If there’s a single insect that will send shivers down your spine at the mere sight, it’s an earwig. They are fairly harmless to humans and do not bite or sting. But even their very name elicits a fear response in people and kids that are afraid of insects. Earwigs are dangerous, however, because of their ability to burrow into almost any crack and crevice of your home and bring with them a collection of bacteria in their waste and eggs.

Earwigs are nocturnal insects. They love dark and moist environments, and you will often see them in compost and dirt piles. In essence, they are scavengers. They eat the decomposing remains of other insects as well as dead plant matter like leaves and mulch. They instinctively seek locations they can call their burrow, where they can each lay twenty to fifty eggs. They reproduce rapidly, and if you find one in your home, there are good chances that there are many more living in the tiny dark spaces of your home.

What kind of earwigs will I have to look out for in St. George?

There are two main species of earwigs that you’ll find in St. George: ring-legged and European earwigs. European earwigs are dark brown or red with yellow legs, whereas ring-legged earwigs differ in the stripes of brown on their yellow legs.
The one weakness earwigs have is their reliance on moisture and damp environments. Cleaning up compost and mulch, gathering and disposing of yard waste, and removing any water sources they may use to multiply (such as leaking pipes or moist environments in floorboards and crawl spaces). They share environments with insects such as centipedes and millipedes, so if you see them crawling around, earwigs are often living in the habitat as well.

What general concerns should I have about earwigs?

The term “earwig” actually comes from Old English in 1773. According to the old wives’ tale of the time, the distinctive shape of the earwig made for the perfect story. You may have already guessed what the story was: earwigs would find their way into the human ear, dig their way into the person’s brain, and lay their eggs inside. This is, of course, completely untrue, except for the few confirmed reports of the insect actually finding a way into the ears of a few poor souls.
The Old English name stuck, and the horror these insects produce simply because of their slender shape and distinctive antenna shapes continues to this day. The only threat they pose to humans is the bacteria and illnesses that they carry into homes and yards.

What should I do to prevent an earwig infestation?

Earwigs can squeeze through tiny openings and are also not picky about what they eat, regardless of whether their food is found in a vegetable garden or kitchen cupboard. This means that infestations can happen easily. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to reduce the risk to your home and yard.

  • Be careful what you bring inside your home. Earwigs commonly find their way into houses by way of items that family members bring inside from outdoors. For example, a large number of earwigs may be inside a box from a yard sale, and if that box is brought inside to put away the contents, the insects are brought inside as well—and will stay there. To avoid this issue, don’t leave any household items outside for long periods, and take a closer look before bringing anything inside that’s been in your yard or garage.
  • Seal off entry points to indoor spaces. Earwigs are small insects that can fit through the tiniest of cracks. Because of this, it’s worth it to walk around your home and identify any cracks or gaps in the foundation or around doors, windows, vents, or pipes. Sealing off these weak spots with caulk will make it much more difficult for earwigs and other insects to find their way inside.
  • Take away the places that earwigs like to hide. Earwigs can gather in large numbers in dark, damp, and sheltered places in your yard. Clean up any leaf piles, woodpiles, construction materials, or other debris that may be lying around. All of these things collect moisture beneath them, and removing them will make your property less hospitable to earwigs.
  • Minimize moisture levels around your home’s foundation. Earwigs love water and often gravitate toward moist environments. If the area immediately surrounding your home’s foundation is damp, earwigs will congregate there and can eventually make their way inside your home via small cracks in the foundation. Ensure gutters and downspouts are angled far enough away from your home, and consider using gravel or crushed rock in these spots instead of grass or dirt.
  • Work with a professional earwig pest control company. Professional pest control technicians have the experience and training needed to effectively protect your home from an infestation of earwigs or other pests. Work with a technician to spray the perimeter with professional-grade pest control products and create a pest control treatment plan for your home.

How can Nature’s Gate help get rid of earwigs?

While the earwig might not burrow into the brains of human beings, they are difficult pests to get rid of. While you can investigate the source of the problem fairly quickly, and even reduce the amount of light you shine since earwigs are attracted to light, treating the earwig infestation on your own can be especially trying.

Since their favorite locations exist underneath floorboards and foundations, you need specialists that can reach earwigs and make sure to stop their spread. Give Nature’s Gate a call or contact us today to get rid of the earwig infestation near you in St George, UT; Santa Clara, UT; and the surrounding areas.