Earwigs are a common, relatively diverse group of insects, with twelve different families comprising their order. They are found on every continent except Antarctica and are no less common in Ontario than they are elsewhere in the world. While myths persist about their attraction to the human ear, such behaviour is not common and only a few anecdotal accounts exist. Nevertheless, this pest is so common that it is worth being able to recognize them and spot potential infestations.
What do Earwigs Look Like?
Earwigs are described as the following:
- Earwigs are insects that can range anywhere from 7-50 millimetres in length. In Canada, they are typically brown in colour.
- All are long, flat insects, capable of fitting into crevices and cracks outdoors, such as under the bark of trees. Of course, such flexibility also allows them to hide away in the nooks and crannies of human homes.
- Their most notable characteristic is the relatively large pair of pincers, called cerci, attached to their abdomen. While earwigs do not typically harm humans, the pinch of these forceps can be painful.
How to Identify an Earwig or Earwig Infestation in your Home
Earwigs are not social creatures with colonies organized around queens, the way bees or termites are. Therefore, it is not as common to find great numbers of them living together. Still, when the conditions for their survival are met, they may propagate to frightening amounts.
Most earwigs thrive in dark, cool habitats, such as decaying plants or the first few inches of topsoil. Being nocturnal, they do not venture out much during the day. In fact, they tend not to survive long in the warmth and sunshine.
For this reason, large numbers are more likely to appear in basements or some attics. If you believe you have an infestation of earwigs, it is advisable to contact residential pest control services to receive the pest control necessary to solve the problem.
Where You Can Find Earwigs in Your Home
Earwigs are typically found outdoors in cool dark and damp areas, under rocks or in areas with decaying plant matter. If you do find earwigs in your home, they may most likely be found in your basement or high-moisture areas.
What do Earwigs Eat?
Earwigs are omnivorous. While they sometimes feed off smaller insects and arthropods, the majority of their diet consists of plant matter. Dead or decomposing plant matter is especially attractive to earwigs, though they may nibble at the roots of gardens and houseplants, causing harm to the vegetation.
What do Earwig Nests Look Like?
Earwigs are capable of nesting in a wide variety of places, including:
Outdoors, they typically nest in shallow tunnels in the earth, often adjacent to tree trunks or rocks. Th