A Guide To Earwig Identification In San Diego County

What are earwigs?

Earwigs are unique-looking insects. They are dark brown to reddish-brown in color, and have long, slender bodies that are flattened from top to bottom. Earwigs have forcep-like appendages (cerci) which extend off the ends of their abdomens; the females' cerci are straight, and the males' cerci are curved. Most species of earwigs have wings, though not all can fly. Earwigs are nocturnal, hiding during the day and emerging at night to feed on decaying aphids, snails, insect larvae, and plant material.

an earwig on a leaf outside of a home in san diego california

Are earwigs dangerous?

Earwigs get a bad rap, and most people think they are much more dangerous than they really are. Thanks to an old wives tale, many people believe that earwigs crawl into the ears of sleeping people and lay their eggs. The truth is that earwigs are nuisance pests, and pose no harm to people. Their pinchers are used to defend themselves from each other, but are not strong enough to be harmful to people.

Earwigs are a type of garden pest, but typically only cause plant damage if their numbers are very high. Earwigs do have the potential to enter homes in large numbers, and are difficult to control and eliminate. If disturbed, these insects produce an unpleasant odor. Additionally, when living inside of a home, earwigs have the potential to contaminate pantry items like flour, bread, and cookies.

Why do I have an earwig problem?

Earwigs live on properties that offer them damp, dark areas to live in. Earwigs are scavengers that feed on a variety of matter, including plants and other insects. Earwigs have high moisture needs, so if the weather outside becomes too hot and dry for them to live comfortably, they will move inside in large numbers.

Where will I find earwigs?

Outside, earwigs live underneath mulch, landscaping ties, rocks, piles of leaves or grass, in potted plants, and under trash cans. Earwigs find their way into homes through cracks and crevices in their exterior. Inside, earwigs are typically found living in basements, crawlspaces, and underneath sinks in bathrooms and kitchens.

How do I get rid of earwigs?

The easiest and most effective way to control and prevent an earwig infestation is with the help of a professional pest control provider, like the local CA pest control experts at San Diego Pest & Termite. Our pest control specialists provide the services needed to get rid of invading earwigs and prevent their return to your home or commercial building.

San Diego Pest & Termite is committed to using modern and trustworthy pest control solutions to remove earwigs and other household-invading pests and prevent their return. To learn more about our guaranteed solutions that will eliminate earwigs from your San Diego County property, reach out to San Diego Pest & Termite today!

How can I prevent earwigs in the future?

Listed below are some helpful tips to prevent problems with earwigs and eliminate them from your San Diego County home or business.

  • Use dehumidifiers in damp basements and make sure crawlspaces are properly ventilated.

  • Place door sweeps on exterior doors, especially basement doors.

  • Repair leaky indoor and outdoor pipes and fixtures.

  • Place weather stripping around windows and doors.

  • Replace mulch around the perimeter of your home with a drier material.

  • Eliminate entry points into your home. Seal spaces in the foundation and exterior walls.

  • Inspect potted plants, boxes, and other items that you are bringing inside from the outside for earwigs.

  • Invest in a home pest control plan or ongoing commercial pest control services for your California home or business!


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