Earwigs have an intimidating appearance that often makes people cringe. But the bugs are often misunderstood, and few people know the facts about earwigs around Modesto. Find out everything that you should know about this unusual insect.
What Are Earwigs?
Earwigs are unsightly insects that are sometimes referred to as pincher bugs. Their nickname comes from their forceps, which resemble sharp pinchers. Although the forceps look scary, they don’t do much damage to humans. They are more for intimidating other insects.
Generally, earwigs are black or brown and have flat bodies. They vary in length, ranging from ¼ of an inch to 1 and ¼ inches. If you look closely at them, you may notice their wings. But they aren’t great fliers, so you’re more likely to notice them crawling around on the ground.
As nocturnal feeders, earwigs are more often seen at night. They eat other insects along with some vegetation and decaying organic material. If you leave out greasy scraps of food in the kitchen, earwigs might consume those as well.
Where Do Earwigs Live?
Earwigs like to hide in dark and moist places. Outside, they prefer to live under rocks, bark, and organic debris. But dry conditions could draw them into your home. While there, they’re most likely to nest in your basement or under your bathroom sink.
Earwigs are attracted to materials that contain cellulose. As a result, they are drawn to rooms in your home that contain old boxes and books. They may also be tempted to live in your kitchen, near food scraps.
Are Earwigs Dangerous?
Despite their name, earwigs don’t want anything to do with your ears. It’s an urban myth that earwigs will lay eggs in your ear or eat your brain. In fact, earwigs are relatively harmless. They won’t hurt you or your pets, and they won’t do much damage to your property. But they’re still not desired pests, as they can breed quickly and create an unsightly infestation.
How Can You Keep Earwigs Away?
If you see one or two earwigs in your home, you can remove them by sweeping them outside or vacuuming them up. However, when there’s one, there are more in hiding. Before you develop an infestation, you should take some steps to prevent the bugs from moving in with you.
Keep Your Yard Free Of Hiding Spots
If your yard doesn’t have many hiding spots for earwigs, you may be able to prevent an infestation. Remove stones from your yard, and keep your mulch layers thin. If you have mulch that’s greater than two inches thick, earwigs will be likely to hide under it. Earwigs also like to hide under organic debris, like piles of branches and leaves. When you do yard work, be sure to clean up your piles or store them away from your home.
To prevent your yard from being moist enough for earwigs, make sure your rain gutters are clear. They should drain away from your home, and not near the foundation. If you have any broken sprinklers in your irrigation system, repair them right away.
Make Your Home Less Accessible
You should also leave a barrier between your home and grass or shrubs. Do a thorough inspection of your home’s perimeter and seal up cracks, broken screens, and other potential earwig entry points. Because earwigs are so small and flat, they can enter through the smallest of openings.
Keep Your Home Unappealing To Earwigs
To keep earwigs outside, you should limit moisture indoors. Additionally, you should clean up your food scraps and store all of your food in tightly sealed containers.
Work With A Professional
For the best results, hire a professional. Contact Insect IQ for more advice or assistance and keep your home protected from earwigs and other pests.