weather conditions. Weather that gets very dry, hot, or during periods of heavy rain will drive earwigs indoors. Earwigs also come inside on objects like potted plants, in cardboard boxes, and wrapped in newspapers.

Where will I find earwigs?

Earwigs are nocturnal pests. They spend their days hiding in dark, secluded areas emerging at night to scavenge for food. Typical outdoor hiding spots include under mulch, landscaping ties, potted plants, and trash cans; those that have moved indoors also choose to live in damp, dark areas like basements, crawlspaces, and cabinets under sinks.

How do I get rid of earwigs?

If you are looking for pest control in the Raleigh area, turn to the local and experienced pest professionals at Aruza Pest Control. We offer home and business owners the benefits of comprehensive pest control, superior customer service, and the peace of mind that comes with our guaranteed services. Our eco-friendly solutions solve current pest problems and keep them from returning. For home and business owners who want to protect their property from earwigs, contact Aruza Pest Control today!

How can I prevent earwigs in the future?

In addition to our home pest control and commercial pest control services, use the following tips to prevent earwigs on your property:

  • Replace mulch around the perimeter of your home with a drier or non-organic material.

  • Repair any leaky indoor or outdoor pipes and fixtures.

  • Make sure crawlspaces are well ventilated.

  • Use dehumidifiers in damp basements.

  • Inspect the exterior of your home and eliminate all entry points you find.

  • Inspect potted plants, boxes, and other items before bringing them inside for hitchhiking earwigs.


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