Sign-in to Account
Call Us

(855) 948-5816

aptive-registered-logo-white

Find Service Area

How to Control Earwigs

Written by Aptive Environmental December 11, 2019

An earwig infestation can be difficult to manage and get rid of. Because of their name, many believe they will enter your ears when sleeping and infest the brain. Although this isn’t true, these insects can be pesky and unpleasant. They live in packs and you may even see swarms of them in the home if you have a bad infestation. When wondering how to get rid of earwigs in your house, there are a few steps you can take.

What is an Earwig?

Also known as pincher bugs, these long insects are typically dark brown in color with pinchers at the end of their bodies. These are used to hunt prey, but they may pinch humans if threatened. Earwig bites are non-poisonous (although they may hurt a little). Adults reach about half an inch in size with flat bodies that easily fit into small spaces. They sleep during the day, then come out at night to scavenge for plants and insects.

Why are they called earwigs? The name came about from an urban legend that earwigs crawl into human ears and lay eggs in the brain. Although this isn’t true, it’s not a surprise that these quick and small bugs have the potential to crawl into your ear. Many people have found earwig infestation in their homes.

Why Are Earwigs In My House?

Earwigs crawl into homes through cracks or other holes in windows, doors, and other foundational parts of the building. People may also bring them inside when bringing in the newspaper, moving plants indoors, bringing in boxes, and other activities. For example, earwigs could have infested a damp box in storage that you decided to bring inside one day. Pincher bugs may also migrate into homes seeking warmth when it becomes cold outside, or if their normal habitat becomes too dry (they love damp environments). Earwigs are also attracted to light, so they may have been drawn to outdoor home lights and found an entry point.

Once inside, earwigs will quickly scatter and hide. They can be difficult to find because they’re small, move quickly, and can fit nearly anywhere.

Signs of Infestation

Unfortunately, even a couple earwigs inside can be a sign that an infestation has occurred (or is in the making). These bugs live in packs and reproduce rapidly – females lay anywhere from 20 to 80 eggs. Whether you’ve encountered new signs of an earwig infestation or have been struggling with this on a recurring basis, the following tips share prevention methods and how to get rid of earwigs in your house.

How to Get Rid of Earwigs in Your House

Keep Your Home Spotless

Earwigs are attracted to moist and cluttered areas, which is why it’s important to keep the house clean. Investigate your house thoroughly for damp spots or clutter such as basements, attics, wash basins, and foundation sites. Additionally, make sure to clean out your garbage cans regularly as earwigs are attracted to food leftovers and other waste.

Seal Windows and Doors

If earwigs seem to keep showing up in your home, you should focus on preventing their entry. Windows near the ground are a common entry spot for earwigs. Make sure to seal any cracks, install quality window screens, and perform weather stripping. This applies to doors and wall fissures as well – make sure to seal any cracks or abnormal fittings of doors.

Dispose of Earwigs

When you spot earwigs, you should quickly kill them (vacuuming them up is the easiest method). Even just two earwigs can turn into thousands – females lay around 50 eggs at one time! Search your house for eggs and dispose of them in a sealed container.

Natural Pesticides

An easy, natural method to get rid of earwigs in your house is by using boric acid powder. Simply place it in corners where earwigs may be present or hiding and it will kill them within 1–2 weeks. Diatomaceous earth (diatomite) is another product that treats for earwigs. You can also make or buy earwig traps.

Natural Repellant

If you’ve already gotten rid of them and are more worried about how to keep earwigs away for good, there are a few effective repellents. For one, earwigs hate vinegar. Simply wipe any entrance sites such as doors and windows with a concentrated vinegar solution. They won’t come in anymore, and the earwigs that are inside should migrate outdoors. Other repellents that have worked for some include citrus oil and vegetable oil. You could also try purchasing electronic repellers.

Can Earwigs Fly?

Most species of earwigs have wings, and some are even capable of flight, but they rarely do so. The common earwig found in homes, the European earwig, has wings but seldom flies. If disturbed or threatened, they might flutter from one location to another, but they are not adept at sustained flying like other insects. This limited ability makes them less likely to be seen flying and more likely to be found crawling across surfaces.

Get Professional Help

Sometimes, nothing seems to work and you need to hire a professional. There may be entrance points, damp areas, or a nest that you simply can’t find. Aptive Environmental has offices across the United States and will get rid of each and every earwig in your home. We’re confident in our strategies – if the bugs come back, we will too (at no additional cost).

