Earwigs are small insects of the order Dermapter, and they are characterized by having smooth elongated bodies that have pairs of horny, forcep-like abdominal appendages called ‘cerci’. The cerci are like pincers, larger and more curved in the male than the female, with lengths ranging from nonexistent to 1/3 the length of the body. There are winged and wingless species of earwigs, the winged species having front and hind sets of wings that are leathery and membranous, yet earwigs hardly ever fly. The bodies are reddish or dark brown, lengths mostly in the quarter to half inch range; however the Saint Helena Giant Earwig has been known to reach up to 3 inches long. There are over 900 different species of Dermaptera and the common earwig is likely to be found in temperate climates. The name ‘earwig’ comes from the myth that earwigs found their way into human ears and burrowed into the brains to lay their eggs.
During the hot and dry summer months, earwigs will often attempt to migrate indoors. Earwigs prefer warm, temperate climates and dark and damp areas. If an earwig can find an entrance into your home or business, they can find an abundance of warm and damp areas to survive and reproduce. Earwigs are nocturnal and normally spend days hiding in small, dark and especially humid places around your dwelling, usually in your basements, bathrooms and kitchens. During the evening hours, they will feed on plants and other arthropods including mites and fleas. If you already have a pest infestation, this can increase the probability that you will soon have earwigs too.
Earwigs in Cleveland, Detroit, Columbus, and elsewhere in our service area are considered nuisance pests. They may use their cerci to pinch people, but this isn’t considered harmful as the cerci usually doesn’t have the ability to pierce skin and there is no venom that can be transferred to humans. Earwigs are mostly known for their destructive abilities in your household plants and gardens. They can damage delicate blossoms and will feed on decaying organic material.
The best way to remove earwigs from your home or business is to first control the earwig population you have surrounding your building. Earwigs are attracted to light and moisture, so it is important to reduce lighting around windows and doors and other possible sites of entry into your dwelling. Sodium vapor yellow lights are less attractive to insects and are therefore a better choice for your porch or outdoor lighting than white, neon or mercury vapor lights. Limiting the possible entry points in your structure can also be beneficial in keeping earwigs out of your space. Sealing all unnecessary holes or gaps in the structure will help to limit the possibility of an earwig infestation.
Rose Pest Solutions uses baits, mechanical means and natural earwig products as forms of treatment whenever possible. When conventional materials are required, our skilled technicians follow very stringent guidelines for products so that they pose no threat to your pets, your plants and most importantly, your family or employees. Rose Pest Solutions asserts that all the products we employ are registered by the EPA and our courteous and professional service technicians will let you know about any specific safety measures that need to be taken.
Pest problems can be difficult to prevent. Keeping your home or business sealed will help keep an infestation from returning. If there is a way to get into your dwelling, you can be certain that earwigs and other pests will find it. Earwigs are very attracted to moisture and large populations may be present around building foundations, landscaped yards and wood piles. Eliminating wet conditions in crawl spaces beneath buildings, around rain gutters and faucets can help in pest prevention. Caulking compound around windows, doors, pipes and other entry sites will eliminate the possibility of pest invasion, especially when taken into consideration around ground level. Keeping the area around your house dry will help prevent future infestations.