Sep 16, 2019

How to Get Rid of Earwigs and Everything Else You Need to Know

How to Get Rid of Earwigs and Everything Else You Need to Know

Earwigs have a prolific presence, invading homes and gardens worldwide, excluding the north and south poles – they can’t weather below zero temperatures any better than we can. Also known as pincher bugs, earwigs inspire fear on the mere mention of their name. Unlike spiders and other bitey buggers, folks are more afraid of urban legends than actual fact – the stories you heard growing up aren’t true. Earwigs don’t enter the brain via the ear canal!

Why are earwigs called earwigs?

Earwigs earned their name through a misunderstanding. You may have heard a story or two about earwigs deliberately laying their eggs in human ear canals, waiting until the unsuspecting person is asleep before establishing a nest. While there have been unpleasant cases of earwig babies popping out of people’s ears, the same can be said for spiders, bed bugs, crickets, moths, ticks and even fruit fly younglings. Jiminy Cricket is just as likely to make a nest in your ear as any earwig – in case your nervous about your odds, these occurrences are extremely rare. If you’re still trying to figure out just what do earwigs do in your ear, the answer is nothing!

What is an earwig?

Earwigs are the only members of the Dermaptera order, an insect group that used to crawl around with the dinosaurs 200 million years ago. Although we can’t comment on how they’ve changed over that time, homeowners today are struck by their small size and comparatively large pincers. They adore the Australia summer, going crazy over humid, damp weather and chowing down on rotten wood every chance they get – if you’ve got a neglected woodpile on your property, you’re probably playing host to a significant earwig infestation too.  While their pincers look fearsome, they’re also quite harmless to humans – however earthworms, maggots and other insects don’t stand a chance.

Earwig 101: Earwigs aren’t territorial! They will welcome and share their nests with other earwigs, increasing the likelihood of a serious infestation.

Ho to get rid of earwigs?

Smart earwig control begins with being food scrap, leftover and rubbish savvy. Although we understand it may be difficult to find time to clean, clean, clean, anything greasy, oily or sweet will act as a magnet for earwigs and countless other pests. Unless you like sharing your food with the insect world of Canberra…

Keep earwigs at bay by disposing of food and plant matter straight away, using a brick or heavy weight to keep any outside bin lids down. Be mindful of any sources of cellulose – don’t limit your investigation to rotting wood either, damp boxes in the shed or garage may be all the encouragement earwigs need to stick around and start a family.

No, Really, How Do You Kill Earwigs?

You don’t. While setting up a DIY earwigs trap may be tempting and you’ve seen a YouTube video or read an article dealing with this specific subject, any pest control should be completed by a professional. We know you’re capable of taking out an earwig or two – there’s nothing like a fly swat to eliminate a stray insect, but infestations are rarely small. They’re rarely manageable. When it comes to nailing down a strategy revolving around how to treat earwigs successfully, Canberra Pest Control have the experience required to ensure we hit them where it hurts the first time, all at once, without hunting down individuals. Don’t waste your time or money on something you shouldn’t DIY.

Can Earwigs Hurt You?

An earwig bite is not poisonous or harmful to humans. While scary to see, their pincers struggle to make much of an impact on people, as they’re not strong enough to produce an ow-inducing pinch. While they can bite (and do if irritated or backed into a corner), the mark itself should only cause light irritation – if you or someone close to you experiences other symptoms, please contact 000 right away. When it comes to hurting people, earwigs are all story and no substance.

Do Earwigs Damage Plants?

Yes. Earwigs will eat flowers, vegetables and plants aplenty, chewing sharp edged holes in leaves, petals and vegetable flesh. You probably won’t catch them in the act – earwigs are nocturnal in nature and prefer deep, dark places to hide and live. Although mulch patches, compost piles and consistent irrigation are fan favourites of earwigs, gardens also need all three to flourish. Instead of removing these essential elements, take advantage of the earwig’s small size and slow speed and add in strips of gravel and coarse sand around garden beds.

Earwig 101: A female earwig will tend to her babies, before and after they hatch, laying up to 50 eggs at a time. Nymphs hatch after around 7 days, going through 4 to 5 moults before reaching adulthood. During this time, they develop larger pincers, wings and more robust body.

Guard your garden, protect your ears and reclaim your leftovers. Our experienced earwig pest control technicians are a phone call or contact form away. Reach out to Canberra Pest Control today and let us help you eradicate earwigs for good.