Pest Away Tips

10 Ways to Keep Earwigs Out of Your Home and Garden

Earwigs: Misunderstood Insects that Unknowingly Intrude Into Our Homes

Have you ever found that earwigs, those petite, odd-looking insects with seeming pincers on their tail, have proliferated in and around your home? These tiny pests can be quite an annoyance once they start to invade, but they are frequently misunderstood and are not as harmful as people think.

In this article, we will take a closer look at earwigs, where they originate from, how they enter homes, their nocturnal tendencies, diet, species, and why there is no reason to be frightened of them.

Earwig Appearance and Origin

Earwigs, otherwise known by their scientific name Dermaptera, are small creatures with flattened bodies, flexible antennae, and a pair of unique pincers called cerci at the rear end of their body. They have six legs and two short wings covered by prominent forewings.

Earwigs are predominantly nocturnal and hide throughout the day. With more than 1,800 species of earwigs, they can be found almost everywhere worldwide.

They typically live in foliage, soil, and undergrowth, with some preferring woods, caves, or rocky areas. How Do Earwigs Enter Homes and Where Do They Live?

Earwigs are winged insects, but they are pretty clumsy fliers and mainly rely on their legs for movement. However, they can travel quickly and can withstand tough environments.

Earwigs have excellent hiding skills and tend to enter into homes through cracks or open doors and windows. They are known to seek out warm and damp areas like kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms.

They are also known to live beneath damp areas of the soil where they can find their preferred damp humidity.

Earwig Behaviour and Characteristics

Earwigs are primarily nocturnal insects, choosing to go out and forage for food when it is dark outside. They hide during the day in small crevices and beneath leaves and stones.

Earwigs have a diverse diet, consisting of leaves, flowers, fruit, fungi, and other small insects that are either dead or alive. According to experts, earwigs may also eat materials of plant and vegetable origin, small insects, and other arthropods.

Earwigs are not dangerous, and their pinchers are too weak to cause any harm to humans or pets. Although they have wings, their flying abilities are limited, and they cannot generate enough lift to fly like a bee or butterfly.

Earwig Species

Earwigs fall into two general categories: indoor and outdoor species. Outdoor earwigs tend to inhabit rock crevices, tree holes, and under bark during the day, while indoor earwigs tend to look for shelter in our homes when temperatures outdoors drop.

The most common species of earwig is the European earwig, otherwise known as Forficula auricularia. This species is found throughout many regions of the world, including North America, Europe, and regions of South America.

Despite multiple scientific studies, no correlation has been found between earwigs and hearing aids.

Harmlessness of Earwigs

Earwigs are generally harmless to humans. They don’t sting, suck blood, or carry disease.

However, they are still pests that can create a nuisance in homes by reproducing rapidly. They are also capable of causing minimal damage to plants and crops.

Although their multi-legged structure may seem intimidating, the pinchers on the end of their bodies are not powerful enough to hurt us. In conclusion, earwigs are harmless insects that tend to hoard in areas of the home that are not frequently used.

They are not aggressive, and their pinchers do not pack enough of a punch to be of any real concern. While they may be difficult to eliminate, especially if their nests are well-hidden, there are several methods of non-toxic pest control that can help reduce their population.

By eliminating clutter and debris in the home and minimizing areas of high humidity, homeowners can avoid the overpopulation of earwigs. With a bit of persistence and diligence, earwigs can be effortlessly kept at bay.

Earwig Infestation Signs and Prevention

Earwig infestations can be detrimental to both gardens and crops. They are prolific eaters that can destroy flowers, vegetables, fruit trees, and other plants.

Earwigs tend to feast on such plants when the weather is hot and dry, as this forces them out of their natural habitats looking for moisture. It can be challenging to control earwigs, so it’s essential to be aware of the signs of an infestation before it’s too late.

One of the most common signs of an earwig infestation is damage to plants. They primarily feed on plant matter such as flowers, leaves, and soft fruit, causing the plants to look distorted or chewed.

They may also cause damage by tunneling into the earth, which can affect the plant’s root system, leading to root rot and ultimately death. To prevent earwigs from entering homes, it’s essential to seal all cracks and gaps around windows and doors.

Homeowners should also look for potential entry points such as wet spots, damaged foundations, or other areas where earwigs may gain access to the home. Proper home maintenance can also help prevent earwigs from entering homes.

Clean cluttered areas outside of your home, remove fallen leaves, plant debris, and keep firewood piles elevated off the ground. Additionally, homeowners need to address the moisture issue around their homes.

