When you start seeing pincher bugs in abundance in your home and garden, people just want to know how to get rid of earwigs! These tiny pests will wreak havoc on your garden plants and vegetables, chew through your flowers, and leave a mess wherever they go.
While earwigs tend to stick more to the outdoors, they often find their way inside your home and show up in all sorts of unwanted places. So, let’s go over not only how to get rid of earwigs but how to prevent them from becoming a problem for you in the first place. If you’ve got earwig problems or you need some earwig prevention, contact us for a free quote or click here to see pricing.
What Is an Earwig?
Earwigs or pincher bugs are strange-looking insects with forceps protruding from their abdomen. They may look scary but in actuality aren’t poisonous and don’t spread diseases like roaches. Because they are nocturnal creatures, they are fairly elusive during daytime hours. Earwigs produce a pheromone or foul odor that they use as a defense tool.
Do Earwigs Bite?
Earwigs have pincers that they use when defending themselves against other earwigs or bugs but they don’t bite humans. They are able to pinch which may resemble a bite mark or scratch but that’s about it. These misunderstood bugs have gotten a bad reputation over the years due to folklore and myths. But contrary to popular belief, their name didn’t derive from crawling into human ears and laying eggs. This could happen, but it could happen with any species of insect and is highly unlikely. Earwigs may be a nuisance but aren’t a threat or danger to humans.
What Causes Earwigs to Come In Your House?
If you are seeing earwigs inside your home or apartment, there are a few explanations for this. Earwigs typically prefer moist soil areas that offer a food source and shelter from the elements. So, oftentimes earwigs unintentionally enter your dwelling through human activities. Maybe we bring them in when returning from a camping trip in the woods or when bringing in firewood or plants from outside.
They also may enter your home because they are searching for an escape from the outdoor conditions they are currently living in. Whether it’s too hot,
too cold, or not enough food and water sources, they are not afraid to relocate to your lovely home.
Earwigs often enter your home through tiny gaps, cracks, or holes that haven’t been sealed properly. The most common areas of entry are around door and window seals, gaps where your foundation meets your siding, crawl spaces, unscreened attics, and vents. Lights may also attract them into your home as well.
There are several precautions you can take to prevent earwigs from becoming a problem in your home and yard. Earwigs thrive in damp, moist, cool areas. So, a good place to start is to eliminate the areas where they love to hide. Here are some simple preventative steps you can take:
- Trim back trees and shrubs near your home to avoid creating the shady, cool areas earwigs enjoy.
- Make sure gutters are cleared regularly and drainage is directed away from the house.
- Seal any gaps, cracks, or holes around your foundation. ● Check all windows to make sure they are tightly sealed to avoid water leaking in and providing gateways for earwigs to enter.
- Replace window or door screens with any tears or holes in them. ● Remove piles of excess mulch, debri, dried leaves, or vegetation from your property.
- Stack firewood a good distance away from your home or eliminate them completely.
How to Get Rid of Earwigs in Your House
Homeowners often find earwigs where there is water. Under kitchen and bathroom sinks, basements, or around drains, are all earwigs hotspots. They are attracted to damp, moist, cool areas but will work their way into the other living spaces in your home. They show up in living rooms and bedrooms also but rarely start an infestation. If earwigs are settling into your property, there are several very simple home remedies you can try.
- Rubbing alcohol and water mixture- The combination of rubbing alcohol and water is deadly to earwigs on contact. Keep a water bottle of the mixture on hand for when an earwig scurries out in the open.
- Boric acid powder- Boric acid is a natural insecticide that kills earwigs on contact. It can easily be found at any hardware store. Simply sprinkle the powder in areas earwigs are known to frequent. Along your baseboards or in window sills are both locations highly trafficked by bugs so they’re a good place to start. The powder can also be applied around woodpiles or damp corners of your yard or garden. It’s important to note that boric acid can be harmful to children and pets so keep the powder away for safety reasons.
- Soap and water- Mix dish soap and water to spray areas where you commonly see earwigs around your home.
- Earwig Pesticide- Apply an earwig pesticide roughly 5-10 feet away from your home. You can apply it to the surface of your garden or lawn. Be sure to water immediately following the application to ensure the pesticide penetrates deep into the soil, killing earwig eggs.
- Vacuuming- When dealing with a large concentration of earwigs, the vacuuming method often works very well. Suck up all the earwigs you can see and thoroughly vacuum the premises to gather as many eggs as possible at the same time. Take care to immediately dispose of the vacuum bag or empty the canister right away. Instead of emptying them in the garbage, empty them into a bucket of soapy water to exterminate them and avoid the earwigs returning to the same spot.
Earwig Bug Killer
While it isn’t often necessary to take drastic measures when dealing with earwigs, it’s always smart to know your options when it comes to getting rid of them. Keep in mind that when you’re working with pesticides, it’s best to let pest control professionals take over. But if you want to try the DIY option, here are some guidelines.
We recommend applying pesticides in the evening just before earwigs come out in the dark to feed. There are a number of insecticides that we recommend. These include esfenvalerate, bifenthrin, malathion, azadirachtin, diatomaceous earth, and permethrin. As we mentioned earlier, be sure to use enough water in the application to ensure the chemicals reach deep into the soil where earwigs hide and lay their eggs. Check the labels on the pesticide you choose to go with when spraying fruit trees or garden vegetables as not all insecticides are safe for edible plants. When using any insecticides inside your home, be sure to use a cyfluthrin-containing pesticide that is approved for indoor use.
How to Get Rid of Earwigs Conclusion
If home remedies haven’t worked for you or you’re still feeling overtaken by unwanted pests of any kind, give Vinx Pest Control a call. Our experienced technicians are skilled at what they do and are trained to keep your family safe from any pest or rodent infestation. If you live in the Dallas, Charleston, or Greenville areas, we can help you with your pest control needs. Around Dallas, we serve Grapevine, Arlington, and Garland. In Charleston, we serve North Charleston and Mount Pleasant. In the Greenville area, we serve Greer, Spartanburg, and more.