Are Earwigs In Houston Dangerous?

earwig on wooden surface

An earwig is one creepy-looking bug. Heck, there are spiders that are more cute and cuddly. When you spot earwigs on your property, it’s easy to get a little freaked out. Just what are they doing with those giant pincers, anyway? Do they use the pincers to burrow through your ear into your brain and lay eggs, as their name suggests? Will there be an infestation in my home?

Well, we’re happy to report that these pest insects look much scarier than they actually are. So, are earwigs in Houston dangerous? Let’s find out.

About Earwigs

Earwigs are long-bodied insects equipped with a pair of pointy pincers at the end of their body. There are at least 20 different species of earwigs in the United States, but all share some similar traits and behaviors. 

Earwigs typically live in small groups and can be found residing in organic material like leaf piles, mulch, and compost. Despite the nasty look of those pincers (scientifically called “cerci”), earwigs only use their rear defenses to fight for dominance within their own earwig world, and not to hurt humans.

How Dangerous Are Earwigs?

Yup, these pests are frightening to look at. But no, they don’t really wriggle into your ears while you sleep to lay eggs or feast on your brain. In fact, earwigs are no more likely than any other pest to crawl into your ears at night. It’s believed that the term “earwig” is derived from an Old English word “wicga,” which means “insect.”

Earwigs feed on a wide variety of food sources, but you aren’t on the menu. An average earwig may eat decaying materials, vegetation, or other insects. While they can bite, they won’t hurt you unless provoked. An earwig may clamp onto skin with its pincers and can possibly break the skin. They aren’t venomous and they aren’t known to spread disease. Compared to aggressive venomous pests like wasps and disease spreaders like cockroaches, earwigs are actually pretty benign bugs to have on your property.

How To Prevent Earwigs

Earwigs infest your property when they’ve found adequate food and shelter. By controlling these factors, you can prevent earwigs from taking over. Some reliable earwig prevention methods include:

  • Reduce moisture. A common factor that attracts many pests, excess moisture can draw earwigs to your property. Ensure that gutters and drains are free of blockages to prevent oversaturated soil. Fix leaking pipes, faucets, and spigots. Ventilate basement areas regularly, or consider installing a dehumidifier.
  • Clean the yard. Get rid of the places where earwigs hide. Dispose of any organic waste like leaf piles, grass clippings, rotten logs, or dead stumps. If you keep firewood on your property, be sure to move any firewood at least 20 feet away from any buildings and store it on an elevated platform.
  • Prevent entry. Perform an inspection of the exterior of your property and check for any cracks, gaps, or openings. Seal with silicone caulk as needed. Replace any ragged weather stripping or faulty door sweeps that could allow pests to enter.

Try some trimming. Earwigs like to gather in shady areas outdoors. Give your hedges a haircut to eliminate hiding spots for congregating earwigs. 

If you’ve got earwigs on your Houston property, don’t be alarmed, just call the experts at White Knight Pest Control. We’ve been providing exceptional service to customers like you since 2006 and we’ve earned our reputation by doing things the safest, most effective way possible. When you work with us, our skilled and courteous technicians will eliminate the earwigs you have and prevent new earwigs from infesting your property in the future. Get in touch with us today for your free estimate.