Earwigs and Earwig Control in Southern California

Earwigs can be a serious pest, especially when they get into the house. Earwigs can cause great distress when found inside. Even outside they can be a nuisance and cause damage to plants and flowers. There is also a certain emotional stress that we feel when we encounter earwigs. In their place they serve a natural function as decomposers, but often they overwhelm us physically and emotionally.

Hearts Pest Management technicians are fully trained to deal with earwigs. Your service technician will inspect your home thoroughly to and provide fast, effective control of earwigs. Rest assured, our pest technicians will eliminate the earwigs and stop the damage to your plants.

We understand how important your home and family are to you and that you are concerned about your environment. That’s why we have reduced-risk and organic solutions for earwigs. Hearts Pest Management was the first company in Southern California to be EcoWise Certified. That means we know how to treat your home with the best solution and the least amount of pesticides.

Earwig Biology

Earwigs are insects of the order Dermapterra. They are narrow, slightly flat insects with cerci or pinchers on their abdomens. They are also called pincher bugs. They range in color from blackish to light brown and can be from 1/4 to 1 inch long. Most earwigs do not fly and the ones that do are poor fliers. Some species have short, hard beetle like wings that only cover their thorax. Like roaches, they like to crawl near cracks and crevasses so they can quickly hide. Earwigs are seasonal pests. They lay eggs in the late autumn which hatch in the early spring. Earwigs may eat plants or attack and eat insects and spiders.

Earwig Feeding and Habitat

Earwigs cause damage to plants by chewing leaves, fruit, and flowers. Grass or turf is rarely harmed by earwigs. When earwigs do eat plants, the damage can be extensive. They will often eat all the material off of leaves, ignoring only the skeletal vein structure. Earwigs that eat other insects can be beneficial to plants. They will consume aphids, insect eggs mites and other small organisms. When these other organisms are present in your garden, removing them may cause earwigs to turn to the plants. If, however, earwigs are supplying control over some species, removing the earwigs may cause plant damage when those other species are free to increase their numbers without the earwigs. Complete control will be necessary in every landscape pest control program involving earwigs.

Earwig myths

Earwigs have been the victim of an interesting myth. Supposedly they burrow into people’s brains through the ear, causing various forms of insanity. This is, of course, completely untrue. It is, though, how the earwig got its name.

Earwig Prevention

Earwigs may show up in the strangest places. If you’ve ever left a cardboard box in your back yard for a day or two, you’ve probably seen a few earwigs crawling on it when you went to throw it away. Earwigs need a cool, dark place to hide in during the day. Cardboard’s corrugated structure dissipates heat allowing earwigs to easily hide in the small spaces within it. Cardboard or newspapers left outside may retain moisture and attract earwigs to hide or hunt there. In the early Spring, when it rains a lot, cardboard may serve as a safe haven and feeding ground for developing young.

Removal of any litter or debris from all places in the home and yard is a great way to start reducing earwigs. Moisture in the home can invite them in. In some cases, a light that is on late at night or all night may lure them towards your home. Excessive watering or watering in places with poor drainage can contribute to earwigs. Moisture in general is beneficial to earwigs, as with most pest organisms. Moisture control in crawl spaces, under and around the house can be kept low with proper ventilation and design. Your Hearts Consulting Pest Technician can advise you with any pest issues regarding moisture.

Earwig Treatment

Your Hearts consulting pest technician has a variety of treatment options at hand to solve your earwig problem. Organic and pyrethrins sprays will cover your home’s exterior and your property at large. For difficult to spray areas like mulch beds, ice plants and wood chips, we have effective granular applications. We also can treat the inside of your home. Spraying inside is an effective method of eliminating earwigs that have already established themselves inside. Inside sprays are limited to the specific areas where earwigs hide. We limit out spraying to crack and crevice areas, spot treatment of areas where earwigs have been or are living, slab cracks and joints in the foundation and basement areas. Most people are afraid of toxins in their home. At Hearts, we do our best to make sure that the chemicals we apply are in places where you won’t interact with them.

A visit for earwigs will always involve:

  1. A complete inspection
  2. A thorough consultation
  3. An effective treatment

Earwig Species

There are several species of earwigs in Southern California. The Striped Earwig ( Labidura riparia ) is one of the most common. The difference between the species varies little with regard to control. Your Hearts Consulting Pest Technician is qualified and ready to eliminate earwigs and help you maintain control of them year round.

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