What are Earwigs Attracted to in my Home?

Most domestic earwigs prefer moist soil areas with adequate cover and food source. Frequently, people will find earwigs in their home or apartment and ask, “Why do I have earwigs inside?”

Apartments and homes become an unintentional host to earwigs for two reasons. These insects can invade by accident though human activities or they can actively seek to escape inclement outdoor conditions in our space.

How Did They Get Inside?

Earwigs enter homes by crawling inside through cracks, gaps and holes that lead inside the structure. These common entry points include gaps around poorly sealed doors and windows; through crevices and gaps in the areas where foundations meet siding; through unscreened attic and foundation vents; and through access doors leading into crawl spaces. In addition, earwigs readily enter structures through homeowner activities. For example, earwigs may get inside with bundles of newspapers, boxes, lumber, books and plants that are moved inside a home or business. It is also common for earwigs to move inside from their outdoor habitats and locations when lights attract them.

Also, earwigs might have been brought in accidentally. If boxes were stored in a wet garage area, for example, and earwigs found those boxes hospitable, they might have infested the boxes and when those boxes are brought inside, earwigs could surprise the homeowner. Another way for earwigs to be brought in is if they are living under plants between a plant pot and the saucer. If people bring these in for the winter, earwigs will be brought inside.

Weather Conditions

If conditions outdoors become inhospitable, earwigs will enter our living spaces. One example would be if temperatures drop and the earwigs invade, seeking warmth. Another possibility would be if conditions start to dry in the earwigs' normal shelter. If there is a damp basement area with perhaps much clutter and even leaves that have blown in, there can be an abundance of moisture and cover. Wet basement walls can drip onto the floor and create hospitable conditions for earwigs. They are also protected from winter weather in this manner. It is also common for earwigs to move inside from their outdoor habitats and locations when lights attract them.

Earwigs do not typically prefer to thrive in our space, but through human activity or lack of good maintenance via screens, doors or conditions leading to excessive moisture, these insects can come into our apartment or house.

Resources

Protect Your Home From Earwigs

Earwig Facts | Earwig Habitats & Behaviors

Earwig illustration

Brown bugs with prongs pointing from their backs

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