There are many pests that seem to make their way into our homes and businesses. Most are familiar with ants, cockroaches, and even spiders as they are the most common pests to infest buildings. But there are the occasional invaders that pop up and they are worth mentioning. Among the occasional invaders are earwigs and today we at A-Tex Pest Management would like the opportunity to discuss the fundamentals of earwigs.
What Do Earwigs Look Like?
Earwigs are fairly odd-looking insects that have distinct have pincers or forceps that protrude from the abdomen. Though they are rather intimidating looking, these bugs are not poisonous nor are they known to spread any kind of diseases. Depending on the species of earwig, these insects range 13/64” to just under an inch in length. These slender insects have 2 pairs of wings where the hind wings fold under the front wings. Not all species of earwigs fly and the few that do typically only maintain short and awkward bursts. In the United States are over 20 species of earwigs.
Are Earwig Infestations Harmful in House & Garden
For defensive purposes, some species will produce a foul-smelling liquid. Because they also secrete a pheromone, they tend to cluster together in large numbers. Despite their name, earwigs do not burrow in people’s ears; that is only a myth. Their pincers are frightening to some and are used for self-defense and sparring rival earwigs. Most earwig species prefer the moist, cool areas that are usually undisturbed. Under the right conditions, earwigs can be obnoxious garden pests. These insects flourish inadequate ground cover, wet soil, and food. Their diet generally consists of live sprouts or decaying vegetation and less common earwig species are predators that consume smaller insects and arthropods. Earwigs can move exceptionally fast, especially when the places they are hunkering down is uncovered. Typically, earwigs are nocturnal and will hide in dark and damp areas during the day, such as under rocks, logs, and mulch. Though they are nocturnal, they are attracted to light and are a particular nuisance on summer evenings where they gather on porches and patios under the lights. During spells of dry weather or extreme conditions as well as looking for food, earwigs may slip into your home. Others may have simply wandered inside. Once inside earwigs tend to be drawn to the dampest areas like bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms; although they can be found in bedrooms and family rooms. They can be found nearly anywhere inside the home and though infestations are rare they do still occur.
To deter their motives from moving, eliminate hiding places. Start in the landscaping and remove the clutter such as timber, logs, firewood piles, decorative stones, and other materials away from the foundation. Remove the moist soil from the foundation by ensuring 6-12 inches wide from the foundation is free of mulch, fallen leaves and other organic debris. Trim away trees and shrubs away from the house. From there, ensure the gutters and downspouts are draining water away from the foundation. Change the light bulbs on the porch and another exterior lighting to the yellow bulbs as insects are more attracted to the white lights. Make sure all the screens to the windows are in fair conditions and vents are blocked off. Finally, use a dehumidifier to control the damp basements.
Earwig & Occasional Pest Invader Inspections, Control & More in Austin, Round Rock, Leander, Pflugerville & Cedar Park, Texas
If you do find earwigs infesting near or inside your home, call A-Tex Pest Management and our experienced technicians will take care of the infestation and offer maintenance services to hinder any new visitors. Contact us today!