How to Identify and Get Rid of Earwigs
Protect your home or business from earwigs by learning techniques for identification and control.
How do I get rid of earwigs?
What Orkin Does
Orkin Pros are trained to help manage earwigs and similar pests that invade homes. Since every yard or home is unique, the Orkin Pro will design an earwig treatment program for your situation.
Keeping pests out of your home is an ongoing process, not a one-time treatment. Orkin’s exclusive A.I.M. solution is a continuing cycle of three critical steps — Assess, Implement and Monitor.
Orkin can provide the right solution to keep earwigs, and other pests, in their place...out of your home or business.
Behavior, Diet & Habits
Forceps: Earwigs are odd looking insects which have pincers or forceps protruding from the abdomen. These are somewhat intimidating looking but they are not poisonous, and they do not spread disease.
Size: Depending on the species, adults range in size from 5-25 mm.
Wings: They are slender insects with two pair of wings. Dermaptera means “skin wing” due to the leathery appearance of the wings. The hind wings typically fold under the front wings. Do earwigs fly?
As with any other type of insect with multiple species, biology and habits vary. Most types of earwigs generally prefer wet areas which are cooler and undisturbed. Earwigs can be a serious garden pest if conditions are right. If there is adequate ground cover, wet soil, and food, the earwigs will do well.
Earwigs typically feed on live sprouts or decaying vegetation and, in rare cases, some species are predators. Read more about what earwigs eat.
Earwigs are relatively fast moving. They run away quickly when the ground litter is moved, uncovering them.
Earwigs are active at night. During the day they hide in cracks in damp areas. They live under rocks and logs and in mulch in flowerbeds. Earwigs eat plants and insects.
Attracted to Lighting
Earwigs are attracted to lights. They can become a nuisance on porches and patios on summer evenings. In the morning they will be gathered under things like cushions that were left outside overnight.
Homeowners often find them in areas where there is water – kitchens, bathrooms, and laundries. Earwigs can also find their way into bedrooms and family rooms. They turn up in almost every part of the house, but infestations are rare.
Females typically lay between 30 and 50 but actual numbers depend on species. After hatching, the nymphs undergo four to five molts until they become adults. Immature earwigs (nymphs) resemble the adults except they do not have wings. Read about the earwigs life cycle.
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