Get Rid of Earwigs?

How do I exterminate or get rid of earwigs?

In order to rid your home of earwigs, it is important to understand the basic biology of the earwig. Earwigs are not dangerous to humans but they can be quite startling as they dart fast when uncovered. They are most comfortable in very moist soil or in decaying vegetation. Sometimes, when people are cleaning up leaves, earwigs will scurry out of the debris, causing alarm.

The body of the earwig is very flexible so the hind end, or abdomen, seems to be able to curve as it moves. What is most disturbing to most people, though, is the large pincers or forceps protruding from the abdomen, extending from the body. These forceps are not dangerous, although they can pinch. Forceps are used to hold prey for the predaceous species, to help with mating, and as a defense mechanism.

Since earwigs prefer the moist areas in and around decaying vegetation, the best way to control earwigs is to modify that wet and comfortable environment. This can be done by making sure that the grade of the soil drains away from the house or structure rather than towards the structure. This will reduce the saturated soil near the structure and ultimately, reduce the numbers which might wander into a living area.

Another way to reduce the moisture is to make sure that if any irrigation or watering is occurring in the area, either automatic or manual, that the soil is not overwatered. Everyone loves beautiful plants and shrubs, but overwatering will create conditions that are suitable for earwigs.

Removal of the decaying vegetation such as fallen leaves from areas near a structure will also minimize the hospitable environment for earwigs. If there is no wet and decaying vegetation, the earwigs are going to be less likely to populate the area.

Finally, if there is a need to treat, products are available to create a barrier around a structure to keep pests out. Always, read, understand and follow the label directions. It is best to contact a pest control professional for all applications.