Have you ever flipped a rock or piece of wood over and watched a creepy, reddish-brown bug with big black pincers scurry away and disappear under something else? That was an earwig. Today, we're talking a little bit about what these insects are and what it means when you find them inside your Sacramento home.
5 Things You Should Know About Earwigs
An earwig is an insect. As an insect, it has six legs, three body parts, two antennae, and a hard exoskeleton. The most common earwig in our service area is the European earwig, which is known scientifically as Forficula auricularia.
European earwigs don't bite or sting, and are not known to spread diseases. They can, however, deliver a little pinch. But this pinch is not strong enough to break the skin.
While earwigs can crawl into your ear, like many insects, they aren't going to lay their eggs in your ear or tunnel into your brain. Those are myths.
Earwigs can be beneficial insects because they eat aphids and other plant-damaging insects. But they're ability to destroy seedling vegetables, fruits, berries, and annual flowers makes them an unwanted addition to your landscaping. Another species, the striped earwig, known scientifically as Labidura riparia, does not damage plants.
These insects create an unpleasant odor when squashed.
What It Means When You Find Earwigs Inside
It means you have entry points. These insects don't chew their way into your home. They use cracks, gaps, and openings created by wood-damaging pests or openings that develop in rotted wood.
It means you may have wood rot. Earwigs have a strong attraction to moist wood, and they usually enter a home through spots that have been damaged by water.
It means conditions outside are unfavorable. If there is a period of drought, heavy rains, extended heat, or a cold snap, it can drive these insects inside.
It means you have exterior ground lighting. Earwigs are attracted to light. While lights are great for security, they have a downside. Earwigs, and many other insects, are drawn to light sources.
It means you probably have moist or humid locations within your home. These insects don't want to be inside a home that is dry.
How Do You Get Rid Of Earwigs?
Clear gutters of obstructions. Water plants in the morning. Trim tree branches to allow sunlight into shaded areas. Put spacing between plants to increase airflow.
These insects hide under piles of rubbish, leaves, woodpiles, and objects in your yard.
Remove dense vegetation:
Tall grass, ivy, weeds, and other dense vegetation will provide the moisture and shade these insects thrive in. There is also likely to be a large population of insects for earwigs to feed on in overgrown areas.
Seal entry points:
Do a detailed inspection of your foundation walls and exterior. Seal any potential entry points these insects can use to get in. If you have areas of wood rot, they should be addressed. Wood rot isn't just attractive to earwigs, it will lure termites, carpenter ants, mice, rats, and other wood-damaging pests.
After you alter conditions that promote earwig activity, you can go one step further and place traps out to capture earwigs. Use tuna fish cans with ½ an inch of oil in the bottoms. Fish oil, vegetable oil with a few drops of bacon grease will work nicely. Once the earwigs crawl inside, they can't crawl back up the smooth, slippery metal to get back out. For the best results, put the cans into the ground with the top level with the surface of the ground. Monitor and remove the cans as necessary.
The Best Control
If you want to get control of earwigs, why not get control of all the pests around your home? At Pro Active Pest Control, earwig control comes bundled in our residential pest control service. Choose a plan that works best for your specific pest control needs and budget. Reach out to us today for details. We look forward to helping you get control of earwigs and other pests around and inside your Sacramento home, with ongoing, proactive pest control service you can trust.