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Despite their names and the myths surrounding them, earwigs don’t crawl into your ears or hair. In fact, they try to avoid people as much as possible. Instead, an earwig infestation usually takes place outdoors, wreaking havoc in your gardens and plant beds. However, they may also enter homes and begin to spread the infestation indoors. If you’ve seen these little bugs with their menacing pincers, it may be only a matter of time before there are more of them. Because they can cause extensive damage to plants, create foul smells, and be unsightly in your home, it’s important to contact our pest control company sooner rather than later. Contact us today to schedule a free property inspection and receive a complimentary service quote!
An earwig is a nocturnal bug that lives in undisturbed cool, wet areas and feeds on decaying vegetation. There are about 20 species of earwig bug across the United States, but the most common species in Florida is the wingless ring-legged earwig. These little pests usually live under the cover of soil but are attracted to light, so they may end up in your home. Adult earwigs are between 12–16 millimeters long, are brown in color, and have little pincers (cerci) on their rear ends. While their cerci may look intimidating, they do not contain venom and are used to capture the occasional prey or defend against other bugs. While people are often afraid of an earwig bite, they don’t bite with their mouths. Instead, if picked up, they may use their pincers to pinch, though it is rare the pinch will be strong enough to break the skin.
Earwigs mostly stay outside due to the easy access to food and water. If you have a garden or grow produce, you’ll want to look for holes in the leaves, produce, or petals. While they prefer the outdoors, they may be drawn inside by lights at night, when they’re most active. Earwig sightings in the home most often occur in rooms with water access, such as laundry rooms, bathrooms, or kitchens, though they may move to other rooms. Aside from seeing earwigs, other signs of an earwig infestation can include the following.
While earwigs are not necessarily harmful on their own, the produce they have eaten should not be consumed by people due to harmful bacteria.
Earwig bugs only stay around if they have access to food and water. Storing produce in the refrigerator and addressing any leaks can help get them out of your home. You may also use a vacuum cleaner to suck up any that you see, though they move quickly, so this may be difficult. Controlling them outside the home can be more difficult without professional help. Be sure your landscape has proper drainage and be proactive about cleaning up leaves and dead or dying produce. You can also attempt to remove them from the root system in potted plants, though that’s often not an option with plants around the yard.
While severe earwig infestations are rare, they can be an unpleasant nuisance in a home and the surrounding property. While prevention methods are key to stopping earwig infestations before they start, professional pest control services are best for handling earwigs once they begin reproducing. An earwig exterminator will take care of not only the adults but also the earwig larvae and earwig eggs to ensure they do not return. Contact us today to schedule an earwig pest control appointment!
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