Earwigs are nocturnal. During the day, they hide. Earwigs feed on decaying organic matter and vegetation. They also feed on other smaller insects. If living in your home, earwigs will eat sweets and oily, greasy foods along with residue that lingers in your kitchen.
Female earwigs lay between 20 – 60 eggs in burrows during the spring. These burrows are found 2 to 3 inches below ground. Some female earwigs will even take care of their young which is rare among insects. They will tend to their eggs until they hatch and take care of their nymphs until they are able to find food on their own.
You’ve probably heard the myth that earwigs crawl into people’s ears while they are sleeping. This is an urban legend that has no scientific evidence to support it. In actuality, earwigs are pretty much harmless to humans. While earwigs will use their pincers to pinch if picked up or disturbed, venom is not transferred and their pinch won’t likely break the skin. Though earwigs can look frightening, they are not poisonous and do not spread disease.
Earwigs typically enter a home in order to find food or escape poor weather conditions. They will infiltrate your home via unsealed cracks or small openings. Once inside you home, earwigs will seek out rooms with a water source such as bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms. It is also common to find earwigs in damp basements.
Earwigs are also attracted to light. It is common to come across earwigs on patios and porches during the evening and at night. This is especially the case during warm, humid summer nights.
Even though earwigs are relatively harmless, it is understandable that you don’t want them in your home. If you can eliminate their hiding places, it will be easier to control earwigs. You should also make your yard and home less attractive to earwigs by doing the following:
Remove any mulch, dead leaves, and other damp organic matter next to your home’s foundation.
Trim any branches or plants that create shady, damp areas near your home.
Make sure gutters and other drain lines drain away from the foundation of your home.
Seal all cracks and small entry points to your home that earwigs may be able to get through.
Set up dehumidifiers in damp areas of your home.
Wipe down surfaces and vacuum regularly.
If you see earwigs in your home, you should call an Aptive professional to help with extermination and removal. Because they are nocturnal and live in well-hidden places, earwigs can be difficult to find. An Aptive professional will be able to locate any hard-to-find infestation sources.