Earwigs are attracted to high humidity environments and areas that are sheltered from the sun. Therefore, it’s essential to maintain properly functioning gutters and make sure water is directed away from the home’s foundation.

Ensure that there is good air circulation around and under the foundation of your home by keeping plants trimmed and debris-free.

Getting Rid of Earwigs

The best way to eliminate an earwig infestation is to identify their nest and eliminate it. This means addressing both indoor and outdoor areas that may harbor earwig populations.

Homeowners can start by inspecting their homes’ perimeter for gaps or cracks that these insects could use to enter the home. Use a sealant or caulk to fill any gaps or caulking around windows, doors, and vents.

In the home, homeowners should use a vacuum cleaner to eliminate earwigs. This method of eradication is more effective for smaller populations.

However, avoid crushing the earwigs as they can produce an unpleasant odor when crushed. Instead, dispose of the vacuum’s bag or contents carefully.

Insecticides can also be used for earwig elimination. Choose an insecticide formulated for earwigs, and always use it according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Never apply insecticides near or on edible plants or where pets and children are likely to play. To reduce outdoor populations, homeowners can set up homemade traps with simple household items like an upturned pot that has been placed over a moistened piece of newspaper or cardboard.

When the earwigs seek shelter, they will hide under the moist paper or cardboard, and they can be quickly eliminated. Reducing moisture levels in the yard can also be beneficial in reducing earwig populations, along with the use of outdoor insecticides that are labeled for earwigs.

Treatment with residual insecticides provides long-term relief against earwigs. This method uses a wettable powder or spray applied to exterior surfaces of the home and other areas of the yard with heavy earwig activity.

Use the product according to the labeling instructions, and take care to avoid applying the product near edible plants or to areas where pets and children are likely to play. There are natural methods for earwig elimination as well.

Homeowners can use diatomaceous earth, which is a powdery substance that kills earwigs when they come into contact with it. Essential oils like lemon eucalyptus, citronella, or tea tree oil can also be used as natural deterrents against earwigs.

Simply mix with water and spray around the home’s perimeter, patio, and other areas where earwigs are present. In conclusion, earwigs can cause problems for homeowners and those that have gardens or crops.

Learning how to prevent them from entering and multiplying is essential in eliminating them. Inspecting the perimeter of your home regularly, sealing cracks or gaps, reducing moisture, and cleanliness can help reduce the chances of an infestation happening.

When an infestation occurs, eliminating their nest by the use of insecticides, setting traps, vacuuming, or using natural remedies can assist in getting rid of these tiny creatures.

Getting Rid of Earwigs in Specific Places

While earwigs may be small in size, they can cause significant problems in specific areas of the home and yard. Knowing how to get rid of earwigs that are invading specific areas can help homeowners eliminate them before they cause substantial damage.

Here are some tips for getting rid of earwigs in various places. Earwigs in the House:

The primary methods for getting rid of earwigs in the house include vacuuming and sealing cracks and gaps around windows and doors.

Homeowners can also place homemade traps like short, plastic tubes filled with bacon grease, vegetable oil, or another kind of edible jelly. Earwigs tend to crawl inside these traps and die; they’re an effective method for small infestations.

Earwigs in the Garden:

Earwigs in the garden can be a major problem as they can cause significant damage to plants and crops. A simple homemade solution is to mix two tablespoons of vegetable oil, one tablespoon of soy sauce, and one tablespoon of honey in one cup of water.

Spray the mixture where earwigs are present to prevent them from decimating your greens. Alternatively, homeowners can use insecticidal sprays designed to kill earwigs and other insects.

Apply the insecticide at night, when earwigs are most active, and do so in accordance with the product’s label instructions. Earwigs in the Bathroom:

Earwigs are often found in damp and dark places, and the bathroom is no exception.

Proper ventilation and sealing any cracks or gaps around windows and doors can prevent earwigs from entering the bathroom. Homeowners can also place homemade traps using small jars filled with a mixture of equal parts water, dish soap, and vinegar.

The earwigs will be attracted to the smell and drown in the jar’s mixture. Earwigs in Potted Plants:

Earwigs can also invade potted plants, and they tend to hide in the soil.

Homeowners should remove any debris from the top of the soil, reduce moisture levels, and apply diatomaceous earth to prevent earwigs. Alternatively, homeowners can place earwig traps in the pot, which entices them to crawl in and then become trapped.

