What Are the Signs of Earwigs?
There are not many ways to spot an infestation of earwigs. Naturally, the easiest way to find out if you have earwigs is by seeing them. The best time to spot them is usually at night when they are most active – earwigs are nocturnal, so they do their feeding after dark. They can be found in almost any area of your home, but especially rooms where there is water or dampness such as basements, bathrooms, laundry rooms and kitchens.
You can also identify earwig infestations by examining your plants – they like to feed on them! Plants visited by earwigs will have small holes across the leaves, as well as ragged edges.
How Can I Control a Earwig Infestation?
- Remove – Probably the simplest way to control an earwig infestation is to eliminate their hiding spots. Remove piles of leaves, grass, cuttings, rocks or decaying vegetation around your yard. Additionally, if you have wood or compost piles, keep them at least a few feet away from your house.
- Seal – Like many insects, earwigs often enter your home by way of cracks and openings in windows, doors, walls or your foundation. To prevent them from crawling inside, seal cracks and crevices wherever possible.
- Fix – Dampness is one of the main factors that attracts earwigs. Check around your home for leaks and repair them. Earwigs cannot live in a low-moisture environment. By removing accidental moisture sites, you will be able to control their numbers more easily.
- Dehydrate – As mentioned above, earwigs prefer a moist environment. Reduce moisture and humidity inside your home with a dehumidifier to make your space less hospitable to earwigs.
How Can I Get Rid of Earwigs?
There are a number of options for getting rid of a earwigs. Here are just a few effective methods to defend your home:
- Eliminate on Contact – Stop an infestation in its tracks and eliminate earwigs on contact with TERRO® Ant Killer Plus. Apply granules near the foundation of your home to prevent them from entering in the first place.
- Treat the Perimeter – To handle a sizable infestation, spread granules of TERRO® Multi-Purpose Insect Bait around the exterior perimeter of your home. It will slowly kill earwigs after they cross it, while also eliminating more insects.
- Dry Them Out – Spread OMRI Listed® Diatomaceous earth where you see signs of earwigs. This powder is made of fossilized algae, which will cause moisture-loving insects that crawl through it or ingest it to dehydrate and die.
Are There Different Kinds of Earwigs?
North America has more than twenty different species of earwigs, among the approximately 1,800 species found elsewhere in the world. Of the twenty in the United States, some appear more readily than others do. Here are a few of the species you might spot in or around your home:
- European earwig - A non-native species in the United States, this earwig is one of the most widespread in the country. An adult of this species measures approximately ½ inch in length. It is characterized by a thin, dark brown or reddish-brown body with forceps and four light-colored wings.
- Red-legged earwig - Measuring approximately ½ inch in length, red-legged earwigs have a dark brown, sometimes black body with a yellow-brown underside. This species does not have the leathery wings of other earwigs, but does have antennae and forceps.
- Striped earwig - One of the larger species of earwigs, striped earwigs, (or shore earwigs) are ¾ to 1 inch long and are found mainly in southern United States. Their coloring can vary from light brown with dark markings to reddish brown with light and dark markings.