Earwigs are among the most frustrating pests to have invaded your home. They’re almost entirely nocturnal, so you probably won’t run into them during the day. Their bodies are made for burrowing into the wood and other debris, which makes their numbers hard to track. Thankfully, your residential pest control may have a few low-cost and natural methods for getting rid of earwigs in your house.
What is an Earwig?
An earwig is a member of the family Dermaptera, which includes more than 2,000 species worldwide, with each type having its own unique characteristics. They are common in gardens, greenhouses, and other damp places; they usually hide in dark crevices or under rocks and leaves during the day.
There are around fifteen to twenty different kinds of earwigs in the USA, and unlike a common misconception, they do not enter people’s ears while they are asleep and consume their brains. The pincers on earwigs, which are actually intended to ward off predators and engage in mating combat with other earwigs, can, however, terrify some people. Though most species are harmless to humans, they can still be a nuisance around the home as they typically prefer damp areas such as basements and bathrooms.
How to Get Rid of Earwigs in Your House
Getting rid of earwigs is pretty simple. Here’s how you can effectively get rid of these pests from your garden or house:
Moisture can attract earwigs since they need water for survival. To reduce humidity levels and prevent an infestation, ensure that all holes in walls or foundations are sealed off properly and repair any leaking pipes or faucets outside of your home. Additionally, you’ll want to avoid overly damp soil by paying attention to drainage issues, such as soggy patches around trees or puddles after watering plants.
Remove Food and Harborage Sources
Removing food and harborage sources is the best way to control earwig populations. One way to do this is by cleaning up any areas where food has spilled or been left out, such as on counters, in the pantry, or around pet bowls. Additionally, it’s important not to leave out cardboard boxes or other items where they may easily hide, as they provide a comfortable habitat for earwigs. Keeping all trash cans sealed tightly will also help prevent them from entering and scavenging for scraps of food inside.
Keep the Lights off at Night
Turning off lights around your house will make it less inviting to earwigs because they prefer dark environments. Keep exterior lighting to a minimum and avoid placing any light fixtures close to windows or doors, as this will attract them. If you do need to leave a porch or security light on during the night, use a yellow-colored bulb, as these attract fewer insects than white ones do.
Inside the house, use low-wattage bulbs when possible, as brighter lighting will also attract them. Keep windows covered with blinds or curtains and avoid using unnecessary lighting throughout the evening hours too.
When it comes to earwig trapping, there are several different types of traps available for purchase at most hardware stores. Commonly used traps include glue boards that capture the pests when stepped on, as well as baited traps using cornmeal or other sweet foods as bait. Place the trap in locations where you have seen the presence of earwig activity, like behind furniture or appliances, under sinks and drains, or near windowsills.
Vacuum Up Earwigs
One of the most effective techniques to get rid of earwigs in your home or garden is to vacuum them up. This method works well because it is quick and easy to do with a standard household vacuum cleaner. To start the process:
- Ensure your vacuum cleaner has a hose attachment so you can reach into tight spaces where earwigs may be hiding.
- Simply move the hose around furniture, under appliances, along baseboards, and corners of windowsills until you locate an earwig or two.
- Once found, use the vacuum hose to suck them up into the chamber of the machine for disposal later on.
Clean Gutters and Drainpipes
Earwigs love damp, dark places and these areas often offer the perfect environment for them to thrive. By removing any standing water or debris from your gutters and drainpipes, you can significantly reduce the number of earwigs in your home.
It’s important to clean out your gutters regularly; this will keep them free from leaves, twigs, and other debris that attract pests like earwigs. Take extra care when cleaning around the seams and corners of the gutter, as these are often where insects hide. In addition, if you have any clogged downspouts or drainage pipes, be sure to clean them out too.
Do Earwigs Bite?
Despite their intimidating pincers, the answer is no. Some pests can give you the most painful stings, but earwigs are actually harmless and tend to shy away from human contact. While their pincers may look threatening, they are actually used for grooming and defending themselves against other insects.
Are Earwigs Dangerous?
If handled properly and with caution, earwigs pose no threat at all. People fear earwigs due to an old myth that they crawl into people’s ears while they sleep and lay eggs – but there is no scientific evidence to prove this myth true. In reality, the only time you need to worry about an earwig biting you is if it has been mishandled or hurt in some way. In some cases, these pincers can cause a painful pinch when they land on human skin. However, the pinch rarely breaks the skin and does not draw blood.
Do earwigs go in your ear?
The simple answer is no. This is just a myth, and earwigs can’t go in your ear.
What do earwigs eat?
Earwigs feast on a variety of foods depending upon the species. They mainly prefer to feed on live and dead plant material such as leaves, flowers, and fruit. However, some earwig species also consume insects like aphids and other soft-bodied pests. Additionally, some earwigs may scavenge for rotting materials or fungi when their preferred food isn’t available. Earwigs will also feed on pollen grains, nectar, fungi spores, and even honeydew excreted by aphids or scale insects.
Where do earwigs come from?
Through methods like shipping and trade, earwigs have spread around the world. They spend their lives outdoors in damp areas where they eat insects and decaying plant stuff for food. They occasionally stray indoors, but they are typically seen as a bother or a pest in the garden.
Can earwigs fly?
The answer to this question is both yes and no. Earwigs do have wings, but they rarely use them for flight as flying requires more energy than it would take to walk or run away from danger.
What does an earwig look like?
The body of an earwig is flat and elongated, usually growing to around 1/2 inch in length. They have six legs and two antennae, so they appear similar to other insects, such as cockroaches or beetles. The most distinctive feature of earwigs is the pair of large curved forceps on their abdomen, which appear menacing but are actually harmless.
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