The term “earwig” is generically applied to insects in the order Dermaptera, of which there are at least 2,000 species. Found all over the globe, these bugs are easily identified by their long, almost worm-like bodies and a distinctive pair of pincers that come together near their heads. Pincers aside, earwigs bear a striking resemblance to crickets.
Because earwigs are nocturnal, preferring dark, moist places during the day, many people with earwig infestations are unaware how severe the infestation is, and others do not even know the problem exists at all. Luckily, there are some things you can look for if you suspect a severe infestation in your home or yard:
• Look for molted skin casings: Like snakes, earwigs frequently shed their skins. From birth to adulthood, earwigs shed their skins five times each. If there is an abundance of these shed skin casings throughout a home, a serious infestation likely exists. Because earwigs are partial to cracks in a home’s foundation or spaces between its walls, a lack of these casings in the common areas of a home does not necessarily rule out a problem.
• Find their daily hiding places: Using a flashlight, inspect all of the places in your home that are dark and moist, paying particular attention to basements, garages and food pantries. If there is an infestation, these places are where they will be hiding during the day.
• Check your yard: The presence of earwigs in your yard is to be expected, but overly dense populations of them outside could indicate that their numbers are swelling out of control, forcing the pests into your home. Places to check would include under moist wooden debris, leaves and other crevices, such as around or beneath paving stones. A few earwigs outside is nothing to worry about, but swarms might be cause for concern.
• Inspect any houseplants: If you keep plants in your home, the topsoil is an ideal environment for an earwig.
Although earwigs are somewhat harmless, they are not most people’s idea of pets. They do not bite or sting and are not venomous, but they are able to pinch people with their pincers, which can be slightly painful and more than a little irritating. An earwig’s pinch is not likely to puncture an adult human’s skin, but infants and toddlers are more susceptible and may develop rashes and skin irritations from an earwig pinch.
If you have determined you have an earwig problem or similar infestation, don't sit back and allow the problem to get worse. Contact Sorenson Pest Control today, and start taking your house back!