What do earwigs look like?

Earwigs are a common lawn and garden pest that property owners deal with on a regular basis. Earwigs are nocturnal, hiding during the day and emerging at night to scavenge and feed on aphids, snails, insect larvae, and plant matter. These insects mainly live outside, but do regularly become a problem inside homes, businesses, and other structures.

earwig on a leaf

Some of the main characteristics of earwigs include:

  • A reddish-brown, flattened, elongated body
  • Forceps-like appendages (cerci) extending off the end of the abdomen — females have straight cerci; males have curved cerci
  • Segmented antennae
  • Biting mouthparts
  • Six long slender legs 
  • Wings, but they rarely fly

Are earwigs dangerous?

The name earwig means "ear creature." This name originates from the superstition that earwigs crawl into sleeping people's ears to bore into the brain and lay their eggs. Luckily, there is no truth to this rumor as earwigs lay their eggs in damp soil, not inside our brains.

Earwigs are mainly viewed as garden and agricultural pests, although unless they take over in large numbers, the damage they cause to plants is fairly minimal.

Earwigs pose no real harm to people or our property. They use their cerci  (pincers) to catch prey and defend themselves against each other and other insects, but these pincers are not strong enough to cause harm to people. Earwigs do have mouthparts that allow them to bite people, though this is rare and not a concern.

Though earwigs are themselves not dangerous, you should never ignore their presence as it is often an indicator of an underlying moisture problem. Factors like leaky pipes and drainage problems on your property may lead to issues with earwigs and other moisture-seeking pests.

Why do I have an earwig problem?

Moisture is the main factor that attracts earwigs to properties. Unfortunately for us, our yards, lawns, and landscaped areas retain moisture and attract earwigs. Earwigs, like most pests, are opportunistic and will take advantage of properties with:

  • Leaky pipes, drippy hoses, or air conditioners

  • Clogged gutters

  • Overwatered lawns and gardens 

  • Mulch, brush piles, and leaf piles 

Common entry points into our homes that earwigs take advantage of include:

  • Gaps in foundations

  • Spaces under doors

  • Torn screens

  • Damaged door trim

Where will I find earwigs?

earwig with eggs

Outside, earwigs live in the moist soil found in gardens, under shrubbery, in wooded areas, and under piles of leaves or other debris. They often live in the landscaped areas that border the perimeter of our homes and garages. 

Earwigs have high moisture needs. If it becomes too hot and dry outside, they will migrate indoors. Once inside, they seek out damp, dark living conditions mimicking their outdoor environment, including:

  • Basements
  • Crawl spaces
  • Drains
  • Areas under sinks

Inside our homes, earwigs can invade many different areas. Homeowners often find these pests hiding in the laundry, upholstered furniture, folded clothing, and bedding, taking cover within the dark folds of fabric.

How do I get rid of earwigs?

Get rid of earwigs with the help of White Knight Pest Control. Protecting your home from a pest invasion is our priority! We take the time necessary to build relationships with each of our customers, ensuring we're always meeting your pest control expectations. Our passion is serving others and keeping pests away from people and their properties.

At White Knight Pest Control, we eliminate earwigs and other common pest invaders through our monthly, bi-monthly, and quarterly plan options. To learn more about our home pest control plans or commercial pest control services, give us a call today. Let's work together to keep pests away from your property!

How can I prevent earwigs in the future?

At White Knight Pest Control, we will help you prevent problems with earwigs using our regular, comprehensive treatments. In conjunction with our pest control services, the following prevention tips will help you keep earwigs out of your Texas, Utah, Arizona, Colorado, or Oklahoma home!

  • Reduce excess moisture: Earwigs are moisture-seeking pests. Avoid attracting them to your home by keeping the soil around your house as dry as possible. Cut vegetation back away from the exterior to allow the sun to hit the ground and keep it dry. Repair leaky hoses and fixtures and maintain gutters. Do not overwater your lawn or garden.

  • Lower humidity levels: Use dehumidifiers and air conditioners to dry out the damp areas in your home.

  • Repair entry points: Inspect your foundation and exterior doors, sealing any gaps you find. Place door sweeps on exterior and basement doors. Repair damaged door trim.

  • Eliminate debris: Rake mulch and leaves back away from your home's foundation. Get rid of brush piles, leaf piles, logs, and fallen trees from your yard.


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