Earwigs in the Basement:

Earwigs that have made their way into the basement can be challenging to eliminate. The best method is to start by sealing any cracks and gaps leading from the basement to the outside of the home.

Homeowners can also place sticky traps throughout the basement. These are available for purchase at pest control stores or online.

For severe infestations, an insecticidal spray will effectively eradicate earwigs in the basement.

Best Products to Get Rid of Earwigs

Earwig Traps: Earwig traps are designed to attract and prevent them from returning. These traps either use pheromones or edible bait to lure the insects.

Sticky traps and container traps are both effective at capturing earwigs. Earwig Pesticides: Pesticides containing pyrethroids are effective against earwigs.

These can be found in sprays, powders, and granules. Always use these products in accordance with the labeling instructions, and take care to avoid applying them near edible plants or to areas where pets and children are likely to play.

Earwig Repellents: Natural earwig repellents include essential oils like citronella, peppermint, and tea tree oil. Chemical-based repellents are effective as well, such as products containing pyrethroids.

These products function by creating a barrier around the home, preventing earwigs from crossing. To summarize, earwigs are difficult to remove, but there are methods to get rid of them.

The most effective way is to try to prevent them from entering a home with proper maintenance and sealing any entryways. For specific infestations, homeowners can use a variety of traps, natural repellents, and pesticides.

Homeowners should apply these products with caution and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. When used correctly, these products can ensure that the earwigs no longer remain in those spaces.

Keeping Earwigs Away: Effective Strategies to Keep Earwigs at Bay

Earwigs are commonly known as nuisance pests whose presence often grosses out homeowners. These insects are notorious for their pincer-like tail and nocturnal behavior, and while they may not cause harm to humans, an infestation can be overwhelming.

For individuals who have had a previous encounter with earwigs, here are some effective strategies to keep them at bay. Improving Sanitation:

Keeping a clean home is one of the most natural ways of preventing earwigs from entering your home.

Piles of laundry, cluttered areas, and unwashed dishes all provide hiding and breeding areas for earwigs. Regularly cleaning and tidying your home can help prevent the buildup of moisture and any food residue that might attract the earwigs.

Repairing Screens and Fixing Leaks:

Earwigs can use even the tiniest cracks in windows and doors as entry points into your home. Repairing any issues or damages in your screens, doors, and windows will go a long way in keeping these insects out of your home.

Also, ensure that your pipes are adequately sealed and fix any leakages since earwigs are attracted to humid environments and moisture. Trimming Shrubbery and Removing Debris:

Earwigs will be less likely to enter a residence if there are fewer shady and damp areas outside.

Trim any overgrown shrubbery and clear any debris, leaves or fallen fruits from outdoor spaces such as the patio, driveway, or yard. Clear away any piles of decomposing plant matter, such as compost heaps, woodpiles, or mulch, as these tend to attract earwigs.

Yellow Outdoor Light Bulbs:

Earwigs are drawn to light and are especially attracted to white bulbs. Replacing white outdoor light bulbs with yellow ones can help reduce the risk of attracting earwigs and other pests.

Yellow bulbs tend to repel insects, and you can use them in your garden to create a barrier around your home. Use of Residual Insecticide:

Residual insecticides can be an effective way to eliminate earwigs outdoors.

These are products formulated to create a barrier around the home’s perimeter and the yard, preventing earwigs from crossing over. It’s essential to choose a product labeled for earwig control, and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

In conclusion, keeping your home and surrounding environment clean, clear of debris and well-maintained is the primary step in preventing earwigs. Repairing any entry points in the home, trimming shrubbery, and using yellow bulbs can act as a deterrent for earwigs trying to enter your home.

In case of an infestation, homeowners can use residual insecticides to control the population of earwigs outside their home. Be sure to read the product label carefully, use it correctly, and take precautions to ensure the safety of pets and children.

With these strategies in place, individuals can keep earwigs at bay. In conclusion, earwigs may be creepy, but they are not harmful to humans or pets.

Regular maintenance, proper sanitation, and sealing cracks and gaps into your home can help eliminate the possibility of an infestation. Should an infestation occur, homeowners can employ numerous methods to control and eliminate the earwig population, including traps, insecticides, and natural repellents.

By following these tips, homeowners can effectively keep earwigs out of their home and keep their yard and garden safe from destruction. Remember, understanding these simple and effective solutions can help you avoid the headache and unpleasant experience of an earwig infestation.

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