What do earwigs look like?
As soon as you hear the word earwig all kinds of crazy pictures come to mind. I know that’s always been the way it was for me at least. Some creepy looking bug with claws stalking me in my sleep. Ready to attack me through my ear.
Luckily this isn’t the case. Earwigs have six legs with an elongated body that can grow to 1 inch in length. They are generally brown to reddish-brown with dark markings. Most earwig species have wings but they do not all fly. Earwigs that do fly usually only do so in short bursts. Much like a cockroach. The most notable characteristic of the earwig is definitely the pincer on the back end of the insect. This pincer is what has given the earwig a bad name or so long.
Having trouble with earwigs?
Are earwigs dangerous?
First off earwigs do not crawl into people’s ears at night. They do not carry disease. At most, they emit a foul-smelling odor as a defense mechanism. Earwigs do not bite but if you decide to pick one up and get it agitated it may pinch you with its pincer. Your garden plants are more at risk than you are when it comes to these frightening creatures.
Earwigs tend to live together in large numbers outdoors. Earwigs prefer a cool, moist, undisturbed environment. Places like mulch, lawn clippings, under rotting trees on the ground make great habitats for earwigs. At night earwigs search for decaying vegetation and plant material beneath mulch beds and piles of wet leaves. Some types of earwigs will eat seedlings, which can damage garden or crop productivity. Still, other earwig species are also known to hunt and eat smaller insects.
Lack of food or water may force earwigs to enter homes or other structures. Once inside you may find them near a water source in bathrooms or kitchens. At night you may find them drawn to patios and porches because of their attraction to light.
How do I get rid of earwigs?
Remove earwig habitats that are close to your home. Instead of mulch beds try using ornamental stone or pebbles. Keep an 18 to 24 inch gap between your foundation and any mulch or vegetation. Do not overwater close to the house. Keep your crawlspace dry.
How can I prevent earwig problems at my home or business?
Start off with a routine maintenance pest program from a pest control expert like those at Walker Pest Management then follow these tips should help prevent any earwig problems in your home.
- Eliminate high moisture areas near the perimeter of your home.
- Use vents or dehumidifiers to keep crawlspace moisture at a minimum.
- Keep mulch piles, lawn debris, and firewood at least 20 feet from home.
- Use weather strip or caulk to seal around doors and windows.
If you suspect an earwig problem contact Walker Pest Management for a free quote.
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