All The Facts You Need To Know About Earwigs

The name earwig is almost as bad as the appearance of these small bugs. It has a reputation for entering the ear of sleeping people and burrowing into your brain to lay its eggs.  This is actually a myth born out of the name. Earwigs don’t target your ears or your brain. They may get in there by accident, but the same can be said of many different bugs.

What Is An Earwig?

The earwig is one of the smallest insects in existence. There are approximately 12,000 species of earwigs but they all have the same forceps-like pincers on their abdomen. These insects are generally nocturnal, that’s why you won’t often see them. They are between 7-50mm long, most of them are at the smaller end of this scale although the Australian giant earwig hits the 50mm target.

They feed on other insects and plants and generally live in tunnels in the soil. They will create small nests for their young, these are usually next to a rock to provide security. Interestingly, earwigs are unique in the insect world in that they offer parental care to their young.

Once the earwig has laid her eggs she will stay with them, keeping them clean to prevent mold from killing the larvae.

Earwig Accommodation

When not looking after eggs earwigs prefer to spend their time in damp spots outside, under mulch and dead leaves are great spots for them.

However, there are times, such as when it’s very cold, they find themselves forced into your home. In truth, this is usually by accident. But, once they’re inside they may stay, especially if you have food and water for them.

Once you notice you have an earwig problem you’ll need to contact your local pest control company to have them eradicated. It will also be time to look at your home and locate damp spots that may attract them, as well as plants and other potential food sources. They will eat any decaying organic matter.

In other words, tidy your plants and make sure there is no food waste on the floor.

You should also seal any gaps around your home as this will help to prevent them from getting in.

It’s important to speak to the professionals and find out more info about earwigs in your area. They are not generally destructive in your home and are highly unlikely to go near you, even when you’re sleeping. However, if they are disturbed or startled they can release a foul-smelling odor which you’ll notice for several days.

Dealing With An Earwig Issue

There is no doubt that you need to remove earwigs from your home. Although not a direct threat they are a nuisance and they’re not paying rent! It’s a good idea to enlist the help of a specialist as they won’t just help to eliminate the issue. They can also help you to prevent it from returning.

It’s a good idea to remove mulch, wood, and even soil that is stacked against the house. This creates dampness and attracts earwigs. Concreting 6-12 inches around the exterior wall of your home will make it much more difficult for many pests to get into your home. It can even reduce the risk of a termite attack.

It’s also important to eliminate the moisture that attracts earwigs and other pests. Check to ensure you don’t have any leaks in your home and, if you do, eradicate them. If there is no moisture in your home most pests will stay away. They need water to survive.

Earwigs In The Garden

Earwigs in the garden can be a serious issue as they can cause a surprising amount of damage to your plants. The problem is that it’s very difficult to completely eradicate them from your yard. A better approach is to ay burlap sacks down around the targeted plants. This will give the earwigs a place to congregate, allowing you to lift the sack, collect the pests, and get rid of them.

In extreme cases, you may need to look at which insecticides are effective against these pests. It’s a good idea to use a product that won’t harm any produce you’re growing. You should also spray it late afternoon as earwigs are most active at night.

Final Thoughts

Earwigs are small and relatively harmless. They won’t attack you but they may decimate your plants. That’s why you need to limit their numbers and prevent them from entering your home. It gives you peace of mind, that’s priceless.

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