Earwig Pest Control

By HomeAdvisor

Updated May 17, 2016


Myth: Earwigs like to crawl in your ear when you’re sleeping, causing fever and insanity.
Fact: Earwigs like to burrow in gardens and basements, making them a real pest for homeowners.

What are Earwigs?

Earwigs are any of several species of burrowing insects that are reddish-brown in color and around half an inch long. They are primarily nocturnal, and are seen mostly in the summer months, though they remain active throughout the year. They can be distinguished by sharp pincers at the ends of their abdomen. These pincers are generally harmless, but they can be painful if you get the “business end.”

What makes earwigs a real problem, though, is what they do to plants. Omnivores, earwigs will eat just about anything, including other insects. When they get into your garden, they will usually leave small, irregularly-shaped holes in plant leaves, but might go so far as to devour entire leaves, leaving only a “skeleton” behind. For this reason, earwig pest control often begins around flower beds and gardens.

Earwig Pest Control

As with most pests, earwigs become a problem when they nest in or near your home. During the day, they usually seek shelter under sidewalks and stones, or in the dirt alongside your house’s foundation. This is also where they establish nests. They reproduce in large numbers and quickly establish large colonies. The best earwig pest control method for you will depend on the nature and severity of the problem.

Indoor Earwig Pest Control

For mild or indoor infestations, a chemical called Esfenvalerate is generally effective. It is mixed with water and applied with a sprayer. If you are doing this job yourself, be sure to cover the foundation, both inside and out, and also treat any openings, such as doors, windows, vents and pipes, where earwigs might move in from the outside.

If earwigs appear in areas such as kitchens cabinets, you might try earwig traps. These are simple round plastic devices that you can bait with most any food. The insects enter through holes and never leave. Traps are also ideal for fruit and vegetable gardens, if you don’t want to spray around your edibles.

Outdoor Earwig Pest Control

Earwigs inside the house are usually a result of an outdoor infestation making its way inside. Check all plant and flower beds and around the foundation to locate the nest.
Orthene WP is a chemical that works well on such areas. It works best when used with a hose-end sprayer. For the most effective treatment, spray after a rain so it fully soaks in.

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