Eek! There’s an Earwig

An earwig on a white background
An earwig on a white background

The earwig is an insect that gets its name from an old wife’s tale of crawling into people’s ears. However, these bugs are nothing to fear! 

These insects are a common household pest, but they can cause damage if not handled properly. 

Environmental Pest Management can help protect your home from unwanted pests, including the common earwig. Reach out for a free quote today. 

Read on to learn about earwigs and how to prevent this common household and garden pest!

What Exactly is an Earwig? 

An earwig crawling in a home

An earwig is commonly referred to as the “pincer bug” or “pincher bug” because of the pincers on their abdomen’s back. Earwigs use the pincers for defense against other earwigs. 

These are harmless insects with a negative reputation. Many people are frightened of them because of their pincers, but they do not harm humans. 

Pincer bugs produce a pheromone (scent) that they use to attract others of their kind. Many scientists believe this is the reason earwigs live in clusters or large numbers. 

They are an insect with multiple species. There are over 20 different earwig species in the United States. 

They live on every continent of the world, except for Antarctica. 

These insects are nocturnal. They prefer cool, damp areas and are outdoor insects. 

They cannot fly, scurrying where they need to go on their six legs. By the end of their life cycle, they may be around ½ inch to 1 inch long. 

These bugs are scavengers and look to protect their self-interests. They thrive on a healthy food supply and a safe, protective environment. 

Earwigs love plant life, so they are known to wreak havoc in gardens.

Their common preferred foods include:

  • Apricots
  • Vegetables
  • Plants
  • Flowers
  • Dead leaves

They are also known to feed on mites, insect eggs, and other dead insects. You can find them under rocks, woodpiles, or in piles of leaves. 

They prefer the outdoors but can make their way inside via trash bags or through foundation cracks in the home. 

Whether in the garden or through seeking shelter in your home, pincher bugs can be a nuisance. 

How Can You Prevent Pincer Bugs? 

A man caulking the exterior of his home to prevent an earwig infestation

There are a few steps you can take to prevent earwigs from getting into your home: 

Fill All House Cracks and Holes

Be sure to check the foundation around your home, especially near entrances and doors. Caulk any cracks and holes as pincher bugs use small crevices to make an entrance.

Protect Your Windows

Always use a screen on your windows for protection. Make sure to cover any holes in window screens to protect the entrance of bugs. 

Remove Piles of Ruffage

Pincer bugs prefer environments that offer food and protection. 

To control earwigs, remove their source of supply. Remove piles of leaves, stone, and old wood that create a safe environment for earwigs. 

Move Vegetation Away From the Home

Keep mulch, dead leaves, or vegetation away from the home’s foundation. They are ideal food sources for these pests. 

Keeping plant debris away from the house will decrease the likelihood of entering through your doors and windows. 

Fix Leaky Drains and Pipes

Because these insects love cool, moist environments, look for any leaking pipes or drains in your home. Make sure you fix any leaks if you find drippage to ensure earwig control. 

A gutter filled with leaves is a perfect place for insects to live

Clean Gutters

Always clean your gutters and drain pipes. If backed up, they will create wet spots near the home that may attract earwigs. 

Trim Your Trees and Bushes

Keeping your trees and bushes trimmed can prevent excessive shade and damp areas. Regular trimming will help to keep earwigs away! 

Sometimes you do everything right, but you end up with an earwig infestation. Here is what you can do if that happens to you. 

How Do I Get Rid of Earwigs? 

a bottle of boric acid solution to prevent pests

There are a few solutions if you end up with an earwig infestation. Though harmless, they are unattractive intruders whom you do not want to visit for long! 

Use Dish Soap and Water

Mix dish soap and water to spray areas where earwigs may be entering the home. This earwig control method works well in the garden and outside the house but is not efficient for indoor use.

Boric Acid Powder

Boric acid is a naturally occurring compound that can be very effective at killing earwigs. It is non-toxic but can be irritating if it gets in your eyes or mouth. 

Apply treatment to areas where insects may be entering or living to remove the critters effectively. 

Rubbing Alcohol and Water

You can make a mix of rubbing alcohol and water to use when you see an earwig. Spray onsite to kill the insects immediately. 

Vacuuming

Vacuum any earwigs you find in your home or garden. 

After vacuuming, make sure to dispose of the vacuum bag or empty it into soapy water. You want to make sure to destroy any eggs you may have managed to catch. 

Light Traps

Earwigs are attracted to bright light. To attract these little bugs, place a light source by a dish-soap-and-water trap or a boric acid trap. 

Earwig Pesticide

Pesticides can cover areas where you have found the critters. 

Effective pesticides include Sevin, malathion, pyrethrins, and diatomaceous earth. Several of these products can be used both indoors and outdoors.

For Real Results, You Need and Exterminator

A pest exterminator working outside along a fence line

Have you tried to remove a large infestation on your own, but they keep coming back? In this case, it is best to contact an exterminator. 

Professionals can evaluate the infestation to determine the best course of action. Understand it may take some time or several treatments to fully rid of the problem. 

With persistence and effort, exterminators are very successful at removing these pests for good from your home! 

Environmental Pest Management Will Team With You Against Pests!

Man bugs circle and crossed out with red

Whether you have earwigs, mice, bats, ants, or any other pest, Environmental Pest Management can free your home from chaos. We work with homeowners, business owners, and apartment complexes to keep them free of infestations. 

