Earwig Infestation

What Does an Earwig Infestation Look Like?

Very few people ever encounter an earwig infestation of large proportion, and they typically do not actively infest indoors. As these are outside insects, even if people see just a few that might wander into a home or apartment, they are often considered a major invasion. These are not tiny insects, and the intimidating forceps can lead to panic when people do see an earwig infestation.

Earwigs are not social insects, so there is no queen or king or colony workers as one would encounter with bees or even termites. There is also no nest, so an infestation can’t be seen in a single place such as with a bee hive.

Earwig habits and habitat vary. Some are predaceous, typically preying on smaller insects or arthropods. Most are not predaceous and instead feed on the live or decaying vegetation found in moist soil.

If there is a home with moist soil around the foundation and an abundance of leaves, dead plant material in the soil, and even live plants such as tender weeds, earwigs will have adequate conditions to eat, hide and rear young.

It is very common to remove the vegetation cover and see dozens of earwigs scurrying about to find hiding places. Domestic earwigs and young especially cannot tolerate dry and sunny areas for long. Sometimes, one might even see earwigs go into holes in rotten tree stumps, but earwigs typically do not dig or burrow to a great extent. The flexible abdomen will allow them to move quickly and into tight areas.

Inside, unless conditions are excellent, in a basement for example, earwigs will not typically be present in large numbers. They most often infest outdoors but might wander indoors, giving the illusion of an infestation.