Earwigs

(Order: Dermaptera)

Identification

Earwigs (Order: Dermaptera) are brownish to black in color, narrow-bodied, elongated and somewhat flattened insects. Their body length ranges from 1/4” to 1”. The key characteristic for identifying an Earwig is the forceps-like cerci or appendage on the rear of the abdomen. The cerci are used to for capturing prey, defense, and mating.

Habitat

These insects cause problems in new homes where land has been cleared. They often congregate under stones, logs, or other substrates that will hold moisture against the ground. These are nocturnal, and they may often be seen around lights or around windows at night.

Earwigs feed on dead and decaying organic material. They occasionally invade homes during the summer months for shelter, especially in times of either drought or excessive rain. Although they are harmless, they can be a nuisance in your home.

Control

The best form of earwig control is prevention. The most effective control measures you can take are:

  • Remove earwig nesting sites. These are any areas that hold moisture such as mulch, under ornamental rocks, patio stones, wood piles, and picnic furniture, especially if these are close to or touching your home.
  • Close and seal cracks and crevices (exclusion) around the perimeter of the home focusing on areas which are usually moist, such as behind wood piles or around drainage pipes.
  • If earwigs do enter your home, a hand-held vacuum is a great option for removing them.

Cook’s Pest Control offers expert treatment for the control of earwigs in and around your home or business. Our pest management professionals are thoroughly trained to address your earwig issues.

About Occasional Invaders

These pests invade your home or place of business infrequently and their intrusion is typically due to a change of weather. They usually wind up indoors while seeking shelter or just happen to wander inside through open doors.