Have you seen big brown bugs in your yard with ominous looking pincers? If so, you might have questions. Lots and lots of questions. Hopefully, you'll find your question(s) here in our list of commonly asked questions about earwigs.

earwigs on orange flowers
earwig in kitchen

Are earwigs dangerous?

You might think so, to look at one. Those pincers look like they could do some damage. But they're not all that strong. If an earwig had a desire to pinch you, which it really doesn't, it would not be able to break your skin. They also don't use their pincers to tunnel to your brains, as some folklore would have you believe. While an earwig can get into your ear, they don't have the ability or inclination to tunnel to your brain.

What do earwigs do in your ear?

These insects were given the name earwig because they do tend to get into ears. But their reason for doing this has nothing to do with laying eggs or eating brains. Earwigs like to get into ears because they are attracted to dark, tight spaces. This is why you'll find them hiding under rocks or in the cracks of rocks and wood. So it is quite possible that an earwig could get into your ear. If it does, it can be painful if it gets lodged in there. Fortunately, this is very rare.

Do earwigs bite?

Earwigs are not known to bite. They are not blood-eating insects. They feed on decaying vegetation You can let these insects crawl on you without fear of being bitten. They're just nuisance pests.

How did an earwig get in my bed?

If your bed is in a basement, an earwig might have found its way into your bed because a humid basement provides a dark, moist, habitat. It will require a route to get up into your bed. If you've found an earwig in bed with you, it is likely that you have covers that were touching the floor, or your bed has a skirt on it.

If your bed is on the second floor, and you've found an earwig in your bed, we would guess that you came in from the outside with an earwig on your clothing. You may have picked one up while tending to your landscaping or when sitting on the ground. Once inside, you might have laid a clothing item on the bed and the earwig came out. Or it might have dropped off of you when you sat on your bed to take your shoes off. It's probably something like that. Earwigs don't have any reason to find their way into your bed (not even to climb into your ear). They prefer damp, dark spaces within structures. You'll find them in a crawl space under your home, in a cellar, or in your basement. If they appear on the first floor of your home, there are likely conditions just outside of your home that are offering ideal habitation, such as leaves, brush piles, and wood piles.

What attracts earwigs into houses?

If your home has a damp perimeter and organic detritus, you could have problems with earwigs. The best way to prevent earwig infestations is to clear leaves and other organic debris away from your home, and address any conditions that are causing your perimeter to be damp, such as a clogged gutter system.

How do I keep earwigs out of my house?

Once you've made your exterior less habitable for earwigs, the next, most important thing you can do is seal any tiny gaps or holes in your foundation walls and exterior. Common entry points earwigs use are:

  • Gaps under doors.

  • Gaps in weatherstripping.

  • Gaps around exterior door frames.

  • Holes created by wood-destroying pests.

  • Damaged screens.

  • Foundation cracks.

  • Gaps around foundation penetrations.

How do I kill earwigs?

We don't recommend using chemical products to eliminate earwigs. These products can be more dangerous to you than having earwigs around. If removing attractants and sealing entry points in your exterior isn't enough to get the job done, contact a licensed pest professional.

Aiken Pest Control 

If you live in Aiken, remember that the team here at Aiken Pest Control is always available to give you professional assistance with all of your pest problems. We can take a look at your earwig problem and explain to you why these insects are near your home and why they're getting inside. We can also offer a treatment option to get control of earwigs. While earwigs are mostly harmless, they can be pretty creepy to have around. Get effective control by reaching out to us today. We're here to help.


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