How To Identify And Get Rid Of Earwigs?

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The earwig, which gets its name from its side-to-side body movement and an old myth of crawling in people’s ears, is a frequent and distinctive household insect that has been bringing worry to homes for many years.

Earwigs, the insect world’s ecological scavengers, clean houses and gardens worldwide, munching on dead and decaying plant matter, life, and insects. While an earwig’s presence brings order to their world, it may also bring turmoil.

What are earwigs?

Earwigs are a type of insect that has been around for over 200 million years. They belong to the order Dermaptera and are characterized by their pincers or cerci, which they use to capture prey. Earwigs are present across the globe and come in a variety of colors.


Earwigs are often found in moist environments and can be located in almost any growing zone. While they are more common in warm, humid climates, they can be found in other areas if the conditions are right.

Earwigs are interesting creatures that live in large groups. These insects enjoy a lively social scene and often live together in nests of thousands.

What do earwigs look like?

Earwigs are a unique-looking type of insect that is most easily recognizable by their large cerci or pincers, which are two long, thin tubes on their backsides that are used for defense and predation.

They exist in various colors but are typically dark brown or black. They range in size from 1/2 inch to 3 inches long and can be found all over the world.

Earwigs are insects with six legs, two long antennae that protrude from the top of their heads, and two pairs of wings that they use to hide under a thick body cover called a ground cover.

Despite the fact that most earwig species have wings, they rarely use them. This is due to the fact that they are poor flyers and prefer to move about by crawling.

Earwigs are nocturnal and eat a variety of foods, including plants, fruits, vegetables, and insects.

Types of Earwigs

There are many different types of earwigs found in the United States. The most common type is the European Earwig. They can be identified by their long forceps-like pincers that protrude from their heads. Other types include the Dusky Earwig, the Lesser Earwig, and the Filth Fly Earwig.

The various types of Earwigs have similar features, including pincers and antennas, which help them hunt and eat insects. There are different types of earwigs, but they all share some common characteristics.

What do earwigs eat?

earwig icon earwigs close auricularia

Earwigs are omnivores, which means that they will feed on both pests and plants. This can make them a nuisance in both the home garden and the home. They eat a variety of things, including aphids, caterpillars, beetle larvae, and other small insects. They will also feed on fruits, vegetables, flowers, and leaves.

In general, earwigs do not cause too much damage. However, if they are abundant in your home garden, you can take action to get rid of them. Many people choose to use chemical pesticides, but there are also organic ways to get rid of earwigs.

Where do earwigs live?

Earwigs are found all over the world and can be found in a variety of environments. They survive in both cold and warm climates and can be found in forests, fields, gardens, and even inside homes.

Earwigs are more common in warm climates because they thrive in moist environments. They can be found near decaying matter, such as compost heaps, or under rocks and flower pots.

Interestingly, earwigs are not found in cold environments as they do not fare well in chilly weather. In fact, only a few species of earwigs reside in the northern hemisphere.

How Did I Get Earwigs?

Earwigs are attracted to homes because they provide a warm, moist environment that is perfect for them to live in, and they can find a lot of food there. They may also move into homes because of a change in weather.

They usually get inside homes while seeking shelter or just wander in through open doors. They do not harm humans, but they can be a nuisance because they like to eat decaying organic matter, including fruits and vegetables.

Earwigs Signs

Earwigs are often found outdoors in locations such as mulch, dead leaves, stones, or logs. They can also be found inside near sources of moisture such as sinks, drains, and bathrooms. Earwigs are attracted to light and will often come out at night.

Some common signs of an earwig infestation include finding the insects themselves, seeing their droppings (which look like coffee grounds), or finding damage to plants or fruits.

Earwigs are attracted to plants and feed on them, making them a nuisance for gardeners. They prefer to hide in dark and moist places, so getting rid of earwigs can be difficult. However, there are certain initiatives you can take to identify and get rid of earwigs.

Earwig Infestation

Earwigs feeding on insect, macro photo

Earwigs are not an insect that is commonly found in big numbers. Earwigs are more individual organisms than insects like ants or bees. They don’t have a queen or a colony to which they belong; hence earwig infestations are uncommon.

The living habitat is frequently a common denominator for discovering a greater number of earwigs in one location. They live outside and like to avoid the scorching, dry sun. A few can be found together in locations like leaf or wood heaps where there is an abundance of food and protection.

Indoors, you may notice a few stray animals fleeing their outdoor homes in search of a lovely damp and cool setting, such as a basement with a leak or a pile of wet towels.

