Earwig Infestation – How to Get Rid of Earwig?

Earwigs are creepy insects that you must have heard of. It links them with urban myths. You find earwigs in almost all areas but they mostly inhabit the southern areas. Earwigs are fast movers, they hide during the day and creep out at night. So, what are earwigs, where do you find earwigs in the house, what are the signs of earwig infestation and how to get rid of them?


Earwigs belong to the order Dermaptera. They are the ancient bugs who have been on Earth since 208 million years ago. There are around 1100 earwig species. You can find earwigs everywhere. Earwig is a term meaning ear wiggler. They name it so because earwigs have hind legs that are similar to the human ears. The people in France call earwigs as ear piercers while in Germany they call it as earworms.

They are medium-sized insects. They have flat bodies with brown or black color. They have reddish stripes on the limbs and head. These bugs vary in size ranging between 1/4th of an inch to 1 ¼inch. Their body length comprises pincher-looking forceps which offers a defense mechanism. They have wings but they cannot fly. Earwigs are nocturnal insects which feed on vegetation and other insects. It prefers eating fungi, lichens, and moss. They also feed on decaying organic stuff such as leaves or mulch. They can also feed on sticky food items placed in the kitchen.


  • They are reddish-brown bugs with forceps. They call earwigs as pincher bugs because they have scary pincers. The abdomen of the earwigs have appendages known as cerci.
  • They can run quickly but do not fly although they have two pairs of wings.
  • Earwigs are nocturnal and they feed on decaying material like wood, living plants, fruits, vegetables, ornamentals, and others.
  • The female earwigs lay around 40-50 eggs inside the tunnels. It protects the eggs from the predators till the time they hatch.
  • Nymphs are the baby earwigs. It sheds skin several times and reaches adulthood after ten weeks.
  • You can also find earwigs underneath the pots where they eat flowers.


During the daytime, these earwigs hide underneath the rocks, organic debris, and bark or try hiding in dark and damp places. In conditions of drought, earwigs find shelters at your homes in dark, damp places. At indoor places, earwigs attract towards cellulose or the material which is undergoing the decay process. The earwigs also attract your house if you have the pile of books, papers or old boxes lying around in the damp and dark places. You can also find earwigs in the kitchens of you have uneaten sweet, oily or greasy foods. You can usually find earwigs in the house near woodpiles or your basement area.


Other than these earwigs cause damage to your yard. The leaves have holes and jagged appearance when earwigs feed on them. They rag the plants overnight with partial feeding over the leaves. You can also find the black-colored excrement of earwigs on leaves and plants. You can also see the earwigs underneath the pots where it damages the plants.


Earwigs do not cause harm to humans but still, they are creepy creatures because of which you want them out of your house. If you find one to two earwigs at your place, just sweep them out of your place and vacuum the entire area thoroughly. If you suspect earwig infestation at your home and do not want other bugs entering your home, then you should definitely call the professional earwig exterminator.

Methods of Controlling Earwig:

You can follow these simple steps to get rid of earwig infestation:

  • Avoid placing stones in your yard that the earwigs love to hide.
  • Leave a space around 1 foot wide between the shrubs or plants and the foundation of your home.
  • You can spread petroleum jelly over the plant stems which makes earwigs resistant to crawl.
  • You can spill borax around your pile of boxes in the basement to avoid the earwig infestation.
  • You can lie down the section of garden hose or bamboo. Check these traps every morning and dump the earwigs within a bucket full of soapy water.
  • You can use alcohol to control the earwig infestation. Alcohol serves as a wetting agent or surfactant which penetrates the surface of insects and kills them.
  • Avoid laying down mulch in deep layers around 2 inches.
  • Clean all the rain gutters surrounding your place.
  • Make sure that they position the rain gutters in such a way that they carry water away from the home.
  • Inspect your house for all the tight cracks and seals because these are the hiding places for earwigs. Make sure you don’t have entry points within the walls where earwigs can slip.
  • Place dehumidifiers within the damp areas of your home.
  • Clean up your yards away from the piles of branches, leaves, organic debris, and others.
  • If your home has leaky faucets, call a plumber to fix it.
  • Do not leave water or pet food outside the home.
  • Vacuum your area regularly.
  • Wipe all the spills from the stovetops and counters.
  • Store foods within containers that are insect-proof.


It is highly important to get rid of earwig infestation along with other insects. I advise it to dim the outside lighting which attracts the earwigs. Use insecticides in your yards in order to prevent your home from earwig infestation. Eliminate highly moisturized areas around your house as it increases the infestation of earwigs. In case, you are unable to treat the earwig infestation with all these home remedies and control measures, then call the professional earwig exterminator.


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