What do earwigs look like?

Earwigs are commonly identified by their pincer-like appendages called cerci which extend off the end of their abdomen. The shape of their cerci is an easy way to tell if they are males or females. Females have a straight pair of cerci but male’s cerci are curved. Earwigs are dark brown to reddish-brown in color and have a body that is flattened and elongated in shape. Earwigs may or may not have wings depending on their species.

an earwig in a california home

Are earwigs dangerous?

Earwigs are not dangerous to people or property and are considered to be a nuisance pest. The pincers that extend off their back end are not strong enough to cause any real harm to people. They use their pincers to defend themselves against each other. It was once thought that earwigs could enter the ears of sleeping people to lay their eggs and burrow into their brain. Thankfully this rumor is completely false. These insects while annoying and difficult to control really are harmless.

Where am I likely to find earwigs?

Earwigs are nocturnal insects that enjoy living outside in damp, dark areas, feeding on other insects and decaying plant materials. Earwigs live under rocks, mulch, landscaping ties or under piles of decaying grass or leaves. They may also hide out under objects such as lawn furniture, packages, newspapers or potted plants that have been left outdoors. While earwigs enjoy living outside, they may find their way into homes and other buildings when the outside environment becomes too hot or dry for them to live comfortably. Inside they are found in basements, crawl spaces, under sinks, in laundry rooms, in bathrooms or in any other damp dark place. Earwigs are also accidentally introduced into homes after being brought inside on items that have been outside, like potted plants.

How do I get rid of earwigs?

The most effective way to solve a problem you are experiencing with earwigs is to contact a professional pest control expert. At Pro Active Pest Control, our pros will partner with you, perform a thorough inspection, and create a pest control program to exclude earwigs. We use the most modern pest control methods and products possible to control earwigs and other common pests living in and around your home or business. To learn more about implementing our 100% guaranteed pest control services into your in Roseville, El Dorado Hills, Rancho Cordova, Lincoln, Rocklin, or Sacramento home or business, contact Pro Active Pest Control today.

How can I prevent future problems with earwigs?

Preventing problems with earwigs can be a difficult task, but there are some things you can do around your home to try to deter them and prevent them from finding their way inside. Seal any gaps in your home’s foundation, exterior walls, and around utilities entering your home. Caulk gaps found around exterior windows and doors, and make sure that door sweeps are placed on all doors, especially basement doors. Place a stone or rock barrier between any mulch and your home’s foundation, and trim back overgrown vegetation from your home to allow the soil to dry out. Reduce humidity levels inside your home by running a dehumidifier in the basement and by making sure that crawl spaces are properly ventilated.


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