Has this happened to you? You finish taking a nice, hot, relaxing shower, then casually open the shower door to grab a towel when all that calm relaxation goes right out the window. Slithering on the bathroom floor is a horrifying creature with dangerous-looking pincers on its rear end. “What on EARTH is THAT?!” If you have had this experience, it is likely that your home has an earwig infestation.
What Do Earwigs Look Like?
Earwigs are insects with 2 antennae, 6 legs, 3 body parts and some scary looking pincers sticking off the end of their abdomens. They also have a pair of wings which are membranous and fold underneath a pair of forewings. Earwigs range in length from 5 to 15 mm, depending on their species. Although they are tiny, they can be quite disturbing to encounter. But, are they dangerous? Let’s explore this question.
All About Earwigs
There is a myth that has been around for eons regarding earwigs. It goes something like this. Earwigs got their name because they are insects that crawl into people’s ears. And that is not all. The myth goes on to claim that, once, inside a person’s ear, an earwig will then burrow into the brain and lay its eggs, causing insanity. If you have heard this myth, and begin seeing these creatures around your home, it is likely that you are a little worried. But you don’t need to be.
Earwigs are garden pests that love moisture and humidity. The most likely place to find these creatures is outside, underneath a pile of wet leaves, but they can also be in gardens where they can cause damage. If conditions are right and if there are entry points in a home, earwigs can find ways to get inside. Some places earwigs are likely to be found inside homes include basement areas, laundry rooms, kitchens, and bathrooms.
Earwigs are not venomous and they do not bite humans, but they are able to pinch. This pinch is not a threat. Earwigs are not known to spread harmful bacteria (the way many other household pests do) and if you do experience a pinch from an earwig, you may not even notice, since they cannot break the skin.
Although these creepy looking insects can be a cause for alarm when they show up unexpectedly, they are mainly nuisance pests. But their presence may indicate the presence of other pests as well as structural problems for your home.
The Problem Earwigs Indicate
The presence of moisture-loving insects inside a home can be an indication that there is moisture damage present. Earwigs are drawn to moist conditions. If they are getting into your home, you may have water-damage or rotting wood somewhere in your home that is not only letting earwigs in but other potentially dangerous pests as well.
Earwig Prevention Tips
- Examine the outside of your home for gaps and cracks. If you find openings in your foundation, around doors and windows, or around pipes or wires that enter your home, seal them up using materials such as wire mesh and a caulking gun.
- Make sure the perimeter around your home is as dry as possible to prevent water damage. The dryer the area is, the less likely pests will come in close to your home. Replace mulch with crushed rocks. Trim back vegetation to allow the sun and air to dry things out. And make sure your gutters are working properly to channel water away from your home.
- Maintain a clutter-free yard, especially regarding leaf litter and other materials that tend to hold moisture. Earwigs are only one type of insect that can be drawn to moist conditions.
How Innovative Can Help!
If you would rather not do all the hard work necessary to keep earwigs out, or if these creepy pests are already plaguing you inside your home, then the pest experts here at Innovative Pest Control can come to your rescue. We have the tools, the experience, and the know-how to rid your home of earwigs, or any other house-invading pest that might be bothering you. Reach out to Innovative today for prompt, professional assistance.