How to Prevent Earwigs from Invading Your Home? Earwigs are small and active at night. They like moisture, dampness and dark places. Cracks, crevices and small openings are their way in. Clothing, open windows, and doors can bring them too. So, first, identify the problem. Then take steps to avoid an infestation.
Recognize the signs of an earwig infestation.
An earwig infestation can be a homeowner’s worst nightmare. They’re hard to detect until it’s too late. Easily identifiable by their long, narrow body, which is usually brown or gray with tan bands. They have pinchers on the tail and can reach 1/2 inch in length.
First sign is small white eggs, which are found in damp areas. Adult earwigs scurrying around your home at night is another sign. Tiny holes or tunnels near windows, door frames, baseboards or wood fixtures are evidence of an infestation.
Earwigs feed on soft plants and decaying organic material outside and inside your home. You may see damage to plants and flowers, or nests made from paper, cardboard or fabric.
If you suspect an earwig infestation, take action quickly. They can cause extensive damage and costly repairs if not treated. Understanding the signs is key to preventing costly repairs due to their presence.
Understand the behavior of earwigs
Earwigs are pesky critters that often like to live outdoors. Though, they may sneak into your home through small openings or by hitching a ride on outdoor objects taken indoors. Understanding their habits and behaviour can help prevent them from invading your abode.
They’re insects drawn to moist areas and feed on other insects. They build their nests in sheltered places, such as under stones or logs. They reproduce in the late summer months, so you’ll likely spot more of them in your home during this period.
During night-time, they search for moisture and food sources. These may include decaying plant material and other insects. They may even inhabit indoor potted plants or pet bowls with overly wet food or water. As they’re typically not visible during the day, they’re often known as “night robbers” by gardeners. This is because they’re assumed to rob gardens at night when no one is looking.
Keep earwigs far away! To stop them from entering your home, take these steps:
- Seal off entry points.
- Keep your yard clean.
- Avoid damp spots in the house.
These tips will help you protect your home from earwigs.
Seal up any potential entry points.
Earwigs can enter a home via small cracks and crevices. To reduce the risk of infestation, seal any entry points around windows, doors, plumbing pipes and wiring. Look for gaps or holes in weather stripping around windows, door frames, or any place two building materials join. Seal with outdoor-grade caulk if need be.
Additionally, seal any cracks on the exterior walls of your house with caulk or mortar mix.
Remove any sources of moisture.
Stop earwigs from invading your home! Reduce areas with the conditions they need to survive. Earwigs like moist, dark spots. To keep them out, fix water leaks and standing water. Check under sinks, around pipes, and in crawl spaces. Repair any leaks to prevent a buildup. Outside, remove puddles and standing pools of water. Plus, seal up cracks and crevices around windows and doors.
To prevent earwigs from entering your home, you should:
- Fix water leaks and standing water
- Check under sinks, around pipes, and in crawl spaces
- Repair any leaks to prevent a buildup
- Remove puddles and standing pools of water outside
- Seal up cracks and crevices around windows and doors
Keep the yard and garden clean
Maintain your yard and garden to prevent earwigs from invading your home. Earwigs like damp, cluttered environments.
- Cut the grass short and remove debris like leaves, twigs, logs, weeds and organic materials.
- Rake and dispose of leaves offsite.
- Trim overgrown hedges and shrubs.
- Trap and remove standing water from bird baths and sprinkler systems.
- Lift items like firewood piles away from the house.
- Use natural methods like removing food sources first, then use insecticides if necessary according to label directions.
Repellents are a fantastic way to keep earwigs from entering your house. These repellents have natural ingredients, like essential oils, in them. So, you can use them without spraying chemicals.
Let’s see the advantages and disadvantages of using repellents to keep earwigs at bay:
Use essential oils
Lemongrass, lavender, thyme, citronella, and peppermint are natural bug repellents. Place drops of the oil on cotton balls or rags near windows and doors. Reapply every few days for best protection.
To make DIY repellent sprays, mix water with essential oils. Spray this mixture in attics, refrigerators, closets, and under sinks. Earwigs may hide there. It may take multiple applications. But the nice scent will be worth it!
Use natural repellents
Want a natural way to fend off earwigs? No problem! Many natural repellents can do the job:
- Diatomaceous earth is a popular choice. It’s made of tiny fossilized remains of algae-like creatures. Sprinkle it around the house and earwigs won’t come near.
