Biology and Life Habits
The European Earwig is one of the more common pests in homes and gardens. When present in large numbers, they will damage flowers, fruits and vegetables.
The adult earwig is about 12-19mm (1/2” to ¾”) long and reddish brown in color. Both males and females have a pair of large forceps at the rear of the body, the female’s is straight and the male’s is curved.
In the spring the female lays a batch of eggs in a nest in the soil. Once they hatch, the young earwigs wander in search of food and shelter and infrequently enter homes and businesses through small cracks and crevices.
Normally earwigs wander at night in search of food and crawl into any available hiding space during the day that is moist and dark. The adults will live for one year and have no natural enemies, other than man, since they were introduced to our country from Europe.
Questions and Answers
Q. Do earwigs die off in cold months?
A. No. Earwigs can hibernate during the winter, either as adults or eggs and sometimes tunnel as deep as 1.8 m (6feet) below the soil surface to escape the cold. For this reason, in an earwig problem is left unchecked, the will return next season in increased numbers.
Q. Can weather conditions affect the size of an earwig infestation?
A. Yes. Since they prefer dampness, a moist spring will encourage larger numbers of earwigs’ outdoors. For this reason, if the summer months are dry, earwigs will enter homes and buildings in search of moisture.
Q. Can I do anything to prevent an earwig infestation on my property?
A. Yes. Since earwigs like moist, dark places, try to eliminate debris around your property, such as grass cuttings, mulch patches and wood heaps.
Q. Do earwigs cause damage?
A. Yes. Outdoors, earwigs are a real threat to plants, feeding on the roots of flowers, vegetables and shrubs. Indoors, they are more of a nuisance and will eventually die out.
Q. When are earwigs most common?
A. During the warm summer months, particularly June, July and August.
Q. When am I most likely to see other earwigs?
A. Earwigs are nocturnal and are most active at night
Q. Where do you find earwigs?
A. Earwigs prefer a dark, moist habitat beneath stones, boards, sidewalks and debris. In the home they crawl under rugs, cushions, baseboards, and dark, damp crevices, especially in basements.
Q. Are earwigs hazardous to humans?
A. These forceps are used for defense and courtship and will not harm humans.
Preparation Guidelines for Earwig Treatment
1. In order to achieve control, Reliable will perform a crack and crevice application outside your home and inside in areas where earwigs like to hide, i.e., laundry, storage, kitchen and bathroom areas. Items should be pulled away from walls in these areas so that wall/floor junctions can be accessed.
2. Vacate the premises during service and do not re-enter until at least 4 hours after treatment. Open windows for 20 minutes after re-entry if possible.
3. Infants, pregnant women and people suffering from heart, kidney, respiratory ailments or allergies should remain away for at least 24 hours.