You’ve probably seen them before: those creepy-crawly little insects that seem to appear out of nowhere and send a shiver of disgust through your body. While they are harmless to humans, earwigs can cause a good deal of mental discomfort. Here’s what you need to know about them.
What They Look Like
Earwigs are typically about ¼-1 inch in length, with brown or black bodies, six legs, antennae, wings and a leathery appearance on their exoskeletons. The most notable feature they possess, however, is the pincers that are attached to the rear of their abdomens. This is a feature that is often disturbing to homeowners. These pincers are mainly used for reproduction purposes, hunting food and self-defense. If you pick up an earwig, it may try to pinch you. But don’t worry, earwigs are not poisonous and don’t carry disease, and their pincers are highly unlikely to break skin.
Where They Live
Earwigs are usually nocturnal, choosing to hide in cold and moist places during the day and coming out at night to find food. They can often be found in leaf and mulch piles, in holes in trees or the ground, in small crevices and indoors near water sources. They usually live together in large numbers, and will often scurry away if discovered and exposed. If they get into your house, it will be through tiny cracks and crevices in walls or through basements that are unfinished or not completely sealed in. Since earwigs are attracted to dirt and leaves, they may take refuge in ground debris tracked into the home by the soles of your shoes.
What They Eat
Earwigs commonly eat vegetation such as leaves and flowers, and particularly enjoy dead or decaying plant matter. They also hunt and eat other insects and arthropods. They search for food at night, and can present a danger to gardens because they are known to eat seedlings and fruit. Contrary to the old urban legend that gives them their name, earwigs do not crawl into human ears at night to eat their brains.
How to Get Rid of Them
Earwigs are often drawn indoors by light, changing weather and the need for new sources of food. You may find them near sinks and showers where there is excess moisture, but they are also known to find their way into living spaces like living rooms and bedrooms. In order to prevent earwigs from entering your home, make sure that you properly seal all exterior cracks with caulk and/or mesh sealants. Also make sure to keep decaying organic material, wood piles and tree branches away from the walls of your home, as these places provide a home for earwigs. The closer they are to your home, the more likely they are to find their way in.
If you find that your earwig problem is out of hand, or that any other pest is infesting your home, don’t hesitate to call in the professionals! At Dodson Pest Control, our 75 years of experience with eradicating pests makes us capable of getting rid of your infestation quickly and thoroughly. Contact us today!