Earwigs are common household pests in Florida. They can be easily identified by their 3 body sections, 6 legs, antennae, and long pincers on the bottom of their abdomen. These Florida pests will make their way indoors when there is a change in outdoor conditions (excessive rain or heat), because holes or cracks in the exterior of your home give the earwig easy access, or because they are drawn to lights indoors (especially bright lights at entrances).
You can tell if you have a problem with these pests by identifying any of these common signs of an earwig infestation:
- Foul smell: When earwigs are crushed, they secrete a yellow-brown substance that gives off a very foul odor.
- Live bugs: The presence of live bugs, either inside your home or near outdoor lights (especially at night) indicates there may be a congregation of earwigs nearby.
- Dead plants: If you have plants or shrubs that were once thriving and are now dying or dead, there is a good chance earwigs are lurking nearby.
- Live or dead bugs near sources of moisture: Earwigs will seek moist, cool places to inhabit indoors. They can often be found congregating in the soil of houseplants, under wet rugs, carpet, or laundry, and around kitchen and bathroom baseboards.
Use these earwig prevention tips to keep earwigs out of your home:
- Repair leaks because they are drawn to damp environments.
- Remove any fallen leaves that may have blown into basements or garages.
- In your crawlspace, consider building a vapor barrier.
- In your basement or crawlspace, use a dehumidifier.
- Install door sweeps that fit snugly.
- Your home’s foundation cracks should be repaired.
- Use window screens that fit snugly.
If you have a problem with earwigs or other household pests, contact your local pest control company for an inspection.