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Pest Control

Pest Profile: Earwigs

In the earliest days of the English language, there was a common belief that earwigs would crawl into a person’s ear and lay their eggs in the person’s brain. This, of course, is not remotely true, but it does demonstrate just how long humans and earwigs have been living in close proximity. Earwigs are a common household pest, but they are nowhere near as dangerous as medieval people believed. Learn more about these complex pests and what you can do to eradicate them from your home.

Earwigs 101

Earwigs are a variety of small insects that can be found on every inhabited continent on earth. Common pest varieties have a set of pinchers on the tail end of their abdomens which varies in size and shape by gender. They are nocturnal scavengers who eat opportunistically: insects, fruit, vegetables, and decaying matter are all regular parts of earwig diets. They are unique among the insect world because they are solitary insects who continue caring for their young after birth. Mother earwigs tend to their young through two of their five lifetime molts, feeding and cleaning them. Earwigs tend to only live roughly one year after they hatch.

Why They’re Pests

Like the vast majority of insects that come into our homes, earwigs are pests because they are simply unwelcome guests. Their appearance can be alarming and frightening, and their presence usually indicates other insects or a home with other food sources present.

Are They Dangerous?

With those big pinchers, you would think that earwigs are either poisonous or able to seriously hurt you with their backsides. Surprisingly, this isn’t the case at all. Yes, those forceps can pinch, but they are not able to do any real damage to humans. They are not in any way venomous, and the only real use for the pinchers is to hold prey and during mating.

Extermination and Control

Though they’re not particularly dangerous, earwigs should be removed from your home. (After all, insects encourage other insects to join them.) While there are DIY home treatments, these can be ineffective and difficult to use properly. Your best bet in controlling earwigs in and around your home is to contact a professional extermination company and have their team handle your unwelcome visitors. In conjunction with their service, your professional pest removal company can provide you with recommendations for how to keep earwigs and other pests out of your home in the future.