Earwigs are small, brown insects that are found all over the world. They are about 1 inch long and have distinctive pincers at the end of their abdomen which they can use for hunting. Earwigs are known for their ability to burrow, which they do to hide during the day.
There is a common misconception that these insects burrow into human ears and lay eggs on the brain - this is not true and very very false. For the most part, these insects are quite harmless.
Some earwigs do have wings, though they only fly for short bursts at a time.
Earwigs are omnivores and eat a variety of foods, including plants, insects, and decaying matter. They are nocturnal and prefer damp, cool environments. Earwigs reproduce relatively quickly and can produce up to 50 offspring per year.
Although they look scary with their abdominal pincers, earwigs are pretty easy going insects. They have been known to release an odor when they feel threatened which some have likened to smelling like battery acid.
Although earwigs may bite, in general most of them have mouths that are so small that you wouldn’t even feel it.
Earwigs usually lay their eggs in Autumn, nurse them during the Winter, and hatch during the spring.
Earwigs can be found in a variety of habitats, including fields, forests, gardens, and even our homes. They prefer damp, cool environments and are often found hiding under rocks, logs, leaf litter, and in loose sediment.
Earwigs are found all over the world except Antarctica, and there are roughly 2,000 identified species.
While earwigs are not generally considered a serious pest, they can be a nuisance in the home or garden. They can damage plants and crops and can become a problem if they invade your home in large numbers.
Again, they may release an odor when threatened which can stink up your living spaces and if they bite you, you will likely be fine and may not even feel it. Bigger ones may attempt to pinch you, but they tend to only do so defensively; avoiding the insect will prevent this.
How can I get rid of earwigs?
If you have a serious earwig problem, you may need to call a professional pest control company. However, if you only have a few earwigs, you can try to deter them by sealing up any cracks and holes in your home, cleaning up food spills, and reducing home clutter.
How do earwigs get into my home?
Earwigs can get into your home through cracks and holes in your foundation, windows, and doors. They can also gain access via your belongings, such as garden tools or flower pots.
How do I identify an earwig?
Earwigs are small, brown insects that are about 1 inch long. They have distinctive pincers at the end of their abdomen that can bring their total length up to 3”! Their burrowing behavior is a key identifying feature.
If you have a serious earwig problem, you may need to call a professional pest control company. A pest control company will have the experience and expertise to get rid of your earwig problem quickly and effectively.
Here are some tips to help prevent earwigs from invading your home:
Seal up any cracks and holes in your foundation, windows, and doors.