Earwig

Identification

Most earwigs are elongated, flattened, and are dark brown. Lengths are mostly in the quarter- to half-inch range 10–14 mm). Cerci range from nonexistent to long arcs up to one-third as long as the rest of the body. Their mouthparts are designed for chewing, as in other orthopteroid insects.

The abdomen of the earwig is flexible and muscular. It is capable of maneuvering as well as opening and closing the forceps. The forceps are used for a variety of purposes. In some species, the forceps have been observed in use for holding prey, and in copulation. The forceps tend to be more curved in males than in females.

Habitat

Most earwigs found in North America are of the species Forficula auricularia, (the common earwig), which is distributed throughout the cooler parts of the northern hemisphere. This species feeds on other arthropods, plants, ripe fruit, and garbage. Plants that they feed on typically include clover, dahlias,zinnias, butterfly bush, hollyhock, lettuce, cauliflower, strawberry,sunflowers, celery, peaches, plums, grapes, potatoes, roses, seedling beans and beets, and tender grass shoots and roots; they have also been known to eat corn silk, damaging the corn. Typically they are a nuisance because of their diet, but normally do not present serious hazards to crops. Some tropical species are brightly colored. Occasionally earwigs are confused with cockroaches because of their cerci and their long antennae.

Earwigs are generally nocturnal, and typically spend the daytime hours hiding in small, dark, and often moist areas. They can usually be seen patrolling household walls and ceilings. Interaction with earwigs at this time results in a defensive free fall to the ground below, and the subsequent scramble to a nearby cleft or crevice. Earwigs are also drawn to damp conditions. During the summer, they can be found around sinks and in bathrooms. Earwigs tend to gather in shady cracks or openings or anywhere that they can remain concealed during daylight hours. Picnic tables, compost and waste bins, patios, lawn furniture, window frames, or anything with minute spaces (even artichoke blossoms) can potentially harbor them. Upon gaining entry to the basement and living areas of the home, earwigs can easily find cover in undisturbed magazine and newspaper piles, furniture/wickerwork, base boards, carpeted stairways, pet food dishes, and even inside DVD cases and keyboards.

Earwig

Treatment

Treatment starts with a thorough inspection for the primary source of the infestation and any conducive conditions. After that recommendations are made for good sanitation practices and/or elimination of conducive conditions. Then a pesticide application maybe preformed when necessary.

Chuck Sullivan Exterminators provides an All Pest Service Guarantee so you won’t have to worry about insects in your home or commercial building after treatment has been applied.