Where Do Earwigs Live? Best Places That They Live

Where do earwigs live? Earwigs are named after an Old English word for “ear-worm”. It was thought that this insect crawled into the ears – but this is not true! They have pincers at the tip of their abdomens.

Where do earwigs live?

  • They like damp, dark places such as soil, leaf litter, mulch, stones and under objects on the ground. Water sources like streams, fountains and leaky hoses are also attractive to earwigs.
  • In winter, they hide in compost piles and woodchips.
  • Inside homes, they can be found under furniture, in cupboards and wardrobes, or crevices in walls.
  • Earwigs also seek shelter from rainstorms and extreme temperatures in window seals and doorframes.


Earwigs! Insects that can be seen all across the globe. They love moisture and dark places, like gardens, compost piles and underneath rocks and logs. They’re also found in man-made structures, like buildings, greenhouses and underground tunnels.

Let’s get up close and personal and explore the many habitats of earwigs!

Natural Habitat

Earwigs are long, slender creatures with pincer-style back legs. Though people think they enter ears, it’s just a myth! They live in many places.

Outdoors, they hide under stones, wood piles and garden debris. They prefer moist and humid areas. Yet, they can survive in dry places and even high mountains.

Water sources aren’t ideal for earwigs, as they cannot swim. But, they may live in swamps or marshes. Gardens, compost piles, and moist grassy places are their natural habitats. Here, they find food like small insects and decaying plant material. Earwigs hunt at night and crawl around buildings and along sidewalks or driveways to find food.

Man-Made Habitat

Earwigs seek shelter in humans’ places; like homes, business buildings, and other places where they can get food. They prefer dark, damp areas. Such as behind wall voids, wooden frames’ cracks and crevices, under sidings, door or window frames, or small openings. Outdoors they may gather beneath stones, in wood piles, leaf litter, soil cracks, and under mulch.

Macro photograph of an earwig, standing on the piece of paper. Earwigs make up the insect order Dermaptera, found throughout the Americas, Africa, Eurasia, Australia and New Zealand.


Earwigs are small critters! They eat a variety of food sources. These include decaying matter, such as leaves, wood, and fruits. Additionally, they feed on living plants, fungi, and even little bugs. So, earwigs are omnivores and have a diverse diet.

Where can we typically find these insects?

  • They could be anywhere!

Plant-Based Diet

A plant-based diet focuses on consuming fruits, veggies, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes. These foods offer many health benefits, including fiber, polyphenols, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals. They can help keep cholesterol levels low, lower the risk of certain cancers, and reduce the risk of chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Plant-based diets may also be helpful for weight loss due to the high fiber and low calorie content of these foods.

When following a plant-based diet, it’s important to ensure you get enough essential nutrients. Eat various nutrient-dense plants that offer protein, iron, zinc, magnesium, and Vitamin B12. Include healthy fats such as omega 3 fatty acids in nuts and seeds, and limit added sugars in processed foods.

Plant based diets should include:

  • Fruits & vegetables
  • Whole grains & starchy veggies
  • Legumes
  • Nuts & seeds
  • Healthy fats
  • Herbs & spices
  • Fortified food or drinks with calcium or Vitamin B12

Insect-Based Diet

Insects are the main food for earwigs; they get essential nutrients like protein and fat from these. Earwigs mainly eat soft-bodied, nocturnal or slow-moving insects. Aphids, caterpillars, bugs, beetles, spiders, earthworms and woodlice are some of the insects earwigs feed on. They may also nibble on tender plant parts or chew through ripening fruit.

Earwigs may scavenge small pieces of organic matter, like dead animals or plant material, in crevices. Generally, they are harmless to people and animals. But many earwigs can become pests in gardens, eating the fruits and veggies we harvest.


Earwigs are insects that live everywhere. They have stretchy pincers and dig tunnels. Let’s learn about the way they reproduce! It’s quite interesting.

Earwig reproduction includes a few steps:

  1. Males provide sperm to females.
  2. Females lay eggs in special cases.
  3. Young earwigs emerge from the eggs.


The earwig’s life cycle is one year long. It includes three stages: egg, nymph, and adult.

In the spring, females lay eggs in batches of 50-90. They cover the eggs in an ovisac that keeps them safe and moist. The eggs hatch into nymphs. Nymphs go through three instars as they grow. Once adults, males perform a courtship dance to attract females. Females protect their eggs until hatching but don’t provide care for the young.


Female earwigs make a nesting burrow up to 8 inches deep. She can put up to 90 eggs there. She looks after them for three weeks. When they hatch, the nymphs are mini-adults and can take care of themselves. After nine weeks, they become sexually mature and look for places to reproduce and lay eggs.

earwig sits on a stalk of green grass, an insect


Earwigs are yucky bugs. They’re often outdoors and can enter homes. Knowing their behavior helps us know where they live and how they get in.

Here’s some earwig info: their behavior affects where they live.

During the Day

Earwigs hide in tight cracks and crevices in dark, moist places, like under logs, bark, stones and flowerpots. They may also hide in small holes in wooden beams or building walls if it’s dark enough. During cooler months, they seek shelter under mulch or wood piles. In warmer months, they often live together in large numbers near their preferred habitat – causing a nuisance for homeowners!

Earwigs typically have three main activity periods during the day: sunrise, midday/afternoon and late evening/dusk. During these times, they come out to look for food.

At Night

Earwigs hide in dark, moist areas during the day. For example, tree bark cracks and rock crevices. These bugs become active at night; they go out to search for food and mates. When it’s warm, they sometimes venture out during the day.

Earwigs are opportunistic eaters. They feast on aphids and maggots, as well as living leaves, fungi and dead plant matter. Earwigs need fats and proteins to hunt, mate and dig tunnels. So, they are always on the lookout for food sources.


Earwigs can be found in various places, including gardens, woods, compost piles, dwellings, and buildings. So, there isn’t one solution to control them. DIY methods involve trapping or killing with sprays, dusts, predators, or baits. Professionals may use specialized insecticides or vacuums.

Knowing where earwigs live is key for control. That starts with understanding their habitat preferences: