Earwigs and How to Control Them

Earwigs are generally a nuisance pest, and don’t cause much stir for homeowners. But last year, Houston saw an invasion of earwigs in previously unprecedented proportions due to an unusually hot summer. With an unusually warm winter, be prepared for a hotter summer. In this article, we discuss earwigs and what to do in case earwigs try to move indoors again.

Earwigs are omnivorous insects and one of the few that actively hunt for food. They will feed on insects, plants and ripe fruit. Earwigs can live for up to one year from hatching. An interesting fact about earwigs is that the mother actually does attend to her eggs, and sometimes the hatchlings until their first molt.

Earwigs are distributed throughout the Americas and Eurasia. The common earwig was first found in North America in 1907. Presently, earwigs are usually found in the southern and southwestern states, although the spine-tailed earwig has been found in Canada.

The earwigs are normally nocturnal, and generally like dark, cool and moist crevices or debris to shelter in. They will often be found in mulch, dense ground cover or loosened tree bark. While earwigs like cool places, they do not like freezing temperatures and cannot survive under extreme conditions.

During the extremely hot Houston summer, it is believed that the earwigs all moved indoors to receive relief from the excruciating heat as their normal safe zones heated up and dried out. If we experience more unusually hot summers, we can expect the masses of earwigs to continue to seek shelter in air conditioned and damp places.

So how is the DIY pest controller to keep earwigs at bay?

One of the best ways to control earwigs is to keep them out of your home in the first place. To keep earwigs out of you r home, try using an insecticide perimeter spray around your home to limit earwig entry. Another option is to use a granular insecticide and sprinkle it in a three to six foot band round the home. If you have mulch around your home, sprinkle the insecticide directly into the mulch.

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If you are able to keep them out, you will have less reason to expose your home interior to insecticides.

Remember, Earwigs are attracted to damp areas, as are many other pests. So try to minimize any areas which may be holding excess moisture. Check your crawl spaces, leaky faucets or water run off from your air conditioning units. Inside, be sure that you basement is as dry as possible. Don’t invite trouble.

Monica Bird (949 Posts)

Monica’s compassion for her customer's struggles with pest control issues and passion for pest control stems from over 10 years in the industry. With a master’s degree in entomology, she uses her knowledge and experience in chemistry, insects and pests to educate her customers.

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