Everyone Asks Us The Same Question About Earwigs

September 26, 2017

earwig crawling on granite

At Pine State Pest Solutions we get many calls a day about different pests, one pest that we get quite a few calls about is the earwig and we understand why; earwigs really are not the friendliest nor cuddliest looking insect. Earwigs have dark-brown to reddish-brown colored smooth bodies, and they grow to about 5/8th of an inch in length. However, in our opinion their most intimidating feature their “pincers” or cerci that come off of their hind-end. An interesting fact about their cerci is that if the earwig is a female the cerci will be straight and if it is a male they will be curved; although we don’t expect you to get close enough to tell for yourself!

Our customers often have a wide variety of questions and curiosities about this pest, but the question we are most often asked is, “do earwigs bite?” The good news is that the answer to that question is no, earwigs do not bite. They don’t even have the mouthparts that are required for biting, so that concern should be out the window! But, from their above description, you can probably guess that many people are also concerned with the earwig's pincers which look like they could pack a punch and be quite painful. Again more good news! Earwigs do use their cerci for pinching, but only each other, their cerci are used to defend themselves against other earwigs, and actually the pincers aren’t strong enough to pinch or pierce a person’s skin.

Now we have a question for you! Even though earwigs don’t bite or pinch, do you really want these moisture seeking pest living in large numbers throughout your home in places like your basement, laundry room, kitchen or bathroom? We are going to take an educated guess and say no, and we don’t blame you, there is no reason to share your home with these creepy looking insects. To help prevent earwigs from finding their way into your home we offer the following easy earwig prevention tips:

  • Seal any cracks or crevices found in your home’s foundation or exterior walls

  • Caulk gaps found around exterior windows and doors, install door sweeps on all exterior doors, especially basement doors

  • Place a barrier of gravel or rock between that foundation of your home and any mulch or soil

  • Remove piles of leaves, grass and fallen trees or rotting logs from your property, all things that can attract earwigs to your property

  • Make sure that gutters are in working order and are directing rainwater away from the outside of your home

  • Fix any leaky outdoor or indoors pipes or fixtures that can cause water in collect near or in your home

  • Place dehumidifiers in basement areas to help reduce humidity levels in your home

  • Make sure that crawl spaces are properly ventilated

  • Earwigs are drawn to light, replace white outdoor light bulbs with yellow light bulb

In addition to the above prevention tips, the best way to prevent earwigs and other common household pests from invading your Maine home and causing you concern is to put into place one of Pine State Pest Solutions' year-round pest protection plans. Our home pest protection plans will provide you with the effective, comprehensive and eco-friendly services you need to keep your home and family protected from nuisance, dangerous and damaging pests. To learn more about earwigs in Maine and how Pine State Pest Solutions can help to eliminate them and other household pests, give us a call today!

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