There’s a European myth about earwigs that started sleeping on the ground would allow earwigs to crawl into your ear, lay eggs, tunnel into your brain and make you go insane! This myth is how earwigs got its name. Thankfully this isn’t true. Earwigs will not tunnel into your brain even though the narrow, warm ear canal is a suitable place for them. Bedrooms are drier than other parts of your home, so chances are you won’t find them where you sleep. Earwigs are great little hitchhikers though and can spread quite quickly. They do this by crawling into hiding places at night and are then moved with luggage, crated items, papers, produce and flowers, lumber, building supplies, and even the mail.

Earwig Identification; Appearance, Diet & Behavior

Earwigs are insects so they have six legs and a pair of antennae. They are long and flat and can be black, reddish, tan or yellow in color. In length, they can be between half an inch to three inches long. They have a pair of forceps that resemble tweezers or pincers and use these to defend themselves and to catch prey. If you try and pick one up, you might just get pinched while they defend themselves. The stinging bite is not infectious because earwigs are not poisonous. The bite will heal on its own but be sure to wash the areas with soap and apply a disinfectant. They can also emit a brownish-yellow liquid that smells bad but is harmless. They may look intimidating with those pincers but the only risk they pose is an invasion into your garden or home.

Where Are Earwigs Found in Your House & Yard?

Earwigs live in environments that are dark and moist and large numbers can be found under leaves, compost, lawn clippings, bark, and logs. Like us, earwigs want to find a warm place to snuggle up when it’s cold outside. They will hibernate over the winter after they burrow very deep in the ground to find warmth but they would much rather hibernate inside your home. They will make their way into a sheltered structure through cracks and crevices in walls. Once inside, they will look for areas that are wet and damp. These areas include kitchens, bathrooms, basements, and garages. Earwigs are not fussy when it comes to eating. They will eat plant matter like leaves, flowers, and fruit and because they can chew, they will eat foods that are tough, like insects.

Earwig Prevention

Even though earwigs are harmless, we still don’t want bugs crawling around inside our homes. It’s good to know that earwigs are pretty easy to control. Earwigs will find refuge in the clutter in your yard so remove piles of grass clippings, leaves, compost, and vegetable matter. Seal all cracks they can use to enter your home. Check the windows, doors, walls and the foundation. Locate and repair any leakages that will create a damp environment for them. Change out your white light bulbs for yellow ones as they’re less attracted to them. Birds are a natural predator, so consider installing a birdbath or bird-feeder in your yard.

Earwig Control

If you happen to come across an earwig in your home, you can rest easy knowing they don’t usually reproduce inside. However, frequent sightings may require professional treatment. Contact Rentokil for help in dealing with earwigs.

How to Prevent & Get Rid of Earwigs in Your Provo, UT Home & Outdoors in Your Garden in Salt Lake County and Northern Utah

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