Curated articles for you, from our pest experts.

Close-Up Of A Black Ant On A Green Leaf With Water Droplets.

Pest Control: The Lifecycle of Pests

Pests are a nuisance to homeowners, and can cause a lot of damage to property, as well as health risks to humans and pets. To effectively control pests, it is important to understand their lifecycle and behavior. In this article, we will explore the lifecycle of...

Feb 17, 2023
A Variety Of Pumpkins And Gourds In Different Shapes, Sizes, And Colors Are Arranged On The Steps Of A Front Porch. The Steps Are Terracotta-Colored, And The Porch Is Flanked By Green Leafy Plants.

How to Keep Pumpkins from Rotting

Nothing says fall like newly-picked pumpkins and jack-o-lanterns. These festive vegetables provide the perfect front door decor and after-school activity for kids. Unfortunately for homeowners, though, carved pumpkins will often last between just one to two weeks...

May 8, 2024
An Aptive Pest Control Specialist Waves To Two Children From Outside A House Window, With An Aptive Van Parked In The Background. The Children Are Sitting At A Table Inside, One Waving Back While The Other Is Drawing.

3 Reasons Why You Should Have Pest Control

It’s easy to recognize the need for pest control when we find a wasp nest next to the front door, or when a roach scuttles across the kitchen floor, but some issues may not be as visible. Sometimes a single ant on a countertop or a tick crawling up a pant leg can...

Feb 20, 2024
A Close-Up Of Two Mating Black And Orange Lovebugs On A Green Plant With Small White Flowers, Set Against A Blurred Green Background.

Lovebugs: Facts, Identification, and How to Treat Them

Lovebugs: these small insects may seem harmless, but they can quickly become a nuisance in the southeastern United States. With their unique mating behavior and rapid reproduction, lovebugs can swarm in large numbers during certain times of the year. But what...

Feb 12, 2024
A Close-Up Of A Norway Rat Eating Food Scraps From A Dirty Plate In A Cluttered Kitchen Sink.

The Rodent Riddle: A Guide to Rat Control and Identification

In the corners of homes and urban landscapes, rats lurk as stealthy intruders, capable of causing damage and spreading disease. Recognizing the signs of a rat infestation and understanding effective control measures are crucial for maintaining a more pest protected...

Feb 5, 2024
A Close-Up Of A Deer Mouse Sitting On Green Moss With A Blurred Leafy Background.

How to Treat Mice in the Home

Mice, those elusive yet troublesome creatures, have a knack for infiltrating our living spaces and turning a minor annoyance into a full-blown infestation. Understanding their characteristics and behavior is pivotal in effectively controlling these invaders....

Jan 29, 2024
Close-Up Of A Yellow Jacket Wasp With A Black Body And Yellow Markings, Perched On A Small, Gray, Hexagonal Paper Nest.

Understanding and Controlling Paper Wasps

In the intricate tapestry of nature, paper wasps play a crucial role, contributing to the balance of ecosystems by preying on various pests. However, when these buzzing architects decide to build their intricate nests in and around our homes, they can quickly turn from fascinating insects to potential pests.

Jan 8, 2024
A Cozy Living Room Interior With A Light Beige Sofa Adorned With Various Pillows, A Wooden Coffee Table With Decorative Vases, And Large Windows Showcasing A Snowy Outdoor Scene With Trees Covered In Snow.

Why You Need Pest Control in the Winter

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZRp9paEHIWs As the days grow shorter and the temperatures drop, many people tend to believe that pests die off during winter. Unfortunately, this is far from the truth. In fact, winter can be a time of heightened pest movement as...

Dec 4, 2023
A Heat Map Of The United States Showing Pest Activity Levels Across Various Regions From March 10, 2021, To April 28, 2021, With Higher Activity Indicated By Brighter Colors.

Data, Patterns, and Pest Control

As a leading pest control provider, Aptive service professionals encounter all kinds of pest activity across the country. Our ability to monitor this pest activity has provided valuable insights into understanding the prevalence of specific pest types at different...

Aug 1, 2023
How To Pest-Proof Your Garbage Cans

How to Pest-Proof Your Garbage Cans

Depending on where you live, you may be familiar with managing pest-ridden garbage cans. What many city-dwellers and suburbians don’t realize though, is how easy it is for their own trash cans to become home to opportunistic pests. Allowing bugs to live in your...

Oct 20, 2022

Take back your home with pest control today.