If you have ever seen an earwig in your home, you will be able to notice their slender and long bodies and also their eerie movements of the body. Something that is creepier than that is the myth that gives them their name. The reason why they are coined the name earwig is because of the old European myth that says that these insects with long, slender and flat bodies are able to crawl into the ears of sleeping people and leave behind eggs in the brain. Although it may seem possible, there has yet to be any proof of this myth. Nevertheless, they do have a peculiar appearance and look extremely fierce because of their forceps like appendages on the ends of their bodies. Earwigs can be found all over the world and there are about 22 different earwig species that are found in the United States alone.>> Read More
Earwigs are the most easily identified by their cerci that is located on the back of their bodies. These appendage look like forceps which are used as both offensive and defensive tools to protect themselves and are sometimes used to capture and kill their prey. Although both sexes and all species have this pair of cerci, there are slight variations in shape. Adult earwigs are about .25 to 1 inch long and have elongated, flattened bodies. Depending on the species, the color will vary. However, they are typically a pale brown to dark reddish brown to black color and generally, they will have legs that are much paler than their bodies. They possess wings and are rarely wingless; however, they are unable to fly. They undergo a simple metamorphosis and so they will molt as they develop. Nymphs are similar in shape and form as adults but are paler in color and do not have wings.
Earwigs are typically nocturnal insects. They remain active during the night and will hide in protected areas during the day. The protected areas are going to be moist or damp areas that remain shady such as places like under rocks or stones, under logs, inside mulch and leaf debris, and etc. Another reason for searching for moist areas is because neither the nymphs nor the eggs are able to survive long, dry spells.
Although they are only active during the night, earwigs are attracted to lights. Because they are attracted to lights, many earwigs will enter the home by following trails of light that goes through cracks and crevices in a structure. Earwigs are not normally predacious and will feed on live or dead plants. Sometimes they will attack live insects and will occasionally feed on live or dead insects. Depending on the species, earwigs will damage different plants but earwigs are able to damage vegetables, fruits, ornamental shrubs, and flowers. There have also been records of earwigs invading beehives to feed on the honey and have also been found in slaughter houses, flour mills, breweries, and meat-packing warehouses.
In order to get rid of earwigs that are inside your house, you must be able to complete a thorough outdoor treatment. The key to earwig control is to eliminate all areas that will be resting, breeding, and harboring areas for earwigs. These are areas of high moisture in places like under mulch, plant debris, under stones, wood piles, and also under siding and etc. These places around the structure of the home must be eliminated. This is because getting rid of these places also means that you are creating low-moisture zones around the structure which earwigs are not able to survive in.
To keep earwigs out of the house, apply a barrier around the structure. Barrier treatments are going to essentially be what the name implies, creating a barrier or bands of insecticide around the structure that the earwigs cannot pass. Most bands of insecticide that is sprayed in a barrier treatment around the house or a building will be about 4 inches up the siding from the base of the structure and 4 inches out on the ground from the base of the structure. You can use an appropriately labeled wet-able powder or a micro-encapsulated insecticide that will last longer in outdoor environments. Also, focus on cracks and crevices in the walls of the structure as well as door frames and window frames.
Inside, spray door frames and window frames with an appropriately labeled insecticide that targets earwigs. Using a liquid insecticide inside will provide a residual of about three to five months. Also, it will furthermore enhance outdoor barrier treatments, because you are spraying target areas from the inside as well. In conjunction with the sprays, consider using fine granular baits in concentrated areas with bait trays. Fine granular baits that have earwigs labeled as a target pest have proven to be very effective for earwig control inside the house.
Keep in mind that all products are high in chemical content. Allow liquids to dry before coming in contact with that treated area again. Also, place baits in areas where children and pets cannot reach or come in contact with. If you have any questions on the products we provide for earwig control, feel free to call us at 1-800-788-4142.
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