- Boric acid powder is another option. Place it around window frames and floorboards – it’s deadly to pests.
- Lavender oil can also work well. Use an essential oil diffuser or a spray bottle with water to vaporize it in your home. Soak cotton balls in lavender oil and put them around too.
- Wheat bran and cornmeal are starchy grains which earwigs feed on. Put them outside (but not inside!) near entry points. This will help keep them away and draw them out.
Use chemical repellents
Earwigs are helpful in gardens, but can be a nuisance in the home. Chemical repellents such as Permethrin and Talstar P can reduce infestations and keep earwigs away.
- Permethrin is an insecticide designed to kill insects and arachnids. Its active ingredient lasts 2-3 weeks after application. Read the directions before applying it to home entry points.
- Talstar P contains bifenthrin, which kills earwigs on contact and has residual control for up to six months. Don’t use it near ponds as it can be toxic to fish and other organisms.
Trap those pesky earwigs! Traps are a great way to keep them out of your home. There are various kinds, like sticky traps, bait traps and bucket traps. Which type you choose depends on the size of your home and how serious the infestation is.
Let’s explore the pros and cons of each trap. Then you can decide which one is best for you:
- Sticky Traps
- Bait Traps
- Bucket Traps
Create an earwig trap
Make an earwig trap by rolling up a newspaper or using a can. Place it near areas you have seen earwigs. Check the traps each morning. Replace or empty them if they are full of earwigs. To further increase your chances, use pieces of citrus rind, such as oranges or lemons.
Monitor the traps daily for several weeks to make sure all the earwigs are gone:
- Roll up a newspaper or use a can.
- Place it near areas you have seen earwigs.
- Check the traps each morning.
- Replace or empty them if they are full of earwigs.
- Use pieces of citrus rind.
- Monitor the traps daily for several weeks.
Use sticky traps
Sticky traps are handy for keeping earwigs from entering your home. They’re made of cardboard with a sticky coating which captures the earwigs as they try to pass. Sticky traps also let you see how many earwigs are around.
Put traps in areas where insects are likely to get in. Such as windowsills, baseboards, and door thresholds. Place traps close enough together to cover all entry points. Check the traps once every two to three weeks for signs of infestation. If you find more than one or two insects on the trap, there’s likely a problem that needs investigating and treatment.
Use bait traps
Bait traps can be a great way to control earwig numbers in your home. Place them in hidden areas, such as behind baseboards, under furniture, and near cabinets or bookcases. They can also be placed at the outside entry points.
For bait, use damp cardboard, rolled newspaper soaked in vegetable oil, and paper cups or plastic containers filled with water, rocks, or soil. Regularly check compost heaps and containers as they may have earwigs too.
Commercial traps can be bought from garden centers and hardware stores; however, these will only catch individual bugs, not the entire population.
Controlling earwigs is the best way to keep them away. To do this, you can use non-chemical methods such as taking away hiding spots and food sources. You can also use chemical methods like insecticides.
Here are some tips and techniques to prevent earwigs from entering your home:
Vacuum up any earwigs
Vacuuming is an effective way to remove earwigs. Vacuum all your home’s corners and crevices, and discard the bag when done. Shake the bag outdoors before disposal to ensure any remaining earwigs don’t escape. To prevent an infestation, vacuum weekly.
Check windowsills and door frames for signs of infestation, like droppings, egg clusters, or dead earwigs. Act fast if you see anything – to avoid a big problem!
Remove any food sources
Stop earwigs from entering your home by removing food sources from the outside. This includes pet food, compost bins, and garbage cans. Clean up outside and fix cracks or crevices around windows and doors.
Plants can help too! Marigolds and chrysanthemums contain compounds which repel earwigs. Other plants like citronella grass and mint are also useful. Plant them around the perimeter of the house to keep earwigs away.
Insecticides can stop earwigs from coming to your home. If many are there, it’s better to ask a pest professional. They’ll use the correct insecticides.
Organic ways exist, but these take a lot of effort and time. A professional can help you decide the best solution.
Liquid insecticide sprays designed for earwigs are popular for treating the area directly. Make sure it has permethrin and can be sprayed directly from the container. Read and follow the instructions before using it in your home or yard. Remember to treat the overhangs too, as that’s where the pests hide during the day.