Earwigs are a tiny insect that has spawned some big misconceptions. The most popular superstition involves earwigs tunneling through a sleeping person's ear to their brain. Although this does not happen (except in horror stories), earwigs certainly look the part, sporting a pair of lethal looking pincers on their back. But it's merely their means of self defense against predators; they are not aggressive.
Earwigs confine most of their destructive behaviors to the garden where they feed on leaves, flowers, fruits, mold and other bugs. Outdoors they tend to hide in damp, sheltered areas – mulch beds, under rocks, around potted plants or piles of debris. Although they are nocturnal they are attracted to light so you may notice them congregating around garden or porch lights on summer evenings.
If you live an area where earwig infestations are frequent (they occur throughout the US), there are a few basic protocols for discouraging earwigs from invading your property:
- Keep your garden and home free of excess moisture with good drainage and no debris
- Inspect your property regularly for signs of earwigs
- Seal vulnerable openings in your home's foundation and keep vegetation away from walls
- Clear gutters and eavestroughs regularly and be sure they drain away from your home's foundation
On occasion earwigs will enter your home via openings in the foundation or by piggybacking on materials (firewood etc) that are being transported indoors. But you may not notice them until they have reproduced and caused an infestation. At that point you'll likely want to call a professional. Earwigs can be challenging to exterminate using DIY methods such as setting traps, using essential oils, or coating plant stems in petroleum jelly. These strategies tend to produce incomplete or temporary results.
if you suspect you have a earwig problem in your garden or home, don't mess around with folk remedies. Call a professional pest control service with the expertise to quickly and effectively get rid of your infestation once and for all.