Despite the urban legends you’ve heard about earwigs, these insects do not crawl in your ear and chew through your brain! Quite the opposite, they’re actually generally harmless to humans. But that doesn’t mean you want to share your home with them.
These Phoenix, Arizona garden pests feed mostly on plants, small insects and decomposing materials. They would much rather be outside but sometimes they make it into houses, attracted by moisture and damp soil, making your crawlspace or unfinished basement the perfect place to call home. You may have spotted one in your bathroom before. That’s because they like areas of moisture or humidity.
Here are some things to know about earwigs…
1. They avoid humans
If they have anything to say about it, they’ll stay away from you if you stay away from them. They prefer to spend time in dark, moist areas like under logs or rocks, emerging at night to feed.
2. They have pincers and long bodies
You will know it’s an earwig by the pincers at the backs of their abdomens, as well as their long, flat bodies. There are often black, brown, or red in color, and measure only about an inch long. While most species don’t fly, they may sport two pairs of wings that allow them to glide or fly in bursts.
3. Earwigs like vegetation
They are attracted to your house by wood and leaf piles, or dense vegetation that butts up against your exteriors. When they get that close, they are lured in via cracks in the foundation or holes in your siding or vents. Earwigs avoid the hot Arizona sun by moving indoors
4. They don’t carry disease
Unlike other bugs like cockroaches, earwigs don’t carry or spread disease.
5. They attack only when provoked
Earwigs will only attack or pinch you if you provoke them. If you do get pinched from an earwig, it shouldn’t make you bleed or break the skin. They don’t release venom either. But when scared, they release a foul odor.
6. Earwigs attract bigger pests
Earwigs attract bigger, more dangerous, pests who want to feed on them. These include birds, scorpions, lizards, spiders, frogs, centipedes, and yellow jackets. This, and the fact that they can feed on your garden plants, is one of the main reasons why you don’t want an infestation of earwigs on your hands.
Prevent Earwig Infestation
To keep earwigs away, you have to cut off their entry points:
- Fill cracks and holes with caulk or steel wool.
- Seal windows tightly.
- Check screens for holes and tears.
- Cover attic and foundation vents sufficiently.
- Use a dehumidifier in high humidity areas, such as basements, attics, and bathrooms.
- Don’t store firewood up against the exterior of your home.
- Don't let leaf piles accumulate in your yard.
Think You Have Earwigs?
Got an earwig infestation going on? Schedule your free inspection with your trusted Phoenix AZ pest control professionals when you contact us at 480-550-9220.