Earwigs may look intimidating, with their pincers at the tip of their abdomen, but they’re usually harmless. If you see them around your house, don’t worry! This guide will teach you all about earwigs. You’ll learn what they look like, where they live, what makes them unique, and how to take care of an infestation. Now you’ll know if they’re a risk in your home!
This guide will cover:
- What earwigs look like
- Where they live
- What makes them unique
- How to take care of an infestation
What are Earwigs?
Earwigs, also known as Dermaptera, are ancient insects part of the Somphoroptera order. They are small, ranging from 6-25mm in length, and dark reddish-brown. These nocturnal pests are found in moist areas such as mulch, wood chips and other outside landscaping. They can also enter homes and garages, becoming a nuisance.
The abdomen of earwigs has pincers used for self-defense and courting activities. They are beneficial as they eat aphids, thrips, caterpillars and mealy bugs. In addition to eating insects, they also scavenge for decaying organic material.
Earwigs may be alarming due to their strange appearance. But, they are not dangerous unless provoked or threatened. They may bite if roughly handled, but the pinch is not strong enough to penetrate human skin. Be careful when encountering earwigs indoors or feeling threatened by one outdoors.
Are Earwigs Dangerous?
Earwigs are pesky little critters. You might find them in gardens, homes, and other places. They’re not too dangerous, but they can cause harm. Like, damaging plants or other organic stuff.
So, what are these earwigs? Are they really a threat? Let’s find out! We’ll explore these earwigs and their possible dangers.
Do Earwigs Bite?
Most earwigs have pincers at the back of the body. They can give a slight pinch, but rarely do any harm. Contrary to the belief that they crawl into people’s ears and lay eggs, this is not true. Earwigs don’t bite or feed on humans. They may look slimy, but don’t cause any harm.
They can become pests in homes. They enter through small cracks, grills, and openings. They also reside in gardens and eat flowers before they bloom. They like humid areas, such as bathrooms, where they seek out water sources.
You can take steps to reduce the number of earwigs:
- Inspect all areas in your home for entry points. Seal them using caulking and weatherstripping.
- Store firewood away from your home.
- Remove material close to the house that can provide shelter.
- Vacuum crevices and keep tight fitting lids on garbage containers outdoors.
All of these should help reduce the number of earwigs.
Are Earwigs Poisonous?
Earwigs aren’t poisonous. But, they can be a bother if they come into your house. They don’t bite people or pets and usually run away when confronted. They don’t possess stingers or venom like bees, wasps, and ants.
Though not venomous or dangerous to humans, earwigs can still be annoying if there are many of them. The good news is that they are harmless and rarely damage homes or people. If you don’t want them around, try:
- Vacuuming them up.
- Using a mild insecticidal spray to get rid of them.
Are Earwigs Harmful to Humans?
Earwigs can sometimes enter the home. When you see them running on the floor, it’s startling, yet they are usually not harmful to humans. They have pincers at their rear end which pinched when they feel threatened. But they are not poisonous and won’t bite or cause illnesses.
Misconceptions about earwigs are that they will lay eggs in your ears or eat human skin cells. This is false! Earwigs feed on plants like fruits and vegetables. They also eat dead insects and proteins from other invertebrates as needed.
Although earwigs aren’t hazardous to humans, you should still remove them if found in your home. They live in damp, moist spots and typically gather near drains and water sources in dark places like under sinks and behind appliances. If not taken care of, other pests like cockroaches or spiders could come into your house. So, it’s important to get rid of any potential hiding spots once detected!
How to Get Rid of Earwigs
Earwigs can be a pain if they move into your home. Don’t panic though! There’s ways to get rid of them. Here, we’ll look at some of the most effective solutions. Bye bye earwigs!
Earwigs are a nuisance pest. Luckily, there are natural remedies to control them!
- Remove shelter sites. Get rid of leaf litter, mulch, and other organic material near your home.
- Dry up standing water sources. Use proper drainage techniques around walls and structure entry points.
- Plant insect-repelling plants like marigolds and spearmint.
- Get beneficial nematodes. Buy them online or at gardening stores.
- Hang copper strips near entry points. Earwigs won’t cross them.
- Set out shallow dishes with vegetable oil and soapy water. The earwigs won’t be able to climb out!
Chemical pesticides, like carbaryl, bendiocarb, and cyfluthrin, are great for keeping earwig populations down. But, be careful with them. They can harm other helpful bugs. And, they may cause skin or eye irritation if touched.
These chemicals must usually be sprayed or dusted onto the bug itself. If you decide to use these chemicals, put on protective clothes and follow instructions from the maker. Safety is key!
So, earwigs are not dangerous creatures. But, if their population gets too big, they can cause a nuisance in our gardens and buildings. Since they do not have any diseases to spread, the best way to deal with them is to use natural methods of pest control.
- Keeping our gardens and buildings clean and dry is one way to prevent earwigs from entering.
- Using physical barriers, like cardboard and cinder blocks, helps to reduce their numbers.
- Last but not least, beneficial insects like predatory rove beetles, parasitic wasps, and hemipteran bugs can help us keep the earwig population under control.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Are earwigs dangerous?
A: No, earwigs are not dangerous. While they may look intimidating, they do not bite or sting humans, and the pinch of their claws is generally not strong enough to break the skin.
Q: Do earwigs bite or sting?
A: No, earwigs do not bite or sting. They have small, pincer-like claws that they use to catch prey, but they are not strong enough to break the skin.
Q: Is it safe to handle earwigs?
A: Yes, it is generally safe to handle earwigs. However, it is best to use caution when doing so, as their claws may pinch if handled roughly.