BLOG / HOW TO PREVENT EARWIGS FROM ENTERING YOUR HOME
Earwigs are rarely a welcome sight, with their long, thin brown bodies and angular pincers. In ancient folklore, tales were told of earwigs who would crawl into ear canals and lay eggs in the person’s brain, eventually driving them to madness. Of course, there is no truth to these tales, though earwigs, like moths, beetles, cockroaches, ants and flies may wander into our ear canals by accident.
Earwigs are abundant in Ontario. Our typical earwig season usually begins around mid June and continues to October. Earwigs are relatively easy to identify by the prominent pincers or forceps on the end of the abdomen. Females pincers are fairly straight, while male pincers are more curved and caliper-like. These pincers are used as both offensive and defensive weapons. Though they may try to pinch if captured or handled, they do not harm people. The common earwig is about 5/8 inch long and dark brown with a reddish head and pale yellow-brown legs.
They enter houses and structures either by accident or when seeking shelter, especially in the summer and fall or during periods of prolonged dry weather. Earwigs inside the house do not cause any harm or destruction. They are simply an annoyance or nuisance because of their presence (and sight). If disturbed, earwigs may produce a noticeable foul odor. Depending on the season earwig numbers can be astonishing.
How to Prevent Earwigs
The Importance of Backyard Maintenance
Earwigs are outdoor insects usually found in damp areas, such as under mulch, dead leaves, logs, and piles of firewood, boards, stones and other debris or in rotted wood where they feed on moist, decaying plant material. Earwigs occasionally attack living plants, including vegetables, flowers and ornamental plants, which is a reason why many people consider them pests. Eliminate dead leaves from your backyard to detract earwigs.
Treat Cracks and Crevices in Your Home
Earwigs found inside the house can be swept or picked up and discarded. Treating indoor cracks and crevices at points of entry, and along baseboards, window sills and door thresholds provide benefit and helps to keep earwigs from gaining entry.
Eliminate Moisture Where Possible
Earwigs need and are very attracted to moisture. Eliminate damp, moist conditions near the house such as around faucets and air-conditioning units and irrigation. Channel water from rain gutters and spouts away from the house foundation. Consider removing landscape mulch (wood chips, gravel, etc.) from against the house. You can also prevent entry by using caulking compound, putty or weather stripping around doors, windows, pipes and other entry sites, especially at the ground level.
If you think you may have an earwig infestation and want to get rid of earwigs Environmental Pest Control is there to help.
Call 1 (800) 263-5055
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