What do earwigs look like?

The earwig is an insect with a history that's enough to make anyone run for the hills to avoid contact with them. The good news is the earwig's history isn't accurate. It was once thought that earwigs crawl into people's ears to bore into their brains and lay their eggs. Luckily there is no truth to this repeated story. Earwigs are garden pests that pose no real harm to people.

earwig up close

Physical features of an earwig include:

  • A flat, elongated body
  • A reddish-brown color
  • Pincers (cerci) extending off the end of the abdomen
  • Antennae and wings
  • Biting mouthparts

Are earwigs dangerous?

Earwigs are garden and agricultural pests. They pose no harm to people, and only in large numbers can they cause significant damage to plants and crops. Most people are frightened of earwigs because of the pincers extending off the abdomen. But, the pincers are not strong enough to break through a person's skin or cause us any real pain. The pincers are what earwigs use to defend themselves against each other and predatory insects.

Why do I have an earwig problem?

Earwigs are scavengers and mostly feed on decaying plants and other decomposing materials. Preferring to live outside earwigs are most often found in gardens, flowerbeds, and landscaped areas. Their preferred habitats are frequently near the exterior of our homes. If it becomes too hot and dry outside for them to live comfortably, earwigs migrate into our homes through spaces under doors or cracks in the foundation.

Where will I find earwigs?

Earwigs typically live outside living in damp, dark areas like under mulch, rocks, landscaping ties, leaves, and brush. When inside our homes, they move to damp areas like the basements, crawl spaces, and around drains and sinks. Earwigs also regularly pop-up inside of folded laundry, under cardboard boxes, or in stored linens.

How do I get rid of earwigs?

The professionals at Green Home Pest Control will help you to get rid of earwigs from your Phoenix, AZ property. We are a local company that understands how to eliminate and control pests common to our region. Our highly trained employees are committed to our customers, community, employees, and the environment.

With more than 30 combined years of experience, you can trust Green Home Pest Control to meet your Arizona residential or commercial property's pest control needs. To learn why your neighbors, friends, and family trust us with their pest control needs, reach out to us today!

How can I prevent earwigs in the future?

Use the following prevention tips to avoid problems with earwigs:

  • Leave a barrier between the soil and your foundation.
  • Rake leaves and other debris back from your home's exterior walls.
  • Seal holes in your foundation that allow earwigs and other pests to move inside.
  • Place door sweeps on exterior doors.
  • Repair leaky pipes and fixtures that provide earwigs the moisture they crave.
  • Use dehumidifiers to keep basements dry.
  • Ventilate crawlspaces.

Learn more about our home pest control and commercial pest control offerings.


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