First introduced to North America in the early 1900’s, earwigs get their name from the old European myth that these small insects would crawl in your ears and tunnel through your brain in your sleep. While this scenario is highly unlikely, the thought alone is enough to gross anyone out!
How to Identify Earwigs
Earwigs and Silverfish are often confused for one another, but the earwig has less appendages than the silverfish as well as having a set of pincers that the silverfish does not. Earwigs are only about 0.25-1 inch in size. They are most often dark brown, have 6 legs, and along narrow body. They are most prevalent during the late spring/early summer and can be found in moist, dark spaces. It is common to find them under potted plants, in damp basements, near leaky faucets, and dark protected areas.
Earwigs have a diet of decaying organic matter, flowering plants, other insects, and some vegetable plants as well. They are not poisonous; however, they will pinch out of self-defense and that may leave behind swollen, red, and inflamed skin.
Signs of an Earwig Infestation
There are plenty of conducive conditions that may be an inviting environment for earwigs, but the only sure way to tell if you have an infestation is by spotting this insect directly. Because earwigs are not dangerous or destructive, they are considered a “nuisance pest”. They are part of an even bigger group of creatures known as “sanitation engineers” because they help the ecosystem by feeding on the decaying organic waste and other insects.
If you suspect an infestation, try using a dehumidifier to cut down the moisture in the air, clean and remove any clutter from moisture prone areas of your home such as basements and under elevated porches, and finally, avoid over watering plants as sitting water is a breeding ground for many pesky pests!
What Can You Do About Earwigs?
If you see earwigs around your home and want to try and get control over them yourself this method is a fan favorite: mix equal parts of rubbing alcohol and water in a spray bottle and apply directly to the infestation. You can also try other methods involving soy sauce and olive oil, boric acid, or dish soap and water.
If you find that despite your best efforts, complete control seems difficult to obtain, contact us!