Protect your home from unwanted intruders. Contact us today for more information or a free consultation. 

How to Avoid Uninvited Pests This Holiday Season

a bug on a Christmas tree
a bug on a Christmas tree

Holidays are full of all things good: gifts, food, visitors. But occasionally, we find ourselves with visitors that were not invited and definitely aren’t wanted. Let’s discuss holiday pest control.

As fall turns into winter and the air outside gets chilly, most of us spend more time indoors. 

We aren’t the only ones wanting to cozy up inside as temperatures drop. Spiders, insects, and rodents all gravitate toward heated spaces as it gets colder outside. 

If you find yourself with unwanted guests, don’t be a gracious host. Contact Environmental Pest Management for a free quote today. We’ll provide a custom solution to evict those pests and make your season bright.

It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year… 

A mouse in a Christmas present

Unless you have an infestation. Consider holiday pest control options to avoid a present you don’t want. 

There’s nothing like getting a live tree for your home during the Christmas season. They smell amazing and make an unmatchable centerpiece for the holidays.

Many families make a tradition of trekking to the tree farm, choosing, and even chopping down their tree. Others might get a freshly-cut tree from a corner lot, placing their focus on decorating while sipping a hot mug of cider.

Whether you chopped it down yourself or purchased a tree from a parking lot store, use precautions to avoid holiday pests riding in on those branches. 

The best time to inspect your tree is before it’s in your house. Take a close look between the branches. Shake it well before you bring it indoors. This will also release loose pine needles outside, leaving you with less cleanup.  

Once your tree is up, you’ll probably reach for your decorations.

Where have you been storing those pretty baubles? If those boxes were in the basement or the garage, they might have become homes to insects or even mice. 

Control unwanted holiday pests by opening the box and inspecting its contents before you move it out of the storage area. 

If you do find spiders, centipedes, or other unwelcome bugs, empty the container in a place with easy cleanup, such as the garage. Clean the inside of the container with equal parts vinegar and water. Dry thoroughly and check each item as you put it back in the container. 

Store your decorations in plastic totes instead of cardboard boxes to control holiday pests. It’s harder for spiders and other insects to get into them. They’re also easier to clean. 

A Little Extra Work Will Make That Holiday Hearth More Relaxing.

Mouse looking over a red Christmas ornament

Everyone loves a crackling fire and a cup of something hot on a winter night. It’s less appealing to trudge across the yard for more firewood.

It’s tempting to put your woodpile within arm’s reach, but it isn’t a good idea. Woodpiles can attract mice. If your firewood is right outside your door, you might find yourself with more than kindling when you reach out for a stick. 

Avoid furry holiday pests by keeping your firewood at least twenty feet away from your door. Remove piles of leaves around your house for the same reason. 

Don’t Give Pests A Free Ride Home.

A top view of a bed bug

Bed bugs have become more prevalent in recent years. 

These little tick-like insects are drawn to the smell of carbon dioxide. They avoid light. These two traits make your suitcase full of dirty laundry irresistible. 

Whether you’re traveling to get away from it all or traveling to be near loved ones, you’ll probably be spending some time in a hotel room. Follow these tips to make sure you don’t check out with more bodies than you started with. 

Take these steps to control holiday pests.  At the beginning of your stay, prevent bed bugs from riding home with you:

  • Check reviews of your hotel before staying. Any hotel can have bed bugs, but a good hotel will address them swiftly. 
  • Consider where you put your luggage. Don’t put it on the bed or the luggage rack until you have inspected the room. Leave your luggage in the car or put it in the bathtub (you won’t be setting it on any bed bugs that way) while you check the room. 
  • Bring a garbage bag or sealing vacuum bag for your used laundry. The smell of sweat that attracts the bugs will be contained.
  • Bring an oversized garbage bag for your suitcase. Put the whole suitcase in and seal or fasten it when you aren’t accessing it. 
  • Inspect your room:
    • Use the light on your phone to check over the bed. Look in the seam of the mattress for live bugs or dark spots that could indicate previous or current bugs. 
    • Check the seams of any upholstered chairs or couches in the room.
    • If there is a headboard attached to the wall, use your light to check around the edges and as far behind it as you can see. Do the same with any pictures on the walls.
    • Check the luggage rack if you intend to use it. 

If you do find bugs in your room, tell management. They should offer you a different room – one that doesn’t share a wall with the buggy room. 

Spray your luggage with rubbing alcohol before you head for home. 91% rubbing alcohol is easy to find at drug stores and will kill bugs and eggs on contact. Only do this in a well-ventilated area – you don’t want to breathe it in.  Don’t soak the luggage or you may have discolored spots. 

When you get home, toss your luggage in the bathtub. Take your laundry out and wash it right away. If you have clothes that aren’t dirty, you can skip the wash and run them through the dryer for 30 minutes on high. The heat will kill any hitchhiking bugs. 

Spray your luggage down again with rubbing alcohol and let it air dry. Then vacuum the inside and outside of the suitcase before putting it away.

Enjoy The Holidays With The Ones You Love, And No One Else.

family celebrating Christmas If you find yourself hosting unwanted pests, don’t accept them like a poorly chosen present. Contact Environmental Pest Management today for a free inspection. We’ll customize pest control services to evict those unwanted guests and make sure they stay out