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Earwig Identification Guide

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What are earwigs?

Earwigs are well known for the fictitious story that they crawl into the ears of sleeping people to lay their eggs; the truth is, earwigs are a type of scavenger that lives outside feeding on dead insects and plant matter and cause no real harm to people. They lay their eggs in the soil – not the ears of people. Earwigs have long, flat, slender bodies that are reddish-brown, and most species have wings. People can identify earwigs by the pincer-like appendages (cerci) that extends off their abdomen.

earwig on leaf

Are earwigs dangerous?

Earwigs spend most of their lives outside, causing no threat to people. When living together in large populations, they damage plants and grass as they scavenge. While their pincers may make them look dangerous, they are not strong enough to pinch the skin of a person. They use their pincers to defend themselves against each other. Earwigs can, however, invade properties and structures in large numbers and are challenging to eliminate.

Why do I have an earwig problem?

Earwigs often make themselves at home in the damp soil found around the perimeters of homes and gardens located near foundations. Earwigs have high moisture needs. When the weather outside becomes too hot and dry, they often move into homes and other structures. Typical entry points include cracks in the foundation and spaces under exterior doors. Another common way that earwigs find their way inside is by hitchhiking. They often crawl into things like cardboard boxes and potted plants and are then brought indoors.

Where will I find earwigs?

Earwigs spend their time living outside in the damp soil under mulch, leaves, rocks, woodpiles, and landscaping ties. They also like to hide in the earth under trash cans, recycling bins, and compost bins. If the dry, hot weather causes earwigs to move indoors, people will find them living in areas of their homes that are high in humidity. Basements, crawlspaces, laundry rooms, utility rooms, or bathrooms are familiar earwig hiding spots.

How do I get rid of earwigs?

The best solution to your problem with earwigs is a professional solution. At TNT Home & Commercial Services, we take our time and provide the thorough services needed to solve pest problems once and for all. Our central focus is to ensure that our customers are satisfied, and their property is free of pests! For more information about protecting your Greater Houston home or business from earwigs and our area’s other common pests, reach out to TNT Home & Commercial Services today!

How can I prevent earwigs in the future?

More than an inconvenience, pests can be dangerous and cause a lot of damage. In addition to our professional pest control services, use the following tips to keep earwigs out of your home:

  • Before bringing plants, boxes, or other containers inside, inspect them for earwigs.
  • Make sure gutters are in good working order and are directing water away from the exterior of your home.
  • Cut back shrubs and bushes to keep the soil around your home’s foundation dry.
  • Repair any leaky pipes and fixtures.
  • Create a barrier between any mulch or soil and your foundation.
  • Store your trash cans, compost bins, and recycling bins up off of the ground.
  • Use dehumidifiers and air conditioners to reduce the humidity levels in your home.
 

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