What is an earwig?

An earwig is an insect that is found in several places such as the Americas, Africa, Eurasia, Australia and New Zealand.


There are many species roughly around 2,000 to be exact.


They look like this:


Earwig Image


Prevention of Earwigs

There are a few things that you can do to prevent earwig infestation. Earwigs like damp places so keeping things dry and clean can help prevent earwigs.


  • Keep areas around your home close to your foundation or basement clean using gravel or white stone to help with drainage. Proper drainage helps prevent earwigs.



  • Keep ground level basement window screens fixed and fitted properly.



  • Your doors should fit without gaps, use weather stripping to help keep earwigs out.



What is the best way to get rid of earwigs?

How to get rid of earwigs is fairly easy and there are several ways of doing so.


  • To remove earwigs from your home use boric acid powder placed along baseboards, in cracks such as between the refrigerator and counter, or other hard to reach places.



  • If you have found a large population the best way to rid them is to use the vacuum.



  • Natural earwig traps, take a small can such as a cat food cat and fill it with a half inch of vegetable oil place in the yard or flowerbed, it will attract earwigs. They will crawl in and drown, you can then dump and refill as necessary.



  • Encourage natural predators such as toads and birds in your yard.



  • Chemical products such as spray or granules that will kill earwigs used appropriately according to directions can stop earwig problems.



Other Natural Earwig Traps

You can also use the following to trap earwigs and remove them;


  • Use an old shoe box; make some holes along the side of the bottom. Spread the bottom of the box with a layer of oatmeal and place the lid on it. Leave this in an entry area, porch, or even flowerbed overnight.



  • A newspaper roll trap is easy to make. Roll an old newspaper and place near the base of your plants near sunset; in the morning empty the trap into a bucket of water every morning. You can also empty them into a bucket and move them far away from your house and gardens to an area of the property near the road.



Earwig Bites

While earwig bites are painful they are not fatal or venomous.


Despite the urban legend that they crawl into your ear at night and eat your brain they truly are not that harmful. That legend, in fact, is how they got the name earwig.


Other Earwig Facts


  • These are nocturnal insects



  • They prefer grass and wood so mulch is a likely place to find them



  • Their lifespan is about 1 to 3 years



  • Earwigs do not spread disease




Earwig insects while they bit and it will hurt are harmless. They do not spread disease. Also, they are easily prevented and removed.