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What are earwigs looking for?

Shedding Light On Earwigs

Earwigs are strange-looking creatures, with their pincers, or forceps, protruding from the abdomen. Although they are somewhat intimidating looking, they are not poisonous and they do not spread disease. But this isn't much comfort to people who have found that these alien-looking insects have invaded their space. In this article, we are going to discuss some facts about what draws earwigs to your home. But first, let's clear up some misconceptions about these somewhat mysterious creatures.

For some, just the name "earwig" causes a shiver. The reason being, these creatures have something of a dark history. The myth has long been told that earwigs can crawl into a human ear and burrow into the brain where it will lay its eggs. This is a disturbing myth, to say the least. According to James Latta in 1795, "The creature called Forficula or earwig is said to make its way into the ear, and to occasion not only deafness, but violent pain by its biting; and there is an instance of record of a woman, in whose ear a nest of these insects were lodged, and reduced her to the greatest distress." So it is possible for these insects to crawl into an ear and cause pain, but these cases are extremely rare now.

an earwig crawling on a surface inside of a home in pennsylvania

What Draws Earwigs In?

  • Earwigs are moisture-loving pests. If you have a broken or obstructed gutter, a leaky spigot, or another condition that has water or moisture collecting around your home, this will invite earwigs in close to your home.

  • Earwigs love plants. Flower pots, gardens, and other vegetation near your home will also be an enticement for earwigs to come in close to your home.

  • Earwigs love decaying wood. If your home is being damaged by water, from a broken gutter or other situation, then the wood of your home may be slowly decaying. If this is the case, earwigs will love you for it.

  • Earwigs love things to hide under. Constructions materials, lawn clutter, rocks, tarps, firewood, and other items in a yard, especially if there is also vegetation around the items. This will draw earwigs in.

  • Earwigs don't like oversaturation! If conditions outside become too wet, such as in times of heavy rains or floods, this will prompt earwigs to try to find a way in out of the wet. If you have gaps or cracks in your foundation or walls, and they are already hanging out nearby, they will find a way into your nice, relatively dry home.

  • Earwigs don't like too much dryness. They will try to find their way into a home if the weather outside gets too dry. Then they will be happy if they find themselves in a nice, relatively moist area of your home, such as a basement, bathroom or laundry room.

What Keeps Earwigs Out?

There are a number of steps a homeowner can take to make their home far less inviting to earwigs and a whole host of other pests.

  • Eliminate moisture leaks around your home and reduce water around your yard and foundation. Rake up leaves, get rid of leaves, trim back bushes and other vegetation so the sun and air can dry the areas around your home, and keep your lawn mowed short.

  • Inspect your basement and foundation walls for gaps or cracks where pests can squeeze through and seal up any holes you find. Also, seal holes in your exterior walls. Be sure to check around pipes, wires, and other things that pass through your walls.

  • Check all of your screens and door sweeps for damage. Fix or replace any damaged screens or door sweeps.

  • If you have mulch, consider replacing it with crushed rock or other dry material so earwigs and other moisture-loving pests are not drawn in.

  • Keep the inside of your home dried out as much as possible by using fans and/or dehumidifiers, and don't forget to turn on the fan in the bathroom while taking showers to reduce moisture buildup.

How Do You Get Rid Of Earwigs Once They Have Invaded?

If you have found yourself dealing with an active earwig invasion of your home, reach out to the experts here at Moyer Pest Control. Our year-round pest control options will keep you earwig free, and free from a whole host of other more dangerous household pests. Contact us and schedule immediate pest control services!

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