Earwigs are a common problem by many homeowners and many find themselves with the question of what an earwig is. Here’s a complete guide on earwigs, how to spot them, and ultimately, how to get rid your home of these pest:


What Are Earwigs

Earwigs are small, and sometimes medium-sized, elongated insects which are either red or brown in color. They have six legs and a pair of wings which enable them to fly, however they rarely use this and instead spend most of the time scuttling around on the ground.

These insects are nocturnal and have a habit of hiding in small crevices that are damp and dark during the day. They are commonly found in areas that are extremely wooded or contain a lot of grass and on outdoor lights during the night-time. And when they feel threatened, these 6-legged insects squirt a foul-smelling, yellow liquid in order to defend themselves.

Earwigs are an omnivorous species and typically enjoy a diet that is made up of other insects; decaying organic matter; as well as vegetables and fungus. At night, when they tend to be more active, they begin their search for preys to feed off of. However, modern earwigs have also gained a taste for human leftovers and this make them quite a problematic species when invading the homes of unsuspecting people. Earwig infestations can be really troublesome for homeowners that is why understanding how you can keep them out is important.



Earwig, scientific name Dermaptera

In order to ensure that you know what you are dealing with, here is a brief rundown on the characteristics of earwigs. First, earwigs tend to be elongated. They have a pair of slender antennae. Their legs are extremely thin allowing them for a quick escape. These insects can grow anywhere from 5mm in length up to 25mm in length.

However, not all species of earwigs have wings. In the ones that do have wings, the forewings are normally hard so that it cover the hindwings and the base of the insect?s abdomen. Their wings are similar to the wing cases that are seen in beetles. The hindwings take on an almost semi-circle shape. The wings tend to be extremely thin and transparent. Most of these species rarely fly.

Earwigs are known for the pair of appendages, or pincers, located on the end of their abdomen. No one is actually one hundred percent sure why they have pincers. Some of the insects will use them in order to intimidate predators while others have been seen using them to fold in their wings prior to landing from flying.


How They Got Their Name

Many individuals are aware of what earwigs are but wonder exactly why earwigs are called earwigs. The name is said to have originated from an early belief in Europe that these insects would actually crawl into an individual?s ear and lay their eggs inside the person?s brain. The Oxford English Dictionary actually states that the name for the insect comes from the Old English word eare and wicga (insect). The name came from the notion that the insect would actually penetrate into an individual?s head through the ear.

Even with the theories behind where the name comes from, the truth of the matter is that the actual derivation of the word is not exactly known. It could be the aforementioned scenario, or the name could result from the fact that the hind wings of these insects take on an ear like shape anytime that they are expanded out. There are a number of earwig myths surrounding the creatures. However, the most common one is the thought that the earwigs will bury into the brain of an individual as they sleep and lay eggs in their brain. This is not true, however, that?s not to say that they will not crawl into a person?s ear. They enjoy dark places, so it?s possible that these creatures have found their way into an individual?s ear at some point.


What Damage Can An Earwig Infestation Cause In Your Home

Earwigs, should they gain access into your home, can cause a number of problems in your home. You should always work to ensure that you limit the amount of damage that they can do as a failure to keep on top of earwig infestations can be devastating for your home and its contents.

When it comes to learning earwig control, you need to first be able to recognize the signs of an infestation so that you know when you have a problem and where the earwigs are targeting. Earwigs are a problem for your home as well as for your garden, so you should always work to keep on top of them. While the damage that they may cause to your walls, floors, and furnishings is often quite minimal when compared to other pests, their presence can be incredibly unhygienic and may contribute to the spread of diseases. Additionally, earwigs?particularly when alarmed?can smell particularly foul and unpleasant, and this can make their presence in your house distasteful and distressing for homeowners.

On the whole, earwigs are not purposefully invading your home and most earwig infestations are caused, in fact, by just a mistake on the earwig?s part. Earwigs are often attracted to our homes by warmth and light, as opposed to their specifically seeking out our homes, however their presence is still frustrating either way.


Where are They Found in The Home

Earwigs typically enter inside the home by crawling through the holes and cracks located on the outside that provide access into the home. This means that they are going to enter into the home through doors and windows that have been poorly sealed, through gaps in the area that the foundation connects with the siding, through attic and foundation vents that have no screens, and through the access doors that lead to the crawl spaces of your home. They will also make their way inside your home due to the light. These creatures tend to be attracted to certain types of lighting. Earwigs can also be brought into your home accidently. They can be found habituating any dark place within your home. An example would be inside the plant pots in your home. Earwigs do not prefer living within the home. However, they can find their way into the home when there is a lack of proper maintenance or the conditions within the home are ideal for an excessive amount of moisture.


How To Prevent Earwigs From Taking Over Your Home

There are a number of ways in which a homeowner can work to prevent earwig infestations, and knowing how to prevent earwig infestations will therefore be good knowledge to have. Earwigs may not be the most destructive of bugs but many people find them to be a pest, and it is for this reason that many people call out professional pest control providers to eradicate earwig infestations from their homes.

Earwig infestations in your home can be prevented by:

  • Ensuring that your home?s window screens are well repaired and don?t have any holes
  • Check for gaps in or around your property?s seals and joins
  • Prevent any leaks in your property?s pipes?earwigs love warm and damp conditions, which is exactly what pipes provide!

If you have found that you are suffering from an earwig infestation in your home then you can try to fix the solution yourself by:

  • Setting up homemade earwig traps by setting out a roll of damp newspaper, on which earwigs will crawl and subsequently get stuck on
  • Kill any earwigs that you find with a simple solution of soap water?this is a particular favorite
  • Earwigs will be attracted to sweet smells, so many people will make a simple trap from oil and honey

Removing earwigs can be tricky. It is important that the person providing earwig treatment understands the insect. While they are not particularly harmful, they are not something that you want hanging around your home. One of the best ways to rid yourself of these insects is through natural earwig pest control by Gecko Pest Control. A professional company can provide you with these services, information on what will happen, and details on how to ensure that the pest remains far away from your home. As with almost any infestation, one of the best ways to control the problem is to have patience and perseverance.