It’s a common myth that earwigs burrow into peoples’ ears while they sleep; however, this is without scientific basis.
Earwigs appear frightening to many of us because of the pincers on the back of their abdomens.
These pincers are a defense mechanism and used for fighting with other earwigs. Depending on the species, they range from 5-25 mm.
They’re slender insects with two pairs of wings; immature earwigs (nymphs) look like adults, but do not have wings. Certain species produce a foul smelling liquid they use for defense.
The scent earwigs produce is why scientists believe they cluster together.
These pests are active at night and hide in damp areas during the day. They live under rocks, logs, flowerbed mulch. Earwigs consume plants and insects.
Earwigs spend winter in small burrows in the ground. In spring, females lay eggs in the burrow; adult females care for nymphs until they can find their own food.
Earwigs are attracted to light which can be a nuisance when they gather on porches and patios during summer evenings. In the morning they may gather under cushions that were left out overnight.
Earwigs invade homes to find food or due to a change in weather.
You may encounter earwigs in any area of the house where there is water; this includes kitchens, bathrooms and laundry rooms. Earwigs may also creep into bedrooms and family rooms.
In order to prevent earwig infestations, you must remove their hiding places.
- Move firewood piles, timbers, logs and decorative stones away from building foundations.
- Create a dry zone next to foundations free of organic material. The dry zone should be 6″ to 12″ wide so earwigs will avoid it.
- Trim trees and shrubs responsible for damp, shady areas near the building.
- Adjust outdoor lights to shine from the yard onto the house so insects will be drawn away from your home.
- If you can’t move an outside light fixture, change its bulbs from white to yellow.
- Repair screens on crawl space vents and keep them unblocked.
Earwigs are a popular Houston pest we get service calls for. Call us today at (281) 449-7404 and let Gulf Coast Exterminators help you with your Earwig problem.
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