What do earwigs look like?

Earwigs are reddish-brown insects with a long and narrow body, growing up to 5/8 of an inch in length. They are characterized by two pincher-like appendages called "cerci" located at their hind end. These cerci are used by the earwigs for self-defense against each other. The males have curved cerci, while females have straight ones.

earwig crawling on the hand of a maine resident

Do earwigs bite?

No, earwigs cannot bite as they do not have biting mouthparts. However, they may use their cerci to pinch if threatened, though they are not usually strong enough to break human skin.

Do I need to worry about earwigs?

There is an urban legend that suggests earwigs crawl into people's ears at night while they sleep, burrow in their brains and lay eggs. However, this is completely untrue. Earwigs are just an annoying pest and do not pose any threat to human health or cause property damage. While earwigs have pinchers for self-defense, they are not harmful to humans in any way.

If you notice an earwig infestation in your home, it could mean that you have water-damaged wood in the vicinity. This should be considered a warning sign, and you should have your house inspected by an exterminator. Earwigs are not the only pests that love water-damaged wood in Maine. Carpenter ants, a common wood-destroying insect in our region, usually infest and nest in wood that has been damaged by water.

Why do earwigs infest structures?

Earwigs, like silverfish and other occasional invaders, usually reside outside. However, they often make their way inside when the outside weather is not suitable for them. This might happen when the temperature becomes excessively high or if the weather is very dry.

How do earwigs get inside?

Earwigs typically enter into homes through cracks in the foundation or underneath exterior doors. They can also be accidentally introduced inside the house on newspapers, boxes, potted plants, and other items that come from outside.

How do you get rid of earwigs?

If you have earwigs in your home, we recommend seeking assistance from a professional pest control company. Pine State Pest Solutions provides effective residential pest control services that target earwigs and other house-infesting insects and rodents. Our team of highly trained and friendly technicians will complete the job in a timely manner, ensuring the well-being of your home and family.

Contact Pine State Pest Solutions today to get rid of earwigs in Auburn and other communities in our multi-county service area!

How can I prevent earwigs from infesting my home?

Making your property unattractive to earwigs is the best way to prevent an earwig problem.  To that end, we’ve put together a few prevention tips. 

  • Fix any pipes or fixtures that are leaking.

  • Run dehumidifiers in the basement, crawl space and other areas where humidity levels are high.

  • Get rid of piles of leaves, grass, and other organic materials.

  • Keep firewood up of the ground and away from the house.

  • Seal cracks in the foundation and caulk gaps around windows and doors.

  • Install door sweeps underneath all exterior doors.


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