Finding them indoors can be frightening for a homeowner, but consolation can be found in knowing that they are most likely an outdoor insects seeking refuge in your home.

How do Earwigs Reproduce?

They are a type of insect that is found all over the world. They are most commonly known for their pincers, or cerci, which they use to catch prey. Earwigs reproduce through mating, and the female will lay eggs in the soil.

The eggs will hatch into nymphs, which do not have wings. The nymphs will go through several stages of development before becoming adults.

Earwig larvae or nymphs hatch from eggs and go through four to five molts before becoming adults. Female earwigs lay their eggs in sheltered areas, such as in the crevices of rocks or under logs.

The eggs will hatch within a few days, and the young earwigs will undergo six to eight weeks of development.

Do Earwigs Bite?

Earwigs are small, brown insects that do not generally bite humans, but earwigs pinch if picked up and agitated.

The pincers of an earwig are often mistaken for a disease-spreading mechanism, but this is not the case. The pincers are used to catch prey and defend themselves; they do not spread disease.

Do Earwigs Pinch?

pest control figure tick infestation

Earwigs are a common household pest whose elongated bodies and pincers can be identified at the end of their abdomens. While they are not generally dangerous to humans, an earwig pinch is inevitable if handled incorrectly.

Earwigs use their pincers for a variety of reasons. One common use is to identify the gender of the earwig. Males have larger pincers than females.

What are the possible threats from Earwigs?

Earwigs are not known to spread diseases, but they can cause a lot of damage to plants in your garden. They are also known to be very harmful to crops.

They are also known to gain entry into homes in search of food and can be a nuisance. However, they have not been considered a major health threat to people.

If you have an earwig infestation, it is important to take steps to get rid of them as soon as possible.

Damage caused by earwigs

forceps nc gardens hot

Earwigs are small, brown, and black insects that are found outdoors. They feed on moist, decaying plant material and can cause damage to plants. They are also known to invade homes and can be a nuisance. There are a number of ways to identify and get rid of earwigs.

Though they are considered minor pests to plants in Iowa, earwigs can cause some damage. The most common damage caused by earwigs is foliage, where they eat the tissue between the veins on the leaves. They may also eat flowers and fruits.

However, when earwigs invade homes in large numbers, they can cause some minor damage. For example, they can chew on clothes, furniture, and other items in the home. They may also leave droppings around the house that can be unsightly and create an odor.

How to Get Rid of Earwigs?

Earwigs can be a major nuisance in the garden. They are attracted to moist environments and can do a lot of damage to plant life. There are certain steps you can undertake in order to identify and get rid of earwigs.

Once you have identified them, there are various ways you can get rid of them, including using traps, pesticides, or natural remedies.

One way is to eliminate earwigs is to make a trap that consists of oil and soy sauce. Another way is to use alcohol-based insecticide sprays. The last way is to vacuum them up.

How to prevent Earwigs?

Earwigs can be a problem both inside and outside the house as well as along the house foundation. They are often found in gardens and may enter the home through cracks and crevices.

Earwigs are mostly active at night and can be found near moist areas such as the corners of your home, in crawlspaces, or in the eaves of your roof. They often build webs where they reside, which amounts to a big-time nuisance.

If they become established inside, they may need to be eliminated. There are a certain number of ways that can be used to get rid of earwigs, including traps, pesticides, and natural remedies.

On the other hand, there are ways to manage and prevent earwigs.

You can reduce outdoor lighting, prevent moisture damage, caulking compound, putty, and weather stripping around entry points, trapping, and using insecticides. Insecticides tend to be the most effective way to get rid of earwigs once they have infested an area.

Earwig populations can be managed by reducing their available habitats. This can be done easily. All you need to do is place burlap bags on the habitat, such as mulch or shrubbery. Doing this will make it difficult for earwigs to find a place to live and breed, decreasing their population.

If you see earwigs in your home, it is important to identify them and remove their webs as quickly as possible.


Earwigs are harmless insects that are often found in gardens and yards. They are attracted to moisture and can crawl onto people, but they do not bite.

In addition, if an earwig does crawl on you, it is possible that they might use their pincers to pinch the skin in self-defense. However, there have been no conclusive reports of serious injury caused by earwigs.

Earwigs are not venomous and do not have a stinger. They can, however, inflict a painful bite if provoked.

If you have an earwig infestation, there are a few things you can do to get rid of them, as has been duly discussed here.

About the author

A biotechnologist by profession and a passionate pest researcher. I have been one of those people who used to run away from cockroaches and rats due to their pesky features, but then we all get that turn in life when we have to face something.