Pests: Earwigs

If you have any questions about any pest and it is not covered here, please give us a call or send us an email. We would love to answer any question you have.


Where They Live

dark, moist areas like under mulch or tree bark, beneath rocks, under siding or boards

About the Pest:

Earwigs received their name because it used to be a widespread superstition that they would crawl into your ear and bore into the brain. Their pincers on their backside called cerci are used for defense and occasional to capture prey.

Earwigs are nocturnal and prefer to stay hidden in dark moist areas such as under mulch or tree bark, beneath a rock, under siding, or under boards. They feed on leaves, flowers, fruits, fungi, as well as aphids and flies.

Earwigs, like cockroaches, congregate together in groups of several dozen to several hundred individuals.

How to Control:

To control earwigs, chemical control combined with elimination of conducive conditions for earwigs is usually necessary. Without this combination, successful control is unlikely.

Eliminate piles of wood, bricks, and other items where earwigs might harbor. Eliminate heavy vegetation near the home and trim back trees and shrubs away from the home.

Earwigs love moist areas, so moisture control is critical. Good drainage and proper direction of sprinklers minimizes moisture near the foundation. Water your lawn in the morning instead of at night. This is better for your lawn and will decrease the moisture around the foundation and in the yard. Crawlspaces should be properly ventilated. (Ask us for help if you think your crawlspace does not have proper ventilation.)

Change the exterior lighting on your home to yellow lights instead of white. Earwigs are attracted to white light. Seal up the home as much as possible.

Chemical treatment inside and outside of the home can help tremendously with earwigs, but should be accompanied with some of the non-chemical treatment options above for the best results. Chemical treatment should entail a perimeter treatment focusing on cracks, crevices, and harborages. Also, treatment inside should focus on those areas that earwigs like to hide.