Earwigs are insects that can be easily recognized by their pincers. Although harmless to humans, earwigs are a force to be reckoned with in the insect community. They are usually a dark reddish-brown with light brown legs, typically growing to be about 5/8 of an inch long. Most species of earwigs reproduce one generation a year, spending winters in the soil before making their way to indoor shelter. In a single season, females reproduce up to 20-60 eggs laid in “chambers” about two to three inches beneath the soil. Both adults and the young require moisture to live, and will scour their habitats for damp leaves and wet areas. They prefer dark, damp areas, ideally under sidewalks and rocks.
Earwigs are scavengers whose diets primarily consist of dead insects and decomposing plant materials. They are nocturnal, but some species are attracted to lights. During the day, earwigs can be found looking for shelter, hiding under organic matter such as mulch, pine straw, leaf litter and other debris. Earwigs can range from casually munching on plants to doing immense damage to a field of crops. When weather becomes inclement, they will scurry to homes and get inside. Common entryways are doors, windows and the foundation of the home itself. Their populations can build up around foundations rather quickly and are often a major problem in new subdivisions. Earwigs share habitats with centipedes, pill bugs and millipedes, so removing earwig habitats is very important to controlling all other insects. If you are seeing an increasing amount of earwigs near or inside of your home, taking care of them early is key.
Contact the exterminators at Pest EZ East today to examine and eliminate earwig populations before they become a problem!