Earwigs! No it is not a hairy fashion accessory that mid-century elites wore on their ears; or a fashionable new design in earrings. Earwigs are those tiny reddish/brown creepy nocturnal insects that run really, really fast whenever you disturb their hiding places. They love moisture and moderate temperatures. They are content to live their lives hiding all day in the great outdoors and scavenging for food all night until the weather turns too hot or too cold; then they scramble to find a nice comfortable home to invade until the weather becomes more agreeable to them.
Called both earwigs, and pincher bugs, these pests have long, thin bodies with pincers on one end and antenna on the other. They use these pincers, or cerci, to grasp and hold food; but they can pinch you with these cerci if they feel threatened. They are typically not strong enough to break your skin, but the pinch can be quite painful. These nuisance pests are not known for carrying or transmitting diseases or germs to people or pets.
These little pests are very shy and will scurry away instantly upon being discovered which is why it is possible to have them living in your house, and not even know it. Earwigs prefer dark, moist, undisturbed places close to dirt so they can easily find food, but once it gets too hot or too cold they can be found in moist areas of your home like bathrooms, kitchens, basements, garages, and sheds. These bugs will feed on other insects or plants, so it is not unusual to find them in or under household plant pots.
“How do they get into your house in the first place?” you ask. Well, sometimes you can carry them inside without even knowing it. Common ways that you carry them in are: in plant pots you bring indoors from your deck, inside lawn furniture or cushions, inside boxes you bring in from the garage or porch, and even in the morning newspaper! They are great at hide n’ seek, so really, you can inadvertently bring them in on just about anything that has been sitting outdoors. When earwigs enter your home on their own they use: cracks and crevices in foundations, torn or damaged window screens, underneath doors with worn or damaged door sweeps, or around utility entrances.
Here are some things you can do to help deter earwigs from taking up residence in your home:
- Inspect anything that has been outside for any length of time before bringing it inside.
- Repair cracks, holes, and gaps in your foundation.
- Repair or replace torn or worn screens on windows and doors.
- Make sure your door sweeps are intact and in good working order, and if not, repair or replace them.
- Fill gaps around utility entrances.
- Remove mulch, shrubs, or other moisture trapping landscaping from around your foundation.
- Use dehumidifiers in moisture rich areas of your home like basements and bathrooms.
- Be sure to use gutters and downspouts to filter rain away from your house.
- Reduce outdoor lighting that will serve to attract earwigs.
If you have implemented safeguards in and around your home, but those pesky earwigs have come to live in your home anyway; it is time to call in the experts. Here at McCall Services we have been serving Florida and Georgia with quality pest control services since 1928. Our highly trained technicians have the expertise to safely and effectively eliminate pests from your home. If you are dealing with pesky earwigs, or any other pest, in your home or business, give McCall a call. You will be glad you did.