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What are Earwigs?

Posted by: Cooper Pest

Earwigs are long, slender insects anywhere from 5-25mm in length. Their most distinctive feature are the “forceps” or pincers on the end of their abdomen. 

What are Earwigs?

Earwigs are a nocturnal insect that typically hide in small, dark and damp crevices during the daytime hours. They become active at night where they search for different insects and plants to feed off of. There are a few different species of earwigs that are found in the Northeast, but one of the most common in our area is the European earwig.

Earwigs are usually found within wooded or grassy areas but can also be seen around outdoor lights at night. If the earwig feels threatened, they can squirt a foul-smelling yellow liquid in defense.

Are earwigs really going to lay their eggs in my Brain?

We’ve all heard the old wives' tale of the earwigs or “pincher” bugs that will crawl into your ear and lay their eggs inside your brain, but what exactly are these bugs and why do they have these pinchers on their back ends?

What Are Those Pincers For?

Earwigs are often recognized by the pincers on the back of their abdomens, and although the myth states they will enter your ear canal to lay eggs, this statement couldn’t be further from the truth.

Earwigs typically use their “forceps” for defense against various predators and sparing with other earwigs. Depending on the species of the earwig, the pincers can be used for catching prey or in a mating ritual. Even though the pincers on earwigs aren’t dangerous to humans, if they happen to pinch your finger, it may be unpleasant.

What is an earwig

Is My Garden at Risk for Earwigs?

Since many earwig species eat a variety of plants and flowers, your outdoor garden may be at risk. Below is a list of plants that earwigs may find a delicacy.

Types of Flowers that Earwigs May Eat

  • Clovers
  • Dahlias
  • Zinnias
  • Sunflowers
  • Roses

Types of Vegetables that Earwigs May Eat

  • Lettuce
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Potatoes
  • Beans
  • Beets

Types of Fruit that Earwigs May Eat

  • Strawberries
  • Blackberries
  • Peaches
  • Plums
  • Grapes

Can Earwigs Invade My Home?

Earwigs can make their way into your home, but usually, it is for food or a change in weather. Some typical places a homeowner may find earwigs are in kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms because they like damp environments but they can turn up in just about any area of the home.

Ways to keep earwigs out of your home is by eliminating their possible hiding places. If the earwig harborages aren’t addressed, then it can become problematic for homeowners who are trying to control the infestation.

Ways to Reduce Earwigs from Entering Your Home

  • Create a “dry zone” around the foundation of the home by removing woodpiles, landscape timbers, mulch, dead leaves, and other damp, decaying organic material. Earwigs love damp, dark environments that include decomposing materials like leaves and branches. The “dry zone” should be about 6”-12” wide to provide a barrier against the earwigs.
  •  Trim trees and bushes that may provide shade within that “dry zone” barrier.
  • If you have a sprinkler system, program the watering for early in the morning so the lawn has plenty of time during the day to dry out.
  • If possible, set up outdoor lighting away from the home to shine on the home. This will draw the insects towards the light source and keep them away from your home. If this is not possible, consider switching your outdoor bulbs to yellow bug lights since earwigs and other bugs are attracted to white lights.

Professional Earwig Prevention

Earwigs, like many other crawling insects, are included in Cooper Pest Solutions’ Home Traditional and Home Intensive programs. However, if you have an immediate problem, we can also perform a One Time Service to control earwigs at your home. 

Why Should I Call Cooper Pest Solutions for my Earwig Problem?

Cooper Pest Solutions is a unique pest control company since we believe it is crucial to understand the biology and behavior of pests to effectively eliminate and prevent them. We use scientifically proven methods to develop our pest-specific treatments and our staff entomologists are constantly researching and finding new, improved ways to successfully eradicate unwanted pests.

Cooper Pest Solutions is dedicated to providing our customers with the most effective treatments along with our "WOW" service.

For more information, please call us at 1-800-949-2667 or fill out our FREE estimate form.

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