Get Rid of Earwigs in 3 Easy Steps
What are earwigs?
Earwigs became so called due to the historic superstition that these insects tend to crawl into people's ears while they sleep and eat their brains. This, of course, is untrue...at least there is no evidence to suggest it is true. Although there are more than 20 species of earwigs found in the United States, less than 5 of them are commonly found to invade homes, with the European Earwig being the most widespread species.
What do earwigs eat?
Earwigs will readily feed on a variety of items, including most plant material and most household pantry items such as breads and flours. Earwig concentrations tend to be most abundant in damp, moist areas such as beneath wood piles, bark, mulch, leaves, and other decaying organic matter.
Why do earwigs come indoors?
Large numbers of earwigs may seek shelter in and around homes, which is indicative of large numbers in direct proximity to the exterior of the home. When earwigs do invade, they have a propensity to get into just about anything and everything, including furniture, bedding, clothing, foods, and much more.
Get Rid of Earwigs in 3 Easy Steps...
In spite of their large numbers, earwigs can be successfully managed by following some best earwig management practices.
Step 1: Exterior Habitat Modification
Earwigs inside the home are a function of an exterior environment around the home that is conducive to their presence. Knots in trees, debris piles, heavily mulched areas, leaf piles, grass clippings, broken sprinklers, and areas of decaying organic matter will be inviting to earwigs. By minimizing these damp and moist conditions around the exterior of the home, this environment will become much less suitable for earwig habitation and reproduction, thus causing them to seek alternative harborage areas.
Step 2: Earwig Trapping
Earwig populations both outside and inside the home can be mitigate through strategic placement of earwig traps. Earwig traps are most effective when used in combination with habitat modification and pesticide applications.
Step 3: Exterior Earwig Pesticide Applications
Many insecticides have proven highly effective in controlling and eliminating earwig concentrations in exterior environments. Pesticide applications indoors for earwigs is typically not advisable, other than in instances of advanced populations. Exterior habitat modification in combination with indoor/outdoor trapping are ideal complements to exterior earwig spray applications.
Pesticides such as bifenthrin, cyfluthrin, deltamethrin, and others have all proven effective in earwig control programs. When spraying outdoors for earwigs, special attention should be given to area adjacent to the foundation, around wood piles and rocks, beneath mulch, around utility poles, and any other dark, moist areas that create ideal habitats for earwigs.
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