How to Prevent & Get Rid of Infestations of Earwigs in Your Weirsdale, FL House & Garden
Homes in Idaho are commonly stricken with ants, roaches, and other frequent pests. But the occasional invaders should be equally addressed as well. Some can be nuisance where others can be more than troublesome. Earwigs are among the occasional invaders that show up often enough they are recognizable. We at Pest911 would like to relate the fundamentals of earwigs.
As odd looking insects, earwigs have distinct pincers or forceps that protrude from the abdomen. Though they are not venomous, nor do they spread disease, they can be rather intimidating looking when you encounter them. Depending on the specific species of earwig, their size can vary from anywhere between 13/64 to just about an inch long. They are slender insects and feature two pairs of wings where the hind pair fold under the front wings.
Facts & Myths About Earwigs
In the United States, there more than 20 species of earwigs. Used as a defense mechanism, some species will produce a pungent liquid. Additionally they will produce a pheromone that scientists believe attract earwigs to cluster together in large communities. Contrary to superstition, earwigs do not burrow into people’s ears while they sleep. This is nothing more than a myth and no scientific evidence backs this up. The frightening looking pincers that are located at the back of the abdomen are used for defense and for sparing with rival earwigs.
Where Do Earwigs Live?
Habitats will vary from the various species, but most earwigs prefer wet, cool, and undisturbed areas. If the conditions are favorable, they can prove to be a serious garden pest and with adequate ground cover, wet soil, and a food source, earwigs can thrive. Their diet consists of live sprouts or decaying vegetation and few species are predator insects. If their habitat is disturbed, they are capable of moving fast to find cover. As nocturnal insects, earwigs are active at night and during the day they will find damp cracks to hide in; typically under rocks and logs and in mulch in flowerbeds when they are outside.
What Attracts Earwigs to Your Home?
Earwigs are attracted to lights and during summer evenings can be annoying as they gather around porches and then find cushions of patio furniture to hide under during the day. When they filter indoors, it is usually when food is scarce and if extreme weather hits and they need to seek shelter. If they find their way inside they will be likely around areas where there is water such as bathrooms, laundry rooms, and kitchens; however, they can be easily found in bedrooms and family rooms as well.
How to Prevent an Earwig Infestation in Your House
To reduce earwigs, eliminating the hiding places is essential. Start by cleaning up the landscape, removing the timber, logs, firewood, and other such clutter away from the house. Eliminate moist soil 6-12 inches near the foundation by ensuring it is free of mulch, dead leaves, and other organic materials. Reduce shady areas close to the house by pruning trees and shrubs. Make sure you have proper drainage; gutters and downspouts are draining away from the house and irrigation waters the landscape in the morning so the soil dries during the day. Replace the exterior light bulbs with yellow lights to avoid the attraction and ensure crawl space vents have efficient screens in place. If you have a basement, consider installing a dehumidifier.