Earwigs are a common pest although not dangerous to humans or pets. The earwig is very flexible, allowing the hind end and abdomen to curve as it moves. Most people get frightened or disturbed by the large pincers that come out from the abdomen and extend from the body.
Behaviours and Habits of the Earwig
Earwigs are nocturnal. They are active during the night and hide in cracks in damp places during the day. Earwigs winter in small burrows in the ground. The females lay their eggs in the burrow during spring and tend the eggs until they hatch and are big enough to find their own food. Because earwigs are attracted by light they can become a pest on porches and patios during summer nights. In the morning it is common to find them gathered underneath cushions or trash left out overnight.
Earwigs will enter a home in search for food or because of a change in weather. When they move inside they are most commonly found in areas near water such as bathrooms, pipes, kitchens and laundry rooms.
Earwigs, like many other common pests prefer a moist, damp environment such as moist soil or amid decaying vegetation. They are often discovered when people are raking and cleaning up leaves.
Natural Methods for Controlling Earwigs
One of the best ways to control an earwig population is to make certain that the grade of your yard effectively drains moisture away from your home. This will reduce the amount of damp or saturated soil near your home and reduce the population of earwigs that might find their way into living areas. Check gutters and downspouts to make sure they drain away from the foundation of your home.
Another simple preventive measure is to make sure that you are not overwatering your lawn. Remember that the more saturated your soil, the more inviting it will be to earwigs. It is best to water in the morning so your lawn can dry out during the day.
Remove any decaying vegetation like leaves that fall near your home, decorative stones, timber logs and firewood piles. This will make the environment less hospitable for earwigs and make them less likely to populate the area or enter the home.
Since earwigs are attracted to light, adjust any outdoor lights to shine from the yard onto the house. Insects will be attracted into the yard and away from the house. If you cannot move fixtures the next best thing to do is to change out the bulbs to yellow bulbs because they are less attractive to bugs.
Make sure all screens are repaired on crawl space vents and ensure that vents are not blocked. For damp cellars, one can use a dehumidifier to reduce moisture.
Killing Earwigs with Insecticides
If modifying the environment around your home does not help control earwigs and you discover an earwig infestation in your home, you can use an insecticide product designed to create a barrier around your home to keep pests out. Because these bugs can infest different living areas it may be necessary to use several different insecticide products. Pest control professionals will be able to provide the products and equipment to effectively control earwigs.
Earwigs are not dangerous but they can be irritating. Preventive maintenance is the first course of treatment but when that fails to control an earwig population, professional pest control technicians have an arsenal of products and equipment to provide effective earwig control.