What do earwigs look like?

an earwig crawling on the ground outside of a home in eldridge iowa

Adult earwigs grow to be 1/4 to 1 inch in length. Their body is dark red-brown, while their legs are a lighter brown. They have thread-like antennae that are very long (almost half the length of their body), and most have four wings; two short front wings and two long hind wings. Earwigs have pincher-like appendages (cerci) coming off the hind end of their long, narrow, flattened body. The female’s cerci are curved, while the males are straight.

Where are earwigs found?

Despite the rumor, earwigs are not found living in people’s ears or laying their eggs inside people’s brains. Earwigs pose no real threat to people and primarily live outside in damp, dark places. Mulch, piles of grass, landscaping ties, hollow trees, and leaf piles are all common places to find earwigs.

Unfortunately, they may move indoors if temperatures outside become too hot and the ground becomes too dry. Earwigs are attracted to light, and often find their way inside Iowa & Illinois homes through cracks in the foundation, gaps found underneath exterior doors, and even on the bottom of potted plants that have been moved inside. Homeowners tend to find these creepy looking but harmless insects underneath kitchen and bathroom sinks, in basements, in laundry rooms, and inside damp crawlspaces.

What do earwigs eat?

Earwigs are nocturnal insects that hide during the day. At night, they leave their daytime hiding spots to forage for food. Earwigs feed on both dead and living things. Soft fruits, leaves, flowers, mold, mites, and tiny insects are a few of their favorite foods.

DIY earwig prevention and control tips

There are a few preventative steps that you can take around your home and property to help stop problems with earwigs. Trim back trees and bushes from the exterior of your home and remove piles of grass, leaves, and other organic material from your property that may attract earwigs. Place door sweeps underneath all exterior doors and seal cracks in your foundation. It is also a good idea to make sure to fix any leaky pipes or fixtures and to use dehumidifiers in basement areas and crawlspaces.

Professional earwig control

For relief from earwigs and other house-infesting pests, Quik-Kill Pest Eliminators offers our Home Guardian SM Service. This residential pest control program includes year-round pest protection and includes an inspection of the entire home, accurate pest identification, and implementation of measures that eliminate pests. If you’d like to learn more about this program or other services, please contact us today!

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