• Pest Controllers - Earwigs Information

    Earwig Control and Removal

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  • Earwigs are very commonly found, in and around homes, during the spring and summer months. Earwigs are reddish-brown insects with a slim-line, shiny, body and two readily recognised pincers. They are approximately 5/8 inch long and although they are pretty much harmless to humans, most people dislike the way they look. Earwigs have wings but they only fly very occasionally. Their main wings are elaborately folded against their back and on top of them they have two, smaller, thick wings covering them as a protective shield which are visible to the naked eye.

    Earwigs have been known to nip humans with their pincers but this is a self-defensive reaction and not out of malice. Children are quite commonly nipped but this is most likely because they’ve been investigating the earwig out of curiosity. Many adults dislike earwigs because they themselves were ‘pinched’ as children, along with the fact they are ugly insects to look at.

    Earwigs actually have their uses. They eat aphids (plant-eating insects) in orchards, which helps the orchard thrive. They pollinate flowers and they are also food for other animals. They can cause some problems by eating live plants and damaging field crops however.

    Earwigs reproduce once per year; the female’s lay between 20 and 60 eggs in a small burrow 2 or 3 inches under the ground. The female then stays and looks after her eggs all through the winter months, incubating and cleaning them, or even moving them if they appear to be in any danger. The eggs then hatch in spring time and the mother protects and looks after the hatched larvae for two or three weeks. By the end of May the larvae has developed enough to fend for itself so it leaves the nest and the mother dies.

    Earwigs are active at night and tend to hide in dark places during the day such as under stones, bark, and wood or in cracks in walls and they require moisture to survive. The Earwig is a scavenger by nature and it primarily lives on dead insects and decomposing plants.

    Earwigs got their name due to the common misconception that they would crawl into the human ear. If at any time this did occur it would be purely because they were looking for a warm, dark hole to rest in and not because they wanted to cause any damage to the human ear.

    Earwigs are found in residential homes and buildings everywhere. They can get in through entry points like doors and windows, and by going up through cracks in the foundations of the buildings.

    With earwigs and most pest like insects, prevention is better than cure. In order to prevent Earwig infestations you should keep your home dry and free from damp or leaks caused by structural damage or plumbing errors. You could use caulk to stop them getting in through doors, window frames and pipes. Rain gutters should be pointed away from the house foundations and if you can create a dry border immediately around your foundation wall with gravel then you can begin to discourage the presence of earwigs in your property.

    Some Earwigs are attracted to bright lights so you could try switching off all exterior lights to your property at night.

    There are many insecticide treatments available to eradicate Earwigs and these can be applied to your flower beds, and around the house foundations. These are best applied in Spring and Summer and can be bought from local hardware stores or online. Pybuthrin Insect Powder works effectively against earwigs and should be applied to regular points of entry such as doors, steps and window sills. You can also get a selection of crack and crevice aerosol sprays for use indoors, around your skirting boards and under furniture, porches, hallways and adjoining garages.

    Diatomaceous earth, is a humane method used to kill all number of pests, it can be spread around the garden and basements and it causes them to dehydrate and die.

    If you have previously been bothered by Earwigs then you should consider turning all the soil in your gardens and surrounding area very early in the Spring time to disturb the adults and expose the eggs, causing them to die.

    Like with any pest that is becoming a nuisance in your home, the best way to deal with them is to call in the professional pest controllers. These guys are fully trained to deal with all manner of pests and can fully eradicate your home of them in under